The large hall was white and sterile. They wheeled the man on the hospital gurney up to the ominous looking stainless steel doors and stopped. As the gaunt Afghan man raised his weakened arm, his wife cried and grabbed it. The children hovered around all of them weeping. I will never forget it. There was a good chance he would not survive, and we had to tell them earlier. Without the operation, he was a dead man.
The man, his wife, and four children became our friends. Through unusual circumstances about 30 years ago, my late wife and I volunteered to help this Muslim family of refugees get settled in central Virginia. They spoke no English and were traumatized, having escaped Afghanistan and stranded in a refugee camp in Pakistan for two years. Somehow, they made it to the United States as political refugees. If they had stayed in their home country, they would have been killed. His crime: he worked for a US office in Kabul.
The father was weak and sick from advanced congestive heart failure. We were not aware of that when we took the project on. They had Muslim relatives in the US, but no one helped except a Christian organization and us. We were the feet on the ground to get them settled, get a home, and deal with his emergency situation. The project lasted nearly three years. The last I heard, the children were doing well, but that was years ago. We wept with them, prayed over them, ate with them, and acted as intermediaries in dozens of situations. To my knowledge, they never became Christians, but we did what we knew to do.
Today is different. Many like them are still in Afghanistan. Their crime? Someone in their village knows they are Christian. Most of them, if they flee, will never make it to the border. Some have already been executed. A few will find a hiding place within the country. I have already seen too many reports.
The good news is that Jesus Christ does not forget. Some will pay an ultimate price, even if they are children. Others will have a living trauma that will go on. Education, being a woman, or having any contact with a US soldier is dangerous enough, but any evidence of being a Christian will be a death sentence twice over.
Pray. It’s happening in too many places. Believers, you may be called upon to help as we did. What will you say?
1 Peter 4:18 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
Matthew 24:9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.