the gospel of rutba
In 2003, three U.S. Christian peacemakers weathered the first horrifying days of Shock and Awe in Baghdad only to be nearly killed in a car accident as they were leaving the country. They were rescued by Iraqi Muslims who took them to a clinic in the already bombed-out town of Rutba, where they received protection and care. In sending the Americans on their way, their hosts had only one request:
Go and tell the world of Rutba.
In fulfillment of that pledge, the peacemakers returned to Rutba in 2010 to thank the doctors and all who saved them, and to contribute to an ongoing process of peace, friendship, and reconciliation.
In his Afterword, Shane Claiborne (author of The Irresistible Revolution, and one of the three peacemakers) describes the impact of this experience and its ongoing meaning: Now that the war in Iraq is over, history will tell how we remember it. I m sure there will be all sorts of books on the Iraq war.. . . Political pundits will defend their parties and candidates. But in the end, I hope that history will also remember the story of this little town called Rutba.
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