What were we doing on Friday, August 6?
Perhaps trying to decide what movie to see, or where to have a nice dinner. Perhaps watching the News and complaining about the recent elections, or concerned about the heat and the dying grass on our formerly pristine lawns.
Some may have been preparing for their Sunday worship services, studying on-line through their laptop computers. And, Sunday comes and noone mentions what just happened in Afghanistan. You may be pro- or anti-war, and either want the U.S. to get out as soon as possible, while others want to send in thousands more troops.
Certainly, we were concerned about the Taliban after 9/11, but that is now just a hazy memory, and we’ve got to go to work tomorrow. And, we may be concerned about possibly losing our job and not being able to make the payment on our $200,000 home.
Afghanistan is on another planet, or so it may seem to some of us. Mountainous people live in little huts, and have to cross ice- and snow-packed passes to reach civilization. Howling winds cut through the skin of haggard faces, and there is noone to help them when they are ill, or need medical help.
On Friday, August 6, a group of 10 medical professionals, the leader of which had been serving in that desolate and bewildering mountainous country for more than 30 years, were killed by the Taliban as they were heading back to the capitol, Kabul, after three weeks of serving the poor, the lame, and the blind in the impossibly forbidding and isolated area of northern Afghanistan. They were all Christians.
On August 7, the lone survivor, a muslim driver who had served the group over the past three years, reported the disaster to authorities. To this date, it is not known if he was a friend or foe of the group.
On August 8, the families of the deceased were informed their loved ones would be returning home in coffins, their bodies riddled by a hailstorm of bullets.
So, we may have read the news and whispered, “how sad.” Or, we may have cursed the Taliban and commented that the medical team took their life in their own hands and shouldn’t have placed themselves in harm’s way.
Jan is a young friend of ours who was a member of our first short-term missions team in Romania in the early 90’s. She is vivacious and her love of God is pure, holy and captivating. She has served as a teacher in treacherous countries. She currently serves in Central Asia and those who perished were her friends.
In a recent email she stated: “While home on leave, I told a friend I would love to be a martyr for the Kingdom, but I’m not worthy of that honor.” Ten modern-day martyrs are now in the presence of God, wearing white robes.
Have a nice day.