At the end of 2002, a group of Christian Peacemakers went to Iraq, just before the war started. Their mission was the same as it always is: protect innocent people, document injustice, and do whatever they can to help the people living in and affected by the war zones of the world. One of the men on this team was George Weber, a friend of my parents, and a Mennonite and retired teacher from Chesley, Ontario. Lena, his wife, didn’t want him to go. As I recall, he left on Boxing Day. George died in Iraq, killed in a car accident before the war even started. As terrible as his death was, bringing his body home was a nightmare. Bureaucracy, diplomacy, regulations… A man named Jim Loney stayed behind to bring George’s body home. He is a good friend (not surprisingly), of George’s widow, Lena. Mom knows him, too.
Jim is one of the workers kidnapped in Baghdad on November 26th. He and the others are accused of being spies. They have been “displayed” on Al Jazeera.
I have no delusions that I have any great currency with the higher powers, but my Mom asked for prayers for them. For her, and for George, and for Jim, and for anyone with the balls to walk willingly into a war zone, the soul is on its knees.