Iraq (MNN) — On his farewell tour in Europe, U.S. President George W. Bush told reporters he didn't regret going to war with Iraq. However, he did say he regrets the war rhetoric. The joint press conference in Germany on his one-week tour was also spent talking about future troop strength in Iraq.
As discussions continue on that front, the troop surge appears to be quelling a lot of the violence, especially in the north where Partners International is working. Partners has been working in Iraq for 15 years, but just days ago Partners dedicated their third Christian school in the region.
Carlos C is Partners' International Ministries Vice President. He says they currently have churches, bookstores, a women's center, a medical center and a print shop. But his most recent trip was to dedicate the third school in a system largely ignored by Iraqi authorities over the years. Carlos says, "Education in English was a hug asset. So we decided to establish schools that we are teaching in English, connected with an American school that would actually issue an American diploma, certified and complete, valid on American soil."
The school started in a rented house. Now it's located on three acres donated by the government. At the dedication, the Iraqi minister of education representative spoke. Carlos says, "He said Iraq is trying to reconcile people. And whatever you hear, this is a place where we value democracy, and everyone is welcome."
While they are predominately Muslim, Carlos says, "These government officials actually take their kids to that Christian school, and they perceive the school on a daily basis as a place of reconciliation, as a place for the future. And it is being led by Christians."
Carlos is amazed by what God's doing in Northern Iraq. "These people are trusting their kids to the care and the hands of a Christian education. Adults entrusting their kids to the hands of Christian educators so that the future can be better — that is amazing. And that's only possible by God's grace."
While talking about Christ is part of their focus, it takes time. "It's a culture that is not used to anything that is Christian. It is an Islamic background. And so we will be happy if the kids – for year one – will only see that Christians are human and not bad people. And we start by putting in Christian values."
Pray that God will use this high quality form of education not only to teach young people scholastically but to teach them about the Truth of God's Word.