The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good.   Call it serendipity, or the work of the Holy Spirit: a chance meeting with a team from World Hunger, Germany.

We stopped at the Church of the Holy Martyrs in Mardin to make a courtesy call with the Bishop  on our way to Mardin and the refugee camp located next to Mor Abraham monastery.

At lunch at a past parishioner of Fr. Dale we just happened to bump into Ulrike Dufner, the team leader of effort being undertaken by the German nonprofit Wert Huner Hilfe, to provide for the refugee’s education for children, health and warmth,, a cash card system and advice. (

Ulrike was very excited to hear about the Seeds of Hope- Nineveh program. This was, she said, precisely what was needed by the refugees. Not only was it a means of bettering the nutrition needs of those in the camps (lots of rice and other carbs), it also provided a means to the next step in leaving the refugee camps in Iraq with hope for a better life.

The Bad.  Or visit with the refugees (Yazidis and Muslims) in the refugee camp at Mor Abraham was postponed as we awaited the final approval of the local governor. He hasn’t yet said, “No,” but based on what I know about Middle-Eastern bureaucracy, no one every gives a flat-out refusal, but we’ll never get an approval, either.

The Ugly.  The road to our next stop at the monastery at Mor Gabriel, Fr. Dale’s home before he moved to Mor Augin. Unfortunately, the road was blocked by the Turkish

Staying in the car, where I belong...
Staying in the car, where I belong…

Army who were facing a crowd of Kurdish Iraqis who were protesting the recent Turkish incursion into northern Iraq, the closing of the border crossing at Jizreh, and the deaths that occurred in the crossfire.  So it was back to Mor Abraham, where we spent the night at a hotel in Mardin.

Fr. Dale met with a group of German reporters very early this morning. They have heard some reports that the border crossing should be open soon. (They’re here to cover that).  We have their cards, and they will keep us updated.