Mending hearts in the middle of war. Turning enemies into friends. Discovering how we can heal what’s tearing us apart.
While watching this short film, you’ll have your feelings tested. Be ready to experience a deep need to do something, anything for others.
Love Anyway is a story about one family who learned that changing the world start with changing their own lives, and how the same can happen to all of us when we chose to love anyway.
The Courtneys, Jeremy, Jessica and their children, Emma and Micah, did what for many of us would be a suicidal attempt to changing something that no one can change. After living a “normal” life in the United States, they decided to move to Iraq, shortly after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, while fear was turning into a hate and violence wave against Muslims worldwide and the U.S. decided to send troops to Iraq, killing over 150 times more people than the September 11 attacks.
While living there, Preemptive Love was born as an initiative to unmake violence. Their first task was helping kids with heart defects, which in Iraq is not a rare condition due to the use of chemical weapons during the 1991 war. But they didn’t just need financial help; they also struggled to trust neighbour countries willing to help the kids as they had the infrastructure and doctors that Baghdad no longer had. History was responsible for breaking the trust as conflicts and war have surrounded the region for decades. The initiative was a success, as Iraqi families became ambassadors of peace while they were engaging donors from different corners of the world.
“Having different opinions doesn’t mean we lose love; love enriches our humanity, love leads the way. Are you able to love your enemy?”Jeremy Courtney
Then, everything changed when ISIS arrived committing genocide and crimes against humanity triggering the biggest wave of refugees in modern history. Then Preemptive Love started to help fast, to stop the spread of war, with relief on the frontlines of conflict: food to help families survive, shelter to remake home, and medicine to mend the wounds of war.
And with this aid they realised that they also needed to provide the help that lasts to reduce the risk of war, creating jobs to fade the risk of violence—providing capital for vulnerable families to start businesses, coaching to help their businesses thrive, and connection to the global marketplace. The next stage was to fulfil the peoples’ need to heal the past and change the ideas that lead to war. They are now reaching across enemy lines and creating the most diverse community of peacemakers on the planet, to stop the next war before it starts. The most amazing part is that people that were first victims, and beneficiaries are now eager to help, completely engaged to helping others even if they were once victimisers, following the initiative to love anyway, despite the horrific pain and suffering.
Preemptive love is now promoting a Love Anyway feast. On 3 November, 2019, they are encouraging people from all over the world to celebrate a Feast in their communities. One night to begin healing all that’s tearing us apart. To embrace our differences rather than fear them. It isn’t just for those who look like us or think like us. It’s a chance to come together with those outside our usual circles. To bring our whole selves, our stories, and our perspectives to the table. To listen and learn from each other—and discover what holds us together.
For more information, to host or attend a local feast visit: https://loveanyway.com/feast/.