My dad on the right at an American Meteorological Society meeting.
Mahdi Batto (not sure of the spelling) was a Christian Iraqi meteorologist who took part in an exchange program my dad was involved with through his work at the U.S. Weather Bureau. It was back in the 60’s when my family was living in Alexandria, Virginia. I remember meeting Mahdi Batto and enjoying the delicious hamburger shish ka bobs, with lemon dressed salad, on flat bread, which he taught us to make. My dad had taken flat metal strips and cut them into 6 inch pieces. The hamburger was mixed with flour and patted into a rectangular shape along the metal. Then it was placed onto the briquette barbeque and grilled to a golden brown. That is the extent of my memory.
Because of this memory I’m telling my Christian brothers and sisters in the Lord that you may meet someone from Iraq and they may be a Christian. Don’t jump to judgment that they are not.
But recently, in my case, I jumped to a conclusion because of my experience with Mahdi Batto. We had a man who is Persian visit our church. He had come over from Iran over 20 years ago. I assumed he must have been a Christian but no—he had not become a Christian until two years ago. His father is still a Muslim. So I learned that Christians must work on a relationship first—(this is what Pastor Bill teaches us). Then as you get to know a person’s story go from there with witnessing.
I hope my youngest brother, Wayne, will have more memories to add to this story.