Dear friends and supporters of SWIC,
There is a very important point I have been needing to make that the sheer volume of activity has prevented me from expressing—for which I apologize. I have heard from some folks a concern—why just the Christians of Iraq, and specifically Erbil? What about the brutalized and exiled Muslims, Yazidis, and all the other people being devastated by the false and vicious Medieval theology and brutality of ISIS?
Great question and please let me be as clear as I can: God’s heart groans and weeps equally for all of the people, irrespective of faith, ethnicity, or tribal affiliation throughout that traumatized region, indeed throughout the world. I personally make no distinction in my compassion and commitment to take action on behalf of human beings in trouble. Jesus didn’t, and we shouldn’t either.
The focus of SWIC is on Christians for one simple and agonizing reason: ISIS has made it clear that one of their primary goals is the immediate liquidation of the Christian Church in all of its manifestations in the Middle East. Liquidation. Eradication. Elimination. As a small church in Pennsylvania trying to address a gigantic catastrophe that impacts millions of souls, St. Martin’s, Radnor has been called to bring friendship and love, and whatever material support we can muster, to the relatively few Christian people still living in Erbil and Iraq whom we have been given to know.
These represent some of the oldest and most beautiful and faithful Christian traditions and communities on Earth and it is simply not acceptable to stand by and do nothing while they struggle to survive against horrific and monumental odds. My hope, deep, abiding, and implacable, is that our small but passionate effort, and others like it, can be a spark for a new massive concentration of kindness in action. I hope for a sustained and unquenchable commitment to bring light wherever there is bitter darkness, love wherever there is mindless hate, to all of the families and children of the Middle East.
We have to start somewhere, my friends. And I look to you, people of conscience and lovers of souls everywhere, to carry this work forward to all who need it. All of us are better than any of us, and so let us join hands and walk together toward peace. And we never walk alone. The Creator of this gorgeous mess, this unfinished creation into which we are continually invited as co-creators, walks with us, always. So let’s us, the ones with the hands, feet, voices and hearts of the Christ, the ones with skin on, get to work.
Grace and peace,