To America And Back—See Photos From Our Heartmender Tour!

A photo collage of buildings in New York City and Philadelphia.


That's really the best one-word sum-up I can give for the past few weeks. We just arrived back in Iraq after our Heartmender Tour in America, and it was quite the blitz.

For those of you who aren't familiar, we take time away from Iraq about once or twice a year to speak, share stories, and to get to know you better; not to mention we want to tell you about the difference you're making in the lives of Iraqis here.

To us, these intense, exhausting trips are absolutely worth it because we believe in concept of preemptive love. Not just Preemptive Love, but preemptive love. The former is a 501(c)3 nonprofit created to provide countless Iraqi children with heart surgeries—something we love discussing with you!

But the latter is the lower-case concept by which we seek to live our lives, and we believe this love is essential, albeit extremely difficult. Preemptive love is about pain-absorbtion and enemy-love over against the all-too-involuntary eye for an eye reaction we're all prone to. You know what I'm talking about; that involuntary jerk-of-a-knee that makes us want to kick back every time we're kicked (maybe even twice).

Little did you know that we're development workers and arm-chair philosophers. But, whether you think us naive or wise, we've planted our stake in the ground, or, as we like to put it: we're blackmailing ourselves into this lifestyle. I.E., our thoughts on fists-down preemptive love are all over the internet, so we'd better live it out!

For a better look at what we mean by "preemptive love", watch Jeremy's TEDx talk here.

A collage of photos from the Preemptive Love After Party at The Justice Conference in Philadelphia.

We started this leg of the tour at The Justice Conference in Philadelphia, where we also hosted an After Party (pictured above) with singer-songerwriter Derek Webb and Seattle pastor Eugene Cho.

That alone would've been worth the trans-Atlantic trip, but then we got to meet with people at several universities and churches in Ohio and Texas. So, to everyone at The Loft, Ecclesia, Houston Baptist, and Cedarville: thank you!

After arriving back in Iraq (both bags lost!) and sleeping like a dead person for two days, I spent four hours today combing through new emails, Twitter handles, and info from all the excellent people we met on the trip. As the communication guy here, hundreds of new people to connect with is exciting enough, but the fact that I got to sit down with so many of you and to hear your story—I'm so humbled. The work you guys are doing inspired me!

You've been encouraging to us and, more importantly, you're accomplishing extremely meaningful things in the lives of Iraqi doctors and families. If you've been with us awhile, thank you. And if you're new and only just joined us, stick around. Our 16th Remedy Mission starts in a few days—keep reading! 

A photo collage of Eugene Cho and the Preemptive Love After Party at the 2013 Justice Conference.

Video credit: Ashton Owen
Photo credit: Brandon Hook
About Matthew Willingham

Matt Willingham is Preemptive Love's Senior Field Editor and writes primarily on politics, history, general updates and visual peacemaking through photography and film.

See other posts related to 1

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
To America And Back—See Photos From Our Heartmender Tour!
To America And Back—See Photos From Our Heartmender Tour!
Choose hope, bravery, and peace with me by supporting @preemptivelove