As minister of St. George's Anglican Church in Baghdad, White encounters daily tragedy and constant threats while he encourages, loves, and consoles his beleaguered congregation. Here he answers questions of faith that such circumstances generate: Can he see the hand of God? Is he optimistic about the future? What are his sources of spiritual energy? Includes 8 pages of color photos.
As the minister of St George's Anglican Church, Baghdad, Andrew White encounters daily tragedy, yet he remains a man of profound faith. Under constant threat of death, shadowed by bodyguards, he builds and encourages and loves and consoles his beleaguered congregation.
In this candid book he squarely answers the questions that his circumstances force into the open. What happened to his faith, for example, when a young girl in his congregation died, after much hope and prayer? He is trusted by all sides in this tormented region, and has met the best and worst: articulate, agreeable imams and rabbis; Christian venality and dishonesty. What has kept him willing to see the best?
Every time he returns to Iraq, he may be saying goodbye to his family for the last time. What do they think? He suffers from MS. How does he remain cheerful despite his physical weakness, and its progression? What does he say to God, alone in his study, late at night? He has been caught up in momentous events. Can he see the hand of God? Looking ahead, can he be optimistic about the future? Where are his sources of spiritual energy? He solicits prayer: why?
"I first met Andrew in Baghdad in 2003, where we both found ourselves under fire--physically and spiritually! I read the lesson at the church the day he re-opened it. Whilst in one sense he is no more or less than the rest of us--a man called by God to a task--he is nonetheless someone who has followed that call unremittingly. This eminently readable books tells his extraordinary story in a way that is typical of the man." -Major General Tim Cross, CBE
"If anyone has truly had their faith pounded in the fiery crucible of conflict, it is Canon Andrew White. His leadership of the Christian community in Baghdad is quite remarkable. For many, his experiences would have produced anger and bitterness, but for him and his congregation their reaction is the opposite: 'Despite our suffering,' he writes, 'we are not miserable, but joyful!' This books explains why, and is compelling reading for people of all faiths and none." -General Sir Richard Dannatt, GCB CBE MC DL, Chief of the General Staff 2006-2009
Andrew White, the vicar of St. George's Church in Baghdad, has extensive experience with conflict mediation in Iraq and the wider Middle East. President and CEO of the Foundation for Reconciliation in the Middle East, launched in 2005, he has written extensively about conflict resolution and has been involved in many hostage negotiations. He is author of The Vicar of Baghdad.