One does not have to spend a great deal of time in the presence of Canon Andrew White, aka the Vicar of Baghdad, to learn what drives him: His strength of faith. His love of Iraq and its people. His love of St George's Church of Mesopotamia. And above all else his love of the children in his life and the love they have for him.
Suffer the Children is an account of the children in his life, told from his and their perspective.
I was at a dinner with Canon Andrew White and picked up four of his books
– Iraq: Searching for Hope (2005)
– By The Rivers of Babylon (2008)
– The Vicar of Baghdad (2009)
– Suffer the Children (2010)
the profits of which go to FRRME, of which Canon Andre White is president.
Suffer the Children, his latest, was one of those I picked up.
Talking to him before the dinner and listening to what he had to say after dinner, one thing that came across very strongly was his faith and the love of his people, especially his children. There is a special place in his heart for his children.
Suffer the Children looks at the children he knows, starting with his own strange childhood. The children are given their own voice.
We all have a childhood. Canon Andrew White is no exception. He first tells us of his own childhood an growing up. He grew up in a religious household, it was where he acquired his faith and it has never left him. If nothing else an unusual childhood. Learning of anti-Semitics, he dressed as a policeman and went and guarded a local Jewish cemetery. He spend a lot of time with elderly friends, looking after them and handling their chores. On a Sunday he went to three different churches. From an early age he knew he wished to go into medicine and be a priest. He was told he could not do both, but has managed to do both, first studying medicine, then for the priesthood.
A powerful and very moving book.
Signed copy! For my lovely friend Sian. Merry Christmas.