Last Sunday On November 13th, Char Siemens (principal of a middle school in Abbotsford and former MCC worker) reported that while she was handing out candy to about 80 children on Halloween, a man entered a Catholic church in Bagdad, held a gun to the priest during a service, and killed 40 believers, some of whom were friends of her former students. Char had been accepted to teach ESL in the St. Peter Chaldean Seminary (Catholic) in Ankawa (northern Iraq) for 6 weeks. Now that half of the Christians have fled Iraq (going to Syria, Detroit, Toronto, etc.), only about 3-4% of Iraq are Christians. Char joined the seminarians for their daily morning and evening prayers, which she enjoyed as bookends to her 10-hour teaching days. Our media suggests that Iraq is populated with terrorists, but while she was in Iraq, Char learned far more about living a life of peace than about war. It is true that priests have been assassinated, but new young recruits immediately volunteer to train to take their places. Almost nobody expects things to get better, but one man told her that rather than giving up, he decided to do something – become a priest. Like so many before her, Char felt that she gained far more from her students in Iraq than she was able to give, for they are a very generous people. [JEK]
There was no recording of the service.