What Do You Do When You Feel Like You Can't Do Anything? (A break in the blog break for good reason) - Sarah Mae
Hi, I'm Sarah.
Join me in keeping on and beginning again!

What Do You Do When You Feel Like You Can’t Do Anything? (A break in the blog break for good reason)

I had a post all ready in my head about praying when there is nothing else to do. When there are girls being kidnapped and taken into jungles, and planes being shot down, and ISIS killing and raping and marking.

All we can do is pray, right? And we should be. We can’t throw money at evil. We can only get on our knees and pray, pray, pray.

But today, there is something else we can actually do. And yes, it involves money.

Hear me out?

God says we are to love our neighbors and our enemies. For Jeremy Courtney and his family and his organization, he is trying desperately to love both by providing Iraqi children with life-saving heart surgeries. Yes, there are kids here in the U.S. who need help, and for that matter, there are problems all around the world, and don’t we know it. Don’t we know it because we are overwhelmed by all the suffering and the evil. But today, right now, ISIS is going door-to-door marking the homes of Christians with this symbol:

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 1.49.51 PM

Even in the midst of this horror, the Preemptive Love Organization is still providing heart surgeries to Iraqi children. They are practically and wildly loving their neighbors and their enemies by going after their hearts, literally. This, from Jeremy:

“The rapid advance of ISIS eliminated our ability to serve children in certain parts of the country. But there’s hope. Our highest impact program is still saving children from all corners of Iraq. Today we need your help. The violence across the country has made our work more important than ever as displaced families continue to seek lifesaving surgeries for their children. For many, our doctors are their only option.

Preemptive Love is looking to provide 120 more surgeries between now and the end of the year, Lord willing. Each surgery costs $250. 

Friends, will you help? It’s a big ask, but here it is: They need to raise $30,000 right now.

If you’re willing to help, please, please do it today. You can CLICK HERE to donate.

If you’re still with me, please keep reading…

The Mission of Preemptive Love

To eradicate the backlog of Iraqi children
waiting in line for lifesaving heart surgery
in pursuit of peace between communities at odds.

The Heart

I want to share some of the heart behind Preemptive Love from Jeremy Courtney’s book, Preemptive Love:


“I no longer accept the zero-sum worldview that says we cannot simultaneously be on the side of the Democrats and Republicans; Americans, Israelis, and Iranians; Jews and Palestinians; Sunnis and Shias; Arabs, Kurds, and Turks. I choose them all. I don’t lean left or right. I lean in. I lean forward, because that’s where love lives.”

“Of these thousands of children whose lives we would save, some would one day carry the scars on their chest to law school and on to the halls of parliament, where a new story of preemptive love would be told and the people of Iraq would turn over a new page with the people of Israel…”

“Preemptive love originates in the heart of God. The one who made the universe and holds everything in it-the one to whom Muslims, Christians, and Jews are all ostensibly pointing-is the first and the last enemy lover. And in the end, it is not our love that overcomes hate at all. It is God’s. And preemptive love is not just something God does as a one-off transaction. Preemptive love is who God is, constantly overcoming our hateful rebellion and our lesser passions that belie the self-interest we suppose ourselves to be pursuing…when we accept God’s preemptive love, that Christ makes all things new, we quit playing by everyone else’s rules and pursue a long, risky journey with the God who loves his enemies-even enemies like you and me…we don’t need power to live in peace. Because even though fear, hatred, and violence conspire to unmake the world, preemptive love unmakes violence.


Some context of the Chemical Warfare that Has Led to So Many Heart Defects in Iraqi Children

From the book, Preemptive Love: Pursuing Peace One Heart at a Time:

“On March 16, 1988, Saddam Hussein’s military dropped chemical weapons on the seventy thousand residents of Halabja. Five thousand people died instantly. Anther twenty thousand people were seriously injured and directly exposed to the chemical weapons. Kurds still see rates of birth defects and cancers that rival that of Hiroshima…

It is a widely held notion that Saddam’s chemical attacks-including the less famous ones at Penjwin and Haj Umran that preceded Halabja-were mostly about creating unfathomable terror in revolutionary Kurds and the Iranian military with whom Iraq was officially at war…

The year would continue with Saddam Hussein perpetration further chemical attacks around Bahdinan…later in the Bazi Gorge, where nearly three thousand were gassed, killed, and ultimately burned. Seventy-seven villages were gassed in this August campaing alone. THis went on until October…

As thousands of families continued to suffer after effects of the poison gas, as babies were spontaneously aborted or delivered prematurely, and as countless children were diagnosed with heart and other birth defects, it became increasingly clear that the death toll from Saddam’s chemical warfare could not be strictly limited to the 1980’s…

When the this news reached geneticist Dr. Christine Gosden, she traveled to the area to conduct research on the soil and the symptoms of the still-living population. Even though she arrived in 1998-ten years after the bulk of the attacks-her work revealed the presences of mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun, and VX…

…She said…”What I found was far worse than anything I had suspected…I found that there was also a total lack of access to pediatric surgery to repair the major heart defects…”


Maybe you only have $5 to give, or maybe you have $250, which will cover one surgery. Maybe you have $1000, or 10,000, and maybe today, right now, you can help those very real kiddos in Iraq who need to fix the holes in their hearts. If you can help, please, please do. To donate, please CLICK HERE.


Love, SM

Preemptive Love FAQ

What’s Happening Now with the Iraq Crisis?

The book: Preemptive Love (HIGHLY recommend) Affiliate Link.

Print this!

  • Amy Rohrer

    Ok, so we don’t watch TV or read newspapers so we did not know about this attack on Christians. I read the article but, as usual, there was nothing about what we CAN do, only that we are doing nothing. Why is it that these articles always do that? Is prayer the only thing we can do or is there more? I started to read through the comments but gave up once I saw that they were mainly from non-Christians who are angry/judgemental/critical. Not very helpful. Thoughts?

    • http://www.likeawarmcupofcoffee.com Sarah Mae

      As far as ISIS goes, you must pray. But you can do something to help the Iraqi children, you can help them get heart surgery before it’s too late. You can donate to Preemptive Love, and if you can, please do. Thank you!

  • http://www.amylearns.com/ Amy Tilson

    I just wrote about this! Great minds thinking alike, but I didn’t go with the appeal. I may link here to you, too!! 🙂

All Content Copyright © 2015 by Sarah Mae | Design by Emily Rose