Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Garden of Eden

The picture above is the Tigris River, south of Baghdad. I took both of these pictures from a helicopter (as is the case with many of my pictures).
A couple of things to comment on this morning:

First, the "Green Zone" is an area in Baghdad which is very safe, and houses government buildings, monuments, some American bases, parks, etc. It is in downtown Baghdad, and it is the area mentioned every time a news report talks about a VIP visiting. In other words, this place isn't a secret- it's the centerpiece of Baghdad. We sent Soldiers here for four day passes, or, in my case, we are here for a training conference. The picture directly above this is the "14th of July Bridge" heading into the Green Zone... commemorating the Iraqi "victory" over Iran in the 1980s war. (most people think it was really a tie)

The second thing I'm thinking about is the Garden of Eden. The Bible says it was located here, in what we call Iraq. Admittedly, I've always wondered about that, because the Garden was so lush, and Iraq is, well, a desert. But after being here, I can see it better. Along the rivers, Iraq is actually a very lush and beautiful place. Years of dictatorship have destroyed the environment and the economy, but this isn't as bad a place, climate-wise, as some make it out to me. Granted, it's 120+degrees in the summer (in some parts of Iraq). But having come here in August, 120 here felt better than 95 in Mississippi. In the area of the Tigris River, there are all kinds of trees, grass, and so on. It is beautiful where I am at right now, even if it's just a small slice of Iraq. I can see why God would choose to put Adam and Eve in a place like this (well, not like it is now, but you see the point)

The United States is spenting vast amounts of money on public works projects- schools, sewer systems, and so on. My prayer is that if we can help better the life for the Iraqis, this could be a safe and peaceful place in years to come. But it's different than rebuilding Germany or Japan, because Iraq was so poor before the war, while Germany and Japan were both highly educated and each had a great industrial base. Hence, it will take longer here. But it can be done.


Anonymous James and Kara Waters said...

Pastor Chris-
It is so good to hear (and see) that you are doing well. The pictures you are providing on your blog are amazing. Your message that we received during worship today ws reassuring and much appreciated. Reminded us to be grateful for everything our soldiers and you are doing for our country. Thank you for what you are doing and all the sacrifices you are making, have made and will make so we can go on living our lives. We are keeping you and your family in our prayers. Keep up the commitment and great work.
James and Kara Waters

7:20 AM  

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