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Horses for Hope

For once in my life I was ahead of schedule this week having written this article days ahead of my norm. For a couple of minutes I was pleased with myself, and then ominously wondered what this week would unfold. The week unfolded another "suddenly" another "in the twinkling of an eye" when the simmering regional pot came to a boil and spilled over in Afghanistan. "Sympathy for the suffering" and "support of the perpetrator" have actually gone hand in hand in our region.

Some of our rescued kids are unable to ingest any more information, their sympathetic nervous systems being maxed out. Some are wanting to know, some are wanting to send messages to Afghani kids who are now experiencing exactly what they did seven years ago.

In deference to, and in honor of our corporate journey here in Iraq, I have decided to continue with the update as planned because it is precisely due to our "suddenly" and the black people of our region that we are here. However yesterday, we held a quiet, off the radar event. We did not permit the kids to take photos for all of our security sakes, and nothing was published to social media. I have titled the event "The Kids from the World of Suddenlies." Next week, God and security willing, I will share something of this pouring out of hearts from our kids to the kids of Afghanistan. But for today we continue our journey of reconstruction and restoration, whilst groaning and knowing all too well what the Afghan minorities in particular are facing. Our unceasing prayers are with them.


Horses for Hope

I am told that all good stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. Our current story seems to have come to life in the middle on a warm June day when the good Doctor and yours truly found ourselves following what had begun as a wild goose chase and had all indications of such continuance.

We were looking for a checkpoint. A checkpoint manned by a Peshmerga General called Abu M, who for his prowess at war had been rewarded with a checkpoint. One in the middle of nowhere, mind you, but it's a real checkpoint. He along with his fifteen Peshmerga sons, born from his three wives, man this checkpoint with great pomp and circumstance. Finally, after hours of traversing mountains and fords we found our checkpoint, complete with General, fifteen sons, and Arabian stallions on the horizon who began to make their way to us. Most likely we were the first humans they had seen in the past year. The checkpoint not being exactly busy.

Horses, beautiful creatures, were untethered, just wandering their mountains as is the Kurdish culture where horses are not penned in. Within two minutes of meeting General Abu M, I was slung over the most beasty of the creatures, my fear of being galloped off without a saddle, reigns, etc into the wilds of Mesopotamia flashing in front of me. Dr’s perturbed look did not add to my comfort but hey, we needed horses and our Abu knows every horse in Mesopotamia and it was not for nothing that these guys have their own private checkpoint. I was safe.

So that’s the middle of the story. The other parts of the middle are that we have land and no money and no knowledge of how to even alight the glorious creatures. Let’s hang out in the middle of the story, the land because that part gets solved.