Take Risks, Not Care: Christian Life in Iraq Print
Written by Sherry   
Wednesday, 02 January 2008 10:26
The January Lausanne World Pulse is out this morning and could not be more timely considering the news coming out of Kenya about the massacre of dozens of Kikuyu who had taken refuge in a church.

The topic: Proclaiming Christ in an Era of War, Trauma and Genocide..

Worldpulse is usually packed by missions related news from all over the world but this lead article is very fine and challenging:

The Church as an Instrument of Redemption, not Administration by the Rev. Canon Andrew White (Anglican), President of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the MIddle East.

Please read the whole thing but here are some especially good snippets that gives a very vivid picture of life for Christians in Iraq at present.

We had lunch with one of the Archbishops in Baghdad last week to talk about the struggle Christians in Iraq have and the way the Church is just trying to survive. During the conversation (which was accompanied by terrible food!), the Archbishop made this extraordinary remark: “The Church is an instrument for redemption, not administration.”


The meeting commenced; each participant gave an account of what was happening in his congregation. Then, without any preparation, the main item of the agenda became clear: How do we prevent our leaders in St. George's Memorial Church in Baghdad from being kidnapped and killed? Our people are increasingly going hungry and relying on the church for everything—food, water, medicine and rent money. Our relief work through the church has radically increased; however, supplying the needs of the people involves huge risks. All of us stopped discussion for a moment, realizing that most of our church leaders have been killed or kidnapped. Oh, how difficult it is for those of us from the West to accept the risk of death for the ministry of redemption! Although all of us are aware of danger and risk (you cannot be ignorant of this if you live in Iraq), I wonder if we are really prepared to take real risks for the sake of redemption.


My mind went back to the previous weekend at church. Many of our children had their first communion that day. They processed into church in their wonderful white robes, singing the simple word, “Hallelujah!” Some of the children were in tears. As they came to the front of the church, I asked one of the girls why she was crying. She told me it was because it was the most important day of her life and she knew that Jesus was walking with her. Their song was a song of redemption and their tears were tears of redemption. My mind returned again to the words of the Archbishop. These words challenge us here and they should challenge the Church around the world.


I think back to the words of my mentor, Donald Coggan. Every time we parted, he would say, “Take risks, not care.” I hope I have done this and I pray we all will do this more and more when it comes to sharing the good news of Jesus with the world.