Iraq - Letter to our four missing friends.

EN - Friday, 20 March 2020

Dear friends,

I am writing this letter to you from Iraq, the country where we lost track of you two months ago now. How time passes slowly without any news from you... The troubles came one after the other since your disappearance.

Today there are only five of us left here, confined to Erbil's house because of a global pandemic. I'll tell you all about it when you get back, but the whole world standstill right now.

In short, it's been two months to the day since you disappeared and we miss you terribly. Not a day goes by without you in my thoughts and prayers.

Today, on this Lenten Friday, we have decided to pray the rosary for your release. Everyone was very enthusiastic about it. I must also tell you: the families we are visiting ask about you. You have a place in the hearts of the Iraqis thanks to your investment and your “joie de vivre”.

I am used to taking my freedom for granted. Two months ago, destiny reminded me that nothing can be taken for granted, even less so in the Middle East in contexts that are sometimes known to be tense and unstable. It is, however, in these parts of the world that we succeed in finding our place, in the midst of our Christian brothers who have suffered war and persecution. It is in these parts of the world that you have decided to spend several years of your lives to serve these people whom gives us more than we offer them.

Be sure that I am doing my best to continue all the projects you have carried out up to now. Training, rebuilding, donations ... we continue all this and much more.

My dear friends, I know that you must be living through complicated days, perhaps suffering from the cold, lack of food or simply being locked away from your loved ones and family.

But I know you, I know that you are strong and that there is no trial that will make you lose hope. Besides, the whole world is praying for you!

Do you want me to tell you about the worldwide mobilization that took place after the announcement of your disappearance? Masses were said for you all around the world, hundreds or even thousands of people reciting the Rosary daily for your return, prayers and litanies to no end... The whole world is behind you in this ordeal.

My dear friends, I know that I will see you again soon, but the days are long waiting for any news. I pray that you keep the hope of a better tomorrow.

A warm embrace.

Jean-Rémi, deputy head of mission in Iraq.