Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The peace of God which passes all understanding

From a few days ago, but still worth reading. Norman Kember was with the CPT team captured in Baghdad and recently freed:

NORMAN KEMBER: Now, there's a real sense in which you are interviewing the wrong person. It's the ordinary people of Iraq that you should be talking to. Those are the people who have suffered so much over so many years and still await the stable and just society that they deserve.

Another group that I hope you do not forget are the relatives of British soldiers killed or wounded in Iraq. I do not believe that lasting peace is achieved through armed force, but I pay tribute to their courage and thank those who played a part in my release.

I'm not ready at this time to talk about my months of captivity, except to say, of course, that I'm delighted to be free and reunited with my family. In reality, it was my wife who was kidnapped last November; she suffered more than I, because while I knew that I was alive and well, she did not. And I thank all who supported Pat during that most agonizing and stressful time.

Now, while in Baghdad, we had -- the Canadians and I had -- the opportunity to thank the embassy staff who worked so diligently for our release. And I know -- I now thank the staff in Britain, who also dedicated so much time to the same end.

Then, I'm grateful to all those from many faith communities who appealed for my release, held prayers and vigils in my name. Pat assures me that I'll be overwhelmed by the volume of goodwill messages, and our home is currently like a flower shop.

I thank the media for agreeing to share news and reduce the stress on me on this occasion. I now need to reflect on my experience -- was I foolhardy or rational? -- and also to enjoy freedom in peace and in quiet.

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