First, a little history…our church has a long-standing history of support for The Classical School of the Medes in northern Iraq.
Yes. That Iraq. (There’s only one.)
The school was started in 2001 by a Nashville-based non-profit called Servant Group International. The leader of SGI, Dave Dillard, is a member of our church. Dave has shared about CSM many times and I am always caught off-guard by his reports. Not because they are particularly startling by design but because anything not related to the war seems startling to me.
See, we hear about Iraq almost every day in the news, but in most cases what we are hearing is focused on the leaders, the factions, the politics, the adults, the death count, the ambushes, the hostilities. Honestly, as bad as it sounds, I have a hard time drawing a deep personal “connection” to the entire area. Perhaps it’s a lack of education or understand or just a basic desire to distance myself from war. Maybe it’s wrong. It’s not a lack of concern…more like I just don’t know where to start in understanding.
But it’s vastly different when Dave talks about SGI and The Classical School of the Medes. When he speaks, he’s talking about the children of Iraq. The children--something I can definitely relate to. We don’t hear much about the children of Iraq on television news. Dave brings photos of the children and I am always reminded how universal children are. No matter where in the world you go, when you shoot photos of children, you see the same characteristics: sweetness, fun, innocence, laughter, curiosity…beautiful Iraqi children.
So with this in mind, today I got an email from one of the Children’s Ministry leaders from church regarding the kids offering. It seems that there is a team of people from our church traveling to northern Iraq this coming summer to conduct a Family Bible Adventure (much like Vacation Bible School) for the children who attend The Classical School of the Medes, their families and friends. (Did I mention that 90 percent of the students at CSM are Muslim Kurds?)
From now until the team’s departure, the children of Christ Community will be contributing their Sunday offering towards the support of this team of travelers. They are also collecting supplies and books to be shipped to Iraq for the school.
I was completely bummed earlier today. I was wallowing in a selfish muck, emotionally. Things are a mess at home, I’m not feeling so hot and Julian’s in a total grouchy funk. I’m totally drawing a blank creatively. I’ve been working on cards and nothing seems right. I had plenty to complain about until this email arrived in my inbox. Then suddenly, I’m looking at the faces of children living in a war-torn unstable country and knowing I had no right to be feeling so bad.
I know what a wonderful time my kids have at FBA each summer. Kids being kids, I think that no matter where you are in the world, this fun summer camp-style event will be a welcomed event.
I hope so.
I pray so.
Sometimes God snatches me back from the brink of despair by reminding that my life is not about me. Ultimately, it’s not about paper and photos, as much as I like it to be. Life--real life is about His plan, His children and the world in which we live. It’s about children in Ethiopian orphanages and Iraqi schools knowing His love and grace...just like my own.
What have I done about that today??