You might say you have faith. But how would you respond if God called you to the mission field…to a country hostile to Christians…like Afghanistan? What if you said yes, and after years of humanitarian work the Taliban destroys it all in minutes…and takes you and your co-workers hostage…and imprisons you in some of the most sqaulid prisons in the country?
Would you drown in a sea of despair? Or would you cling to hope?
Kabul24 tells such a tale. Eight Christian men and women from Western countries and sixteen native Afghanis worked side by side to provide humanitarian aid to Afghan refugees. By feeding, teaching, housing and loving these displaced people, Shelter Now International didn’t preach the gospel, they lived it.
They were peacemakers and problem solvers in a country filled with chaos and conflict. Yet that didn’t matter to the Taliban. In 2001 the Taliban wanted to rid the country of anyone who posed, or seemed to pose, a threat to their rule or Islam. Topping their list was Shelter Now International.
With little warning, the Taliban kidnapped the SNI workers, destroyed their projects, and held them in prisons filled with filth and fear. The SNI Eight, as they called themselves, lived with complete uncertainty about their future. Then the 9/11 attacks occurred and they found themselves behind enemy lines and at the epicenter of the massive Allied bombing raids that followed. Death, at the hands of the Taliban or from Allied bombs, seemed a given.
The SNI Eight lived a daily diet of terror. But in the midst of captivity, they didn’t just survive, they thrived. With an unshakable faith in the sovereign hand of God, they sang, read the Bible, prayed and worshipped in their tiny cells. They lifted each other up and clung to hope that God would deliver them.
Kabul24 is the remarkable true account of faith and hope despite circumstances and likely outcomes. While the writing is clumsy at times, the writers paint a fascinating picture of an Afghanistan you won’t read about in the news and give a fly-on-the-wall look at the Taliban and the Muslim culture—very important insights for the world we live in.
Inspirational, informative and riveting, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Kabul24 and highly recommend it.