I first met Jeremy Courtney at a book table in Dallas Texas. We were at the Global Faith Forum hosted by Pastor Bob Roberts at Northwood Church. The purpose of the forum was to bring people of all faiths together to share our experiences of faith, find ways we can communicate in common language, and what differences cause us to retreat to our own circles of life.
I’ve been a part of many Inter Faith conversations in the past, but more often than not; it turns into a meeting where everyone shakes hands and smiles without discussing the differences of our faith. I think those meetings aren’t very useful as they tend to highlight the good things, and look the other way when conversations get hard.
At the Global Faith Forum, we were encouraged to share in honesty how we practice faith, and I’ve since kept in contact with many of the leaders in attendance of a variety of faiths.
Jeremy was launching his new book PreEmptive Love, named for the organization he heads up in Iraq. When we met, Jeremy explained his work, how he got to Iraq, and the most incredible life of willingness to love people well.
Preemptive Love has reached out to help hundreds of Iraqi children in need of a crucial genetic heart defect, giving life saving surgeries in one of the hottest conflict spots on earth. He’s been at the center of helping refugees in Iraq and Syria, and he continues to reach out and Love Well.
Last week, I had a chance to listen to Jeremy talk about some of the biggest needs in Iraq. He spoke of the Yezidi girls who are being re-integrated back into their tribe after being held hostage by the radical group ISIS, and the need for serious Trauma Therapy, and I sat back in awe.
I can’t even imagine what it would be like to work in a place of the world where constant threats from a rogue group of people coupled with continues air sorties bombing cities where you live. Can you even begin to think about the trauma these people are feeling?
Just last week in California, 14 innocent people were killed at gunpoint by radical crazy people, and the country was in a constant state of mourning and fear. Now imagine what it would be like if hundreds of people every day were kidnapped or killed in Iraq. And Jeremy continues to work to integrate his services.
He’s a man who walks in the way of Peacemaking and he’s an incredible spot of hope in a world seemingly ready to melt down.
Jeremy, I’m encouraged by your fortitude. Thanks for being a leader in the Peacemaking arena. We need more people willing to solve problems like you are doing, rather than sitting on the sidelines paralyzed by fear.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Jeremy, check out his website at http://www.jeremycourtney.com. Or if you’d like to support preemptive love check out http://www.preemptivelove.org to see the most interesting work in the most conflicted part of the world.