Sunday 11 September 2011

My trip to Iraq by Elaine Waterfield

Facebook on Thursday, 01 September 2011 at 09:22. Reproduced exactly with a few less photos.
By the rivers of Babylon

By the Rivers of Babylon where we sat down there we wept when we remembered Zion

Who would have ever thought in a month of Sundays that Laineeloo would be here In Baghdad, infact I would never have thought I had become best friends with the Judge who sentenced Saddam. But I remember quite a few months ago that God has spoken to me in the night that he was takeing me to the four corners of the earth. In the morning I kind of dismissed it and said must have been a dream? But I could hear God saying" Laineeloo watch this space..."
After this time everything seemed to go pair shaped, the Landord dedided to put the house I rented up for sale and then the church split which caused me a lot of grief heart ache. I had also been praying a lot bout my job that instead of having two part time jobs I would get a fulltime position but I didnt get the post after an interview and the second time I arpplied I didnt even get to be interviewed
 but I knew that God was up to something as he began to tell me to sell things and sort finaces out and before I knew it I had handed in my notice for the rented house and my job and found myself coming to Iraq with the family I had helped.. when God wants somnething to happen nothing can stop you.
Canon (Abuna) Andrew White
As back ground info about Iraq, I often get asked what on earth do you want to go to Iraq for. Well when you look into the Bible you discover its such an important place in the History of the Bible and also Iraq is important to God. Ur in Iraq is where Abrahm comes from and  Babylon is where the garden of Eden is situated. Iraq is also where the prophet Ezekiel lived, whilst Ninevah is where Jonah was washed up to shthroiugh his disodeiance he foubnd hinself having been swollowed by an ernormnous whale for many days and doubting Thomas viisted Iraq where he told the assyrians that their messiah had come Yeshua and many became Christains. If you want a really good Bible study of Iraq then contact Canon Andrew White who knows more about Iraq and the Bible than anyone else I know.
Back to my Blogg
I had no idea what to expect when I arrived in Hawler or more commonly known as Erbil, Brain had said that when hnje come to Erbil before, he had thought that the Kurdish family lived in a mansion surrounded by high walls, with barbed wire and helicopters going in and out so I knew that I owuld be rstricted in coming and going and I also knew that it would be extremely hot.But ariving at the airport I saw this well  dressed man who came up to my Kurdish family and lovingly kissed them and it turned out to be their son who looked like a man from MI5, with dark glasses and a presence or authority.When we arrived at their home iot was nothing like Brian had suggested, it was homley and  comfortable just with a little security and a maid called chee chee. Life in their home was very different to Uk lifestyle, as iot was very hot in the day, they were awake late in the night, and wore pyjamas round the house to feel comfortable and woke up tae in thne morning. Breakfast was bread, yoghurt, cheese spread and egg, and peanut butter, with some cha.problem was I wanted to loose weight and they had atleast three meals aday fruit and their fanous cake Baklaver, filo patry nuts and honey.
It was ramadam at the time I visited and yet they did have a faith in God Allah but becuae of illness and various things they didnt fast but they did pray. They would have the TVon most days with Middle East TV news and Korean movies and alslo at a certain time they had a Muslim version of God TV. You would have never ever see me in a Muslim home before but since I have become friends with the Kurdish family I have come to respect Muslims for their faith and even more so because I know who I am in Christ. I did want to convert them at first but now I feel that its by example and love and friendship not awlays Mathew Mark Luke and John,

Another thing that I found bizarre was that they would go out for ice cream at 11pm at night and go shopping late at night coming home at 12.30am and at this tiomemay I add people were just coming out to start l;ooking in the shops and even go ice skating. Some nights my Kurdish friends would have guests come round the men wopuld sit in tha far corner and women would chat on the sofa, wearing head scarves and they always looked very smart. I remeber onme night \I enjoyed was when Mena had a Birthday party,Ranj and his wife Shelan deccorated the house with balloons and we had a great time blowing them up too. Shelands brother came along with his wife and son, and her brother looked very handsome in his Traditional Kurdish outfit. I even got to wear my best frock purple with black lace, and sequins all the family looked smart. They also had a beautiful cakw which was quite scrummy.However iot was a bit strange to get dressed up for a little girls birhtday and we did the same a few days later as we were invited to another childs party. I enjoyed engaging with all sorts of people and talking about theior way of life.
It wopuld have helped me if I had bought the right clothes as I had to have slevves cover cleavage and wera a scarf but thats not always the way I dress. One day whe I was going to meet Abuna Andrew, David and Lina in a hotel in Anchowa ( chriostian area) with Mr R he told me to change as he wouldnt go with me as I wore my vary clourful dress I bought fromWallace whuilst in London with my Kurdish family, I couldnt get cross with only laugh. He onloy had to look at you in a certain way and you knew he didnt have to tell you twice.
Actually it was an honour to be sleeoping in his study as Ienjoyed loking at his books and having a nose, I am a bit nosey because he is such an interesting man with many a wise word to give.  Whennhis wife became ill with a water infection, he was very worried about her and it was an honoured to be able to pray with him and another touching moment was when he begged me not to go to Baghdad, he said he saw me like his daughter sister and not to go as he loved me and that had me kin tears noone had ever ever ever said that to me before and it meant so very much but I had to go as God told me too go.I hated having to tell him this as I really do respect him.Mr R loved his garden too but hated the heat as it killed all his flowers.When he had his home in Halbaja before Saddam gassed the people he had the best Garden there and well known for his beautifull flowers.Mr R also lioke Sepper beads middle east men use and I bought him some to say thank you for all he had done for me.  

You would have never ever see me in a Muslim home before but since I have become friends with the Kurdish family I have come to respect Muslims for their faith and even more so because I know who I am in Christ.

Baffriin actually had a dream that there was all this confusion, and Abuna Andrew just put me in the car and put bread round it or this white thing?????? and I was fine. They say her dreams come true. I like Baffrin she is very funny and theatrical she would make a ghood film star and thats right. Shrust is like a lady she is so calm anmd elegant but when it comes to her Mum she is very sure her Mum is well looked affer. Sara has a good sence of humour but as a lawyer she can also be very determind and forceful.Ranj is very loving towards his family but still looks like MI5. His wife Shelan is a doctor and works very hard. Mrs R is my friend we cant talk the same language but you just knoiw we are friends and she loves her children.
I was very pivalidged to go and  see Mr R at his work and we had photos taken who would have thought we would be here with these lovely people a few months ago all down to Andrew whites message on FB

,I was sat on the plane to Baghdad in fear and trembling, I truely thought that I would be arrested by the Governmnet because I had an israeli stamp on my passport, or I would be kidnapped by Al Qaeda Rauff had been trying to put across the bad side or should I say the realities of Baghdad and he had almost put me off from going,but I knew that it was Gods will for me to go.
However although Mr R did almost put me off, it was so precious to think that he had begged me not to go as he saw me as his daughte ror his sister arghhhh. Nobody has ever ever been so kind to me in my entire life nor have I felt such love for along time.As you get older you think that nobody really cares.
In front of me where two Arab looking men and I over heard them talking about Christians, rockets and missiles which caused me to think they were perhaps gong to kill me or hyjack the plane and if not they would kidnap me at the airport my mind was in over drive. So what did I do I prayed, I prayed for forgiveness and I also prayed over the land and I asked for the joy of the Lord to be my strength.I tried to phone Andrew but my credit had run out.
As I got off the plane I saw a car drive by its side and I thought this was it I was a gonna, but before long I was in the airport heading for the visa department and walked into my worst nightmare, I was told by Andrew that Ali the Mr Fix it at the airport was going to be there and he and Lukman had sorted everything out but when I asked if Ali had told them about the visa they had no Idea what I was talking abouthe song " who the F is Alice rang through my brains and I had to laugh.Thankfully an American lady came to the rescue and let me borrow her phone and I gpt through to Andrew, who told me to stay where `I was and he was on his way.
Thank God a policeman came up to me and asked if I was Elaine and that I was special, so I knew Andrew had already started to sort things out as he does, else the special would have been rather frightening. In the meantime I had an Elaine moment I sat on the chair and it tipped up and everybody began to laugh. Infact after this ime they offered me food and i even got a marriage proposal which was so amusing and a relief as these guys were really kind and had great humour not the barbaric men I had imagined.I had actually deleted all the photos of the Kurdish family for security reasons but Andrew told the world and his wife about wher elaine had been staying and who with, buit they just laughed and maybe never believed what was said and thought is was a joke, who knows.
I still had to laugh as it was really funny was that even Mr R wanted to know who Allie was before  left for the plane, indeed everyone waited to know who Ali was .Andrew arrived some timé after and the evening just got more amusing and the joy of the Lord filled the place. Andrew phioned lukman to try and get me a Visa and then in the end he went to the organ grinder General Yasin, who spoke to the head of the Visa department and I got one. Now God knew what he was doing because being late in the evening they had more time to deal ith things and also wanted to go hom where as in the morning they would have been very busy..its all about Gods timimng and thats perfect. What shocked me however was that I had deleted the photos of the family for security reasons and yet Andrew told the world and his wife about who I had stayed with and who thre Mijnister was, but it didnt make any difference they all laughred and laughed andlaughed I doubt they understood what I was talking about and if they did they wouldnt believe me anyway.
After goiong through airport control and colecgting my bag I went with Andrrew to the car and met Lina who stayed outside with their driver Abusena. I wasnt sure what Baghdad would look like but as Erbil was a glorified building site Bahgdad was very much like a crumbling old city, some deteriation by bombs the other damage caused by constant bombing.But you could not see a great deal in the dark.The church itself was very beautiful as was the room it had a fridge and a few bits and pieces. it was lovely.I  thought it would be like a tin canh but wow I was well impressed.
I was so delighted to be in Baghdad alive and safe that i didnt worry about bombs and killings I just went straight to sleep..
It was the Kurdish way to walk around in their bed clothes until someone came round or they went out becsuse it ius so very hot, but now in Baghdad no more pyjama parties it was down to work and up early. Abusena brought me two fired eggs and some flat bread and a cuppa char. I really was treated like a queen having everything done for me and I felt so guilty, really guilty, because back in the uk I noramlly do everything. Even in the Kurdish family home \i was treated like a queen. I felt so hionoured and yes so guiilty.
Abusena is Andrews driver and cooked my breakfast every morning, however during my stay his niece only a young girl was stangled by her husband and I really felt for him, but this is when you know that to know their language would be a bonus.Abusena unlike most herewho were Christians was is a Muslim and has been Andrews driver for some time. Some may doubt trust issues in a place like this having a Muslim driver because of the political climate here but Andrew is very discerning and actually quite wise, its far better to have a Muslim driver in a place like Baghdad when theres so many security check points.I do like Abusena he is very funny yet hard working and made me two fried egss and a cup of Char most mornings then he later made me the most deliocus ommlette I have ever tatsed
. Another man met on my first night in Baghdad was Edward, he didnt look Iraqi whio I imagined would be dark hair with dark sworthy skin but fair and meditarainan christians, but muslims tend to be dark and have black hair.they look more like Arabs.
Edward who works for Andrew lives with his wife and three children in St Georges needed a safe haven from death threats. Edward has had indeed had a  traumatic life having been a prisoner of war during the Iraq / Iran War for fourteen years. One of his Leuitentants was a spy for Iran, and trapped his troops so the Iranians could shoot them pull their eyes out and slit their throats according to Edward they actually crucified one soldier.Edward has been through so much, even as a bodyguard for the USA in Baghdad he has witnessed suicde bombings and many people being killed, yet he and his family now serve St Georges doing many many jobs and in doing so serve the LORD.
One my first day in Baghdad Andrew Lina and I went to St Theresas Home and driving in the day light enables me to see what it was really like, my impression was that it wasnt actually as bad as I was led to believe, I thought it would look like Erbil a building site only for the opposite reasons Erbil was being built up and Baghdad was being bombed, it looked no different than many other Middle Eastern Country I have been to in the mediterainian. It was quite Exciting sitting in a car  inbetween two security pick ups,I suppose as well my experience of having lived and worked in Belfast kind of softened its impact.
Cleaning team! Remember Elaine has just left her cleaning job in Soton!
We arrived at the home and we were greeted by a couple of children one girl with no limbs and another boy Yassin who I tooka shine too.Having been married to NIGEL with muscular dystophy and coping with disbalitiy and also having looked after James who had hirshprungs disease softened the blow of seeing children with no limbs or with cerabel palsy and spina bifida, all I felt was love and the joy of the Lord. I did fall in love with Yassin though a young man of 13 I could have easily asked to adopt him if I had the finance and taken him .back home and invested in his education. Why did I like him he had great character and was very bright and would go far if he had the opportunity. Infact to be fair all these children would do so well if they were given the opportunity. I did go again the following week and we fed the children who needed help even Andrew, one girl who crawled quite quickly across the floor like a crab, took a fancey to Andrews glasses and kept taking them off his face.
Yesturday an amzing miracle happened Lina fiound a link to You Tube with a young man called Emmanuelle who had gone on Australian X factor.Emanuelle and his brother Ahmed once lived at this home as they are limbless, until an Australian lady adopted them and took them to Australia to have operations hich were successful and ended up stayingh there.Now Emmanualle had th4e chance of a life time to win this competition and his brother is in the para olympics and is the fastest swimmer in the world.. see how God gives the weak favour.This gives hope for the other children like Yassin.
After going to the Children home run by the Indian Nuns from Sister Theresa's home. we went off to Fort ?????????/?? to pick up some things from a General who Andrew knows really well, only we didnt get very far as Abusenas green zone pass had ran out and the General hadnt given out the paper worrk needed. So Lina and I we were walking here and there and up and down to find a pass whilkst Andrew and Abusena stayed in the car but in the end bceause Abusena was parked in the wrong place in fact in an NCO's space, who actually turned up and was so pissed with us that he told us calmly and firemly we shouldnt be there with no passes and asked us to leave . I thought he was very unhelpful..theres doing your job and doing your job and just being a pain in the back side. Andrew emailed the General and told him quite  frankly what a palaver it all was. but then as Andrew said that when the US leave its going to be chaos in Baghdad because Iraq soldiers will struggle.
The first night I had arrived in Baghdad I wasnt scared just so glad to have arrived in one piece, but the follwong night I was feeling rather frightened on my own in the room, and I had night terrors worried that the Al Quida would come in the room and kidnap me. if Andrew had been a woman I would have asked to have slept on the floor, even with the mice and the lizards and ants, but I did pray to the Lord to help me and also asked FB friends to pray for me too. I woke up feeling the joy of the Lord, but funny that day there had been many bomb attacks so maybe this was God telling me to pray not moan.?
Wednesday I got stuck into cleaning the new building, I arrived quite early waitng for the calvarly to arrive, but rather than wait I got stuck in cleaning windows and floors, but you had to remember this was Iraq not the UK, there was more paint on the floor than the ceiling and walls, also varnuish was all over the place and all they needed todo was cover the floor with some cloth. The  windows were covered with cement Later on they even cleaned the paint and cement by putting gasoline all over the floor it would only take one man with a lighter and a fag and it would go up like a bomb. My train of throught was to clean each room at a time , first the windows then the floor and get rid of ther paint with a scrubbing brush. I know thw windows wanted cleaning outside but I didnt fancey iot at fiorst unbtil I got used to the place as I was so worried I would gbet shot or kidnapped, even though we had megga security.But in reality I was over reacting somewhat.  I asked Edward for a scraper and used a little water and scrapeed the paint off, it took hours and hours and my hands were sore as were my nails.
Then the calvery arrived Iraq time women and kids and out came to water hose and out came the long sweepers to clean the floor, it was actually like a swimming pool, water everywhere all up the new doors and yet the workers were really happy. No point me loosing my temper as it wasnt the uk it was Baghdad and we must do as the romans do it.cant change anybody only be example. But then I expect they may have thoguht I was interfering and taking over?
Actyally working with the ladies I had loads of fun and laughter and bonded really well with the girls, we all worked hard and one lady gave me a friends braclet and the other a ring, so in the end I realised that perfectionism  was out but engaging and getting to know the girls made more impact.
When I looked at the floor the next day despite the swimming pool of water there was still pain and varnish on the floor and tried to get rid of iot witha paint scrappet but they kept saying no Fiaz is cleaning it with a foor cleaner. So I left it and instead I ended up cleaning and sorting out the pills and potions in the pharmacy. I really enjoyed this as I have worked ina Chemist as an assistant many moons ago in Belfast.
I enjoyed eating with the Iraqi people,who sat on the floor it was great fun and even more was sitting holding hands and praying for them.One lady I got on well was single having looked after her parents and is a lectuer in engineering , we sort of struck a chord, she was also friends with a lady who I got in with too. She told me her tragic story of how her son had been murdered by terrorists five years ago and has been in mourning ever since. She showed me a  of her son in his coffin after he had been tortured. But despite the terrible injuries his face was beautiful and he looked like he had just seen Jesus, the  radience of Christ on his face reminded me of Nigel aftyer he died as if he had met with the Lord they both had a glow that was angelic why I wasnt at all faised by this. All I thought was its now time to stop mourning and its time to live, althouugh you can never forget the person or what happened but we do need to forgive as Christ forgives us.
The other sad story was that the man whose family were cleaners in St Georges he is a and his family are all Christians. This man once owned a shop and sold alcohol and because of this his two children had their brains blown out by terrorists. The man he showed me the photos of his children  and they made me feel so sad at the loss of two young peoples lives. He himself had his leg blown off in war and thanks to Abuna Andrew he paid for a new artifical leg to be made. Sucha kind act hjas menat that this man canm now walk and live a far more normal life than before and he can work for a wage tand that gives him satisfaction in life.
Despite all peoples suffering and tragic loss the joy of the Lortd is in this place, in Isaiah 61 it says that the Lord turns our ashes into beauty and sorrow into joy and mourning into dancing and thats exactly what the lord is doing. Outside rthe church is war and inside is God s peace the peace that the world doesnt know.
One day Andrew went to find the grave of Gertrude Bell in a local grave yard. Although she was an archologyst Gertrude Bell was seen as the British instigator if Iraq as it is today Gertrude set up Iraqs bounderies perimetres in Saudi, Iran and Turkey etc as she got involved with politics. Gertrude was a very prominant lady she combined her expertise & her archelogy with political influence... She would have been the Andrew White of her day.
Another day I had the privalidge to go wirth Lina & Andrew  to another grave yard to find a high ranking officers grave as he died in 1920's. (I think it was General Weldon ) He was doing this on behalf of the Weldon family as the grave is in Andrews parish.
 Unlioke the average Vicar he had to tyake security with him and then had the task of looking through masses of graves covered in  lots of prickerly weeds, and amazingly we evben got shot at as in the distance we heard  gun fire andit was indeed firing at us. However I was determind to find them and feared the higher the snakes rather than the terrorists they were just a nuisance and even more a nusiance was the fact that the dates on the graves were 1916 -1918.But alass it was impossible and so he will go back on another day. I did get to take a photo of secuity and when I asked Andrew latyer he admitted they were firing at us the terrorits..but then I suppose it was just an initation of the daily happenings of Baghdad.A little later driving through the green zone they took me to see the cross swords of Saddam Hussien they were made by an English man out of the Irian planes shot down on the war with Iraq and the helmets of Iranian soldiers killed bu the Iraq soldries where at the bottom of the cross swords. This mans wife funny enough  lives in the same warden controlled home as Andrews mum Pauline thats so ironic. I love Andrews Mum she is so happy and loving and a bundle of love and kindness and another ironic thing is Andrew and I have lived very simialr childhoods and that was nice to know as sometimes you go through things and you think you are the only one.
Another time I was stood under the corss swords with a man called Daniel a son of a tribal leader and he came to faith after being put in a US prison. He first read the loran and then asked the US Gurads to get him a Bible which made more sense to him than the Koran espceially the topic of Abraham. Being converted from Muslim to Christ, he cant tell his father or his wife in fear of being murdered ,however the Lord met with him in such away that he cant give uop and will not give up his faith.
But the Lord makes away where there is no way as in the Lord is doing something in his fathers life too. One day a  Christian man living in Baghdad was having terrible problems with Muslim neighbours and he decided to go and the father of my friend and ask him to help him. After much thought the father of my friend approached the Muslims and asked what the problem was and said that if the Muslims hurt this man because he has wronmged them, he will not help them but if the christian man hurt the muslims then he would help the muslims and said to the Muslims if you have problems with this Christian man and hurt him don't comerunning to him. The Christian man never had any more problems as he would never upset anybody. He was so greatful to the leader of this tribe that he gave him a Bible as because the Bible is what meant the most to him. The leader began to read the Bible and as with his son the Bible made more sense to him than the Koran did and ackowledges that the Bible is good. I saw Danial once at Abuna Andrews chuch and he looked very powerful and handsome in his shieks attire.He is a powerfulman and we need to pray for him that the Lord speaks into his life and will get discipled and that his father too is a christian.
Like his father Daniel ios often alled to sort out oproblems and one time a woman was caught in adultery and normally they are put to death the women and so my friend said he wanted to help her and offer wisdom.He prayed to God for wisdom and instead of the woman he put the onus on the the man. He had to pay a lot of money to the family ( tribe) and leave his home for a whole year. Daniel had to ask the tribe and the woamns family if it was ok first. Many times women are raped and its actually is the mans fault. But God gave him wisdon and that wisdom worked.
I kind of comapared myself to this guy, and I couldnt go out shopping in down town Baghdad as I would get killed some way, some how or be kidnapped, but then if I had faith and trust in the Lortd and strong in the Lortd  I wopuld be able to stand up for my faith and even die for my faith in Yesuah.
 often I would wonder what would happen if I went out side the chuirch would I get kidnapped and shot? However in my humanness I wouldnt really want try as one night we got turned away from the green zone as Lina had her phone and and the Guards wanted her to come out of the car, but Lina refused, so they sent us back and we ened up being stuck in a traffic jam and I was so scared I put my head scarf on my head and my heart was beating outside of my chest.I have never really felt as scared and the sheer horror as I did
Another time when we when Andrew went to buy a carpet in Baghdad central, we got out of the car and into the shop and I felt really insecure and worried infact i felt sheer panic,.even though we had security  it would' nt stop us being blown up. Northen Ireland was scary at times walking back late on the Antrin road down the Newlodge an Ira strong hold and watching army men with sten guns croutching in the floor,this paled into a different realm I was just so fearful. Amasingly enough the Lord kept showing me in the bible the story about the disciples crying out for help on this boat whilst Jesus was alsleep and when the Lord heard he told them what to do and stop worrying as he wouldnt have left them to die Oh Yea of Little faith.
One of the most nice days was when we had a busy day going to various enmbassies and Hank Bond was becoming an admiral in one of Saddm Hussien's palace  as I met so many US General and Colnols many were Christians and I even got to sit in Saddams chair. This was followed by a visit to the Australian Emabasey for lunch and it waqs like a James Bond fiklm with all these security men and one had a machine gun covered with a beautifulo cloth but it still looked like a machine gun and laineeloo got on very well with deputy ambasdor David Livingstone a bit of a cutee, and he even had two earing in I expedct he was a hippy back in the day?
I really enjoyed sitting in Andrews room at night as he was such an intereswting man I often wondered if I was boring to him I hope not. But we have had similar childhoods and both lioke tolive our life on the edge and on the front line, both dont like boring. But i was fascinated when I heard whilst training to be a priosn chaplian Andrew wanted to find out what it would be lijke and pretenbded to be a priosner and the guys thiught he was anonse and had to run the gauntlet passed the cells and yet gavce the prionsers as good as they gave him. I realised that he was pretty handy and could handle himself. But he also got the respect of the prisoners. He has an incredible laugh and a deep understanding of people throughnhis own suffering.I dont see him as abuna but like a brother I never had. When he went to lebanon for a conference for terrorism and reconcilation I actually spet in his room as I felt peace there and the presence of thre Lord.
Ian hearne a securityw manager in Baghdad who Andrew once hired now on leave went for a meal in Leeds and on the way a homeless guy held a knife to his throat and Ian tackled him to the ground. The guy then fell to his knees and apologised and told Ian he didnt want to live and felt the church couldnt help him now. So Ian rang up abuna fiorts of all but he wasnt there and then he rang up his dad, they tried to help him and offer advice and gave him some money. A few days late the police came and said they had got what had happened on CCTV  and wondered why he had ths man with a knife to his face thenthey saw Ian give his phone to the man as he listened to his father and then the guy was in bits. Ian explained what happened and yet they told him off when he said he wouldnt prioectute.

I loved the Choir, they were amazing and one sunday I sang an song in Arabic with them and also we all sang a sonmg in English .Theyvhad a masive task to do when the Bishop was coing for Fiaz  commisiioning thye had to sing a song in english like that in Saint  Pauls cathedral and they roll there r's and e dont its a ightmare for them but we prayed and God really helpled them so please pray for them on sunday.The mothers union were mazong too they give fod and clothes for the porr both christian and muslim and visit the sick. onvce thye visted a women in hospital and nshe had just lost her baby but they went to pray foir the dead baby and it came tolife mum nad baby where crtinbg and so where they.
 love Fiaz and Noel and love Andrew anbd Lina and Edward anbd family.etc

Carol Lucas Winkler Wow! You have been instrumental in changing my life Elaine. God spoke to my heart concerning you. I am honored to have you as my friend. God bless you in all your awesome work for the Lord! :)
( more to come) not finished yetI

I was supposed to get my luggage and meet Andrew and Lina in the arrival department, but when I tried to get through, the guard said that I had to  go over the bridge and to the departure lounge at Baghdad airport. However I simply didnt want to go up a flight of stairs on my own and I was absolutly  terrified i was so frightened that I began to hyperfentilate and couldnt breathe. Why because I was alone and I had to walk past cars and ws very much out in the open. I am not a scardy cat just worried that Alcida would capture me.
I was really in  fear of my life anybody could come an abduct me esepxcially after hearng from other people that they alcida are ignored by the Police and army through fear. i almost passed out with the heat  and how I got to the army point where you had to have your case searched I dont know. I was abslotly terrifed and quaking in my boots until I got to the departure lounge and by that time I couldnt stop coughing.
Before I went to Baghdad  I wasnt scared at all but people insist of telling you their gory stories and they put fear in you.I didnt really miss not meeting thr Bishop I was just so pleased to be alive and in one piece. You see I really am not a wimp but I can't express just how scared a was. Scared of the unknown and yet really I should just trust in the Lord.You look around you and ask yourself could he be Alkider, is he a terrorist or is he a shea, or sunni
I had $10 left in Dinars and with this I got a small capachino that tasted like condenced milk, and some chocolate which was it was very expenisive.I even thought about buying a camera, but they were over $150.
I waited in the airport four / five hours  and then I finally got on the planer I did cry as we took off from Baghdad as I had truely enjoyed my time there as it was the exact opposite of what I had expetected . I have never met such hospitable people in all of my life, I was never once treted badly they copuldnt do enoufgh for me, I alsodid things went to plkace and met people I never ever ever htiought I would, admirals in the US navy and army,  I arrived in the airoirt where was sara, I even had tio go throught all the scurity. She rang and I rang she said she was there aND i SAID i 2AS THERE, BUT WE COUKLDNT SEE EACHJ OTHER THATS VBECAUSE iB TREALISED eLAINE WAS AT THE WROING AIROPORT.

not fINSIHED YET THE BEST IS YET TO COME                                    


by Elaine Waterfield on Saturday, 10 September 2011 at 21:23
I couldnt believe it when I discovered I had got off at the wrong airport, normally the plane goes from Baghdad to slomonea and then to Erbil, but this time the plane landed in Erbil first and I had no idea as I couldnt understand Arabic. Infact I hadnt a clue until I rang Kurdish friend  who had been ringing me and we both wondered where we both were and then the penny dropped. However God saved the day as her couisins  were staying with their aunties and sara arranged for me to stay with then for a few days.
It was actually a God send as I went to Halabja with the Kurdish family and it was a place I had always wanted to visit, even more so as my lovely family and friends once lived there and escaped to Iran at the time of the chemical bombing in march 16th 1988 3,200 - 5,00 died injured up top 10,000 and caused dieseas and birth defects. it was largest chemical weapon attack on any civilisation.
The place itself looked like a dusty village in the middle of barren land, everything looked derelict i suppose because it was a friday a Holy day for Muslims. we went into the Museum where they rememeber that terrible day and then carried on into days with the after effects and even years.There were so many photos of children and adults lying there face swollen and blood coming fron their mouths huge blisters and all dead looking horrific like that of a x Rated horror movie. all at the hands of saddam Husienn and his men.

 Sompe people tried to escaope to Iran whilst some made it ,like my Kurdish friends others died terrible deaths. Adter the attack bodies were dumped on a cart and moved quickly, as thiough their lives meant absloutly nothing. My friends remember their Grandfather hid in bunker downstairs and put damp clothes in every crevis or place where gas could get in to soak it up, and then they all went to Iran for a while. Their old house well known for its beautiful flowers had been raised to the ground and is stilllike this now
 My prayer is that we repent for this terrible act of genocide and that God forgives and help us to forgive and turn ashes into beauty sorrow into joy nourning into damcing and people will live again, but let us never ever forget what happend on the 16th March 1988 and most of all let it not happen again.

Further adventures of Elaine

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