Alaska Church Shares Christmas Spirit With Iraqis

Post a Comment » Written on December 15th, 2005     
Filed under: News
MOSUL, IRAQ (December 15, 2005)  – Alaska Covenanters have been playing an  important role in different ways to show concern on behalf of Iraqi  residents while also helping to advance the historic election taking  place here today.

Troops in Iraq have been distributing gifts sent by First Covenant  Church of Anchorage to let the Iraqi people know that there are others  who care about their needs.
The Anchorage church has sent more than 45 boxes of items for  distribution to families, children and soldiers, says Capt. John Grauer,  an Evangelical Covenant Church chaplain serving with the U.S Army 4-23rd  Battalion.
“Pastor Ron Mancini and First Covenant Church have done a great job at  giving assistance to the soldiers and families in Iraq,” Grauer says.  “The Christian spirit has come through.”
“We were excited to help,” says First Covenant’s associate pastor Nathan  Toots. “It started as a request from him – he has compassion for the  people.”
The soldiers distributed the gifts prior to the election. In one case, a  12-year-old girl from one of the families being visited invited the  soldiers into the family home and encouraged the soldiers to sit down,  although the parents were nervous and not sure what to think, Grauer says.
“As we walked in slowly, making sure the home and area were secure, the  gifts were given out,” he recalls. Because the girl was the only member  of the family who spoke English, she was the one who appeared to be in  charge, which is highly unusual for a girl in the culture, the chaplain  noted.
The gift bags contained toothbrushes, clothes, coloring books, crayons,  candies, toys of all kinds, and many other items that could not be  purchased by some of the families in the various communities surrounding  the city of Mosul. The girl kept repeating “thank you” in Arabic.
Troops continued to offer gifts to residents of a neighboring community,  encouraging the people to vote.
Churches wanting to send packages to the battalion can send them to  Captain John Grauer, HHC/4-23 INF REGT, APO AE, 09319. Those sending  packages should include written instructions to Grauer advising him for  whom the items are intended (children, adult family members, troops). He  says popular gifts include clothes (varying sizes) as well as shampoos  and other personal items. Girls in particular seem to love stuffed  animals, while boys are excited to receive balls – especially soccer  balls – and small toy cars. “Coloring books and crayons are amazingly  popular,” Grauer adds.
Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.
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