Making the Impossible Possible – TEDx Baghdad

While I was in Baghdad, Iraq in November 2011 there was a conference called, “Making the Impossible Possible.” I was given an invitation to attend, but our schedule did not permit. Regardless, the event was a milestone of HOPE for precious Iraq. There will be another TEDx event in Baghdad in 2012. I would LOVE to attend.

In the meantime, I think their videos and related videos provide a great view into the GOOD happening in Iraq. Please do not let your hearts be overwhelmed by what you hear in the news about Iraq. Dare to have outrageous HOPE for Iraq. Direct your thoughts and prayers toward optimistic growth in Iraq. The people of Iraq need your advocacy, not that you would write them off as hopeless, but rather champion them as HOPE-ful despite the look of things.

There is always hope.

 

 

 

Great Memories from TEDx Baghdad 2011

ICARE’s video for TEDx Baghdad 2011

Baghdad . . . the city of peace

The Virtual Museum of Iraq

The TEDx Baghdad website

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“Arab World Unite” music video

“I just want to see the Middle East shine. 

And if they want war, hit ’em with a peace sign.”

I LOVE this song. It is important, revolutionary, and inspiring. And in the tick-tock of history it is TIME: time for the Middle East to flourish.

Musicians and artists, arise! Call the Middle East to her beautiful destiny!

Enjoy! Please pass this along to friends who love the Middle East and/or speak Arabic. : )

Also, “Bahrain United”

Here’s another great video, “The Time is Now”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/44507126#44507126

my friends’ DELICIOUS ministry

My friends Jessica and Barrett recently got married. Soon they are headed back to Bethlehem, Israel/Palestinian Territories to begin a new ministry venture: a pizza shop and  open heart surgery for Palestinian kids who need it. : )

I am really proud of Jess and Barrett for relentlessly going after the vision and passion God has knit in them. They are a true inspiration and a solid weight of glory for the Middle East! HOORAY!

Check it out and if you are infinitely inspired, consider supporting their ministry with prayer or money. Three cheers for marriage, the Middle East, and new hearts for Palestinian children!

http://www.wix.com/askidenia/askidenia-ministries#!

marking two years back in America

On September 6, 2009 an airplane handed me back to my home country. From August 26, 2006 to September 5, 2009 I lived in Israel, mainly in the precious city of Bethlehem -or “o little town” as I often call it. Looking back and looking forward, I am rapturously thankful and awed by the gift of those years in Israel. That season was certainly a bootcamp for my future life in the Middle East. And that was precisely what I needed. It was also overflowing with miracles, healings, surprises, birthdays, friendships, and glory. It was better than I expected, and sometimes worse. Yet overall, most certainly BETTER.

Moreover, these past two years in America have been precisely what the Master Physician ordered: refreshing, regrouping, re-establishing, re-envisioning, and relaxing. Two years of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry has been really restorative as well as catalytic. I am now positioned to return to the Middle East with new strength, perspective, techniques, and SUPPORT. I am reminded of a family Christmas video of me around seven years old in which I say upon opening many of my gifts, “It’s just what I ALWAYS WANTED!” These two years have been that. 

THANK YOU to my friends and family who have supported me and encouraged me when they didn’t understand what I was doing, but miraculously did understand WHY I was doing it. I know your investment in my life and your willingness to stand by me will reap a harvest, throughout the Middle East and throughout your own life. I bless you today with checks in the mail, gifts and surprises, and debts paid off. haha! The delight of the Lord is gushing through the threshold of your home and into every heart therein. It is an honor to journey together. You are priceless; and you are royalty.

<Thank you, Father God for your wisdom made manifest in my life. There’s no one else I would rather have write my story. I’m happy with where we are and I’m expectant for the chapters ahead. Your sweetness is beyond what my skin can hold, my mind can grasp, and my words can tell. I LOVE YOU.>

Here’s to endless adventure and matchless love!

A year ago I wrote this blog post: https://upsidedownbethlehem.wordpress.com/2010/09/05/a-dress-that-made-me-cry-and-other-reflections-on-a-year-back-in-america/  

Here are some of my favorites images from my three years in the Middle East. They are a visual necklace of gratitude framing my voice of praise:

Dawn on rooftop overlooking the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock

Flat Stanley's First Iftaar

Entrance to Saudi Arabia

The Mosque of Jesus, Son of Mary (in Jordan)

Dawn atop Mt Sinai in Egypt

wedding in Hussan village

listening to a woman's story in the mental hospital

healing at the birthday party

drama group happiness

merrily down the stairs with Jihad

went to Cyprus to renew our visas, met Andrea's future husband

scuba diving in the Red Sea

Exiting Bethlehem through the checkpoint

blindfolded on my birthday

striking a pose in Jerusalem

rooftop worship in Bethlehem

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall bow down and worship before You, For the kingship and the kingdom are the Lord’s, and He is the ruler over the nations.”

Psalm 22:27-18 (AMP)

“I ♥ Baghdad” tattoos?

Incense, rutabagas, astronauts, and quinceaneras. How does this list relate to the Middle East?

The first letters combine to spell IRAQ.          obviously.

Speaking of Iraq, I am now selling “I ♥ Baghdad” shirts with a blank back.

Please spread the word by sharing the link below via facebook, twitter, blogs, websites, email, word of mouth, blimps, skywriting, re-painting your car, getting a tattoo, writing a song about the shirt and putting it on youtube, naming your dog “Baghdad” (or really even “Baghdog”), or committing to buy a shirt and wear it everyday this year.

ALSO, we have begun a SHIRT CHAIN. 

This is twofold.

1. Take a picture of yourself wearing your “I ♥ Baghdad” while doing something unusual or at a famous location (ie. hanging on a rope swing or in front of the Taj Mahal). Alternatively, hold an “I ♥ Baghdad” sign. Post the photo(s) on the Hopeiraq Facebook page.

2. Take part in the SHIRT CHAIN. Pass a shirt along to your friends. It must be handed off at least weekly. Each person must take a picture wearing the shirt while doing something creative or in a creative location. If you live in the Redding area and you are interested, I will GIVE you a shirt if you will agree to get ten friends to take pictures wearing it and then post them in the Facebook group.

Here is the Hopeiraq Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hopeiraq/197099243685654

Thanks.

Here is where to order shirts: http://www.etsy.com/listing/79715167/i-heart-baghdad-shirt-blank-back?ref=pr_shop

Long live invincibility! / God is ALWAYS with you

Go ahead, do the impossible. Take a stand. Believe God will stand with you. He will. And the hilarious bit is, not only will your courage be beautiful, but it may well lead entire nations into friendship with God. It happened that way for Daniel and his three friends. His three friends went into the fire rather than bow to an idol; and lo-and-behold Jesus showed up with them in the fire AND the whole nation began to consider this God truly was the one true God. (See the Old Testament book of Daniel chapter 3)

A friend recently asked me if I am afraid to live in a war zone, specifically in Iraq. I said, “No. I expect to have invincibility like Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego in the fire. Not only did they survive, but Jesus showed up and the whole nation thought it might be a great idea to follow the true God. That’s what I expect – the whole nation to fall in love with Jesus.”

“Oh, okay. You do know that happened in Babylon, modern Iraq?” my friend queried.

“Yes. haha. I am well aware,” I replied.


Long live invincibility! (pun intended)

“The Children of Iraq Have Names”

The Children of Iraq Have Names

by David Krieger*, November 1, 2002


The children of Iraq have names.
They are not the nameless ones.

The children of Iraq have faces.
They are not the faceless ones.

The children of Iraq do not wear Saddam’s face.
They each have their own face.

The children of Iraq have names.
They are not all called Saddam Hussein.

The children of Iraq have hearts.
They are not the heartless ones.

The children of Iraq have dreams.
They are not the dreamless ones.

The children of Iraq have hearts that pound.
They are not meant to be statistics of war.

The children of Iraq have smiles.
They are not the sullen ones.

The children of Iraq have twinkling eyes.
They are quick and lively with their laughter.

The children of Iraq have hopes.
They are not the hopeless ones.

The children of Iraq have fears.
They are not the fearless ones.

The children of Iraq have names.
Their names are not collateral damage.

What do you call the children of Iraq?
Call them Omar, Mohamed, Fahad.

Call them Marwa and Tiba.
Call them by their names.

But never call them statistics of war.
Never call them collateral damage.

*David Krieger is a founder and president of The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

(“Suffer the Children: Dispatches to and from the Front Line” by Andrew White, page 33)

http://www.amazon.com/Suffer-Children-Dispatches-Front-Line/dp/1847063748/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306906995&sr=1-5