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A World of Extremes and Laughter in Baghdad
by Michael Ireland : Feb 28, 2012 : Assist News Service
http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2012/s12020101.htm

"Today I decided to look with the eyes of faith. I saw signs of not just hope, but laughter and humor." -Nick Shenow

(Baghdad, Iraq)—Nick Shenow is the new UK Director of Operations for FRRME, the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, of which Canon Andrew White (aka The Vicar of Baghdad) is President. The group tries to promote peace by engaging religious leaders in dialogue.

FRRME works tirelessly to support White—Iraq's only Anglican Vicar. Shenow, having just returned from an "incredible" year at Bill Johnson's ministry school, the 'Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry' in Redding, California, met recently with White in Baghdad at St. George's Church.

"I now sit yards from St. George's Church," wrote Shenow on the ministry's Facebook page. "The minute I walk inside its walls and focus on Jesus, I find I am nearly in tears; God's presence can be felt so strongly here. From that place of peace, to just across the city where on Sunday, a massive suicide car bomb was detonated outside the Police Academy."

Referring to the many parishioners he's met from St. George's, he continued, "They are a passionate and committed community full of hope. I love their outlook, their humor and healthy cynicism."

Shenow says that, of course, wanton violence is part of the picture here.

ANS photo"But it is only a 'part' of the picture," said Shenow. "God is painting His parts too. For instance, I went to a home for children today with severe physical handicaps and learning disabilities who were cared for by ladies who have left everything to devote themselves to these little ones.

"I have spoken to a young Muslim man who is getting to know Jesus here at St. George's. I spoke with Lana, a Kindergarten teacher, who has asked if you would pray for the political situation to stabilize. Why? So the Kindergarten children in St. George's can have a future in Iraq. So with your prayers, we can build a future for Iraq and paint a very different picture for God."

Today, Canon White, the popular 'Vicar of Baghdad', with whom Shenow is working, met with Sheik Khalid, "a dynamic, surprisingly young, but important Sunni cleric."

Said Shenow: "His warmth and ability to 'make things happen' was so encouraging to us. He has arranged an incredible meeting for us on Friday where he and Andrew can continue the dialogue of peace in Iraq. He encouraged us to join him in showing other Arab countries how diverse religious leaders in Iraq can work together, and so should they. These men are incredible peacemakers, and we love to have your prayers over these meetings."

Shenow writes: "I see God laughing. I see Him laughing at His enemies: laughing at the wanton violence, laughing at those who kill their countrymen in the name of some other god. Through the acts of love and hope, I see our God's laughter is moving through the people of St. George's and God is winning in Iraq."

Click on the link provided to read this report in its entirety.