Friday, November 19, 2004

Post-Fallujah: Letter and Reflection

Sheila Provencher, from Jesuit Volunteer Corps. (Twin Cities '94-'95), is a Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) member currently serving in Iraq. Below is her letter and a reflection concerning the recent military actions in Iraq/Fallujah.
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Dear Family,
Thank you for all of the messages you have sent and all your
prayers. Here in CPT Iraq, we are starting a new effort to gather
all of our prayers together. Every Tuesday we will practice a Day
of Prayer and Fasting, with specific themes, intentions, and
suggested action steps. I will send more info on that in a new

This has been a difficult week. Although I cannot get out to our
contacts in Fallujah, I can see the reaction of our neighbors here
in Baghdad. Many express sorrow for the loss of young US soldiers.
All express horror at the terrible bombing and other violent methods
used to fight the insurgency. I do not know what images you receive
in North America, but my Iraqi friend saw TV images of "many" dead
women and children in Fallujah's streets. They had been there for
days. Can you imagine how some of the Marines felt when they
entered the city and saw what their bombs had done? Torture rooms
for hostages they discovered, yes, and weapons caches, but they also
had to face the results of their own violence. Also disturbing are
the numbers--in the hundreds--of US soldiers sent to the Landstuhl
Regional Medical Center in Germany. Only seriously wounded soldiers
are flown to Landstuhl. Is this getting publicity in the US? I do
not know--only you can help with that.

I wrote the following reflection one week ago during the bombing of
Fallujah, so as you can see it is dated.

Here is a spot of light--as I write, we are in the third day of Eid
al Fitr, the holiday at the end of Ramadan. The park across the
street is full of families, and I can hear the voices of children.
I send their laughter to you.

With peace,

[Read Sheila's Reflection: Listen]