You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…” – Matthew 5:43-44
Jeremy Courtney and his organization, Preemptive Love, are doing that exactly. They have taken this Bible verse literally, and they are changing our world. They are bringing literal healing to Iraq – a place that so badly needs healing, and peace, and love.
***If you are just coming across this blog post, I encourage you to go here to read Part 1 first, and then come back.***
Today Jeremy, Ann Voskamp and Jennie Allen held a live stream discussion about what ordinary people like you and I can do to help the Iraqis who have literally lost everything at the hands of ISIS.
You can view their discussion below:
Jeremy has been in Iraq for 10 years in the thick of that country’s violence, and death, and pain, and yet his passion for Iraqis shines through his eyes. He seems unshaken by the scariness of it all. Today he said, “There are worse things than dying.” And let me tell you, he is living that truth out boldly.
As Jeremy and Ann spoke about Preemptive Love’s work in Iraq, the Bible verse above came to mind. I just kept thinking, “YES. THIS is the Gospel. This is the Good News. This is why Jesus came and this was His message.”
Ann and Jeremy are living out Jesus’ words in Matthew. They aren’t just loving the minorities who have been persecuted by ISIS; they are loving ISIS. Let that sink in for a second.
They are loving their enemies.
At one point Jeremy said something about Ann and the attitude she displayed during her recent visit to Iraq that’s also true of himself, “I’m made in the image of God, they’re made in the image of God, and I’m going to help all people made in the image of God.”
It’s true. No matter how much we may want to hate them, the people that make up ISIS are God’s children too. They are beautiful in His sight, and they are in need of forgiveness, and healing , and love just as much I am.
I pray more of us can learn that lesson and live it out. Oh how different this world could be if we did!
So you want to help, but what can you do?
If you’re moved to get directly involved with Preemptive Love, go here to inquire with them as to their staffing needs.
If you’d like to empower an Iraqi woman by making a donation toward a small business grant for her, go here.
If you’d like to make a general donation to Preemptive Love’s work in Iraq, go here.
And of course, the most important thing we can all be doing — pray.