From the Parsonage…
I don’t know what the situation in Afghanistan
will be by the time you read this, but it doesn’t look
good at the time of writing. Over the last several days,
we’ve seen images of frantic people struggling to make
their way to the airport in Kabal, trying to avoid hostile
troops brandishing weapons, pushing others aside to
clamber aboard planes, and even falling from the sky as
they were unable to hold onto the outside of the plane as
it took off. My mind is still trying to understand the type of fear that could lead to these actions. Only complete desperation would cause someone to take these chances, and only complete desperation remains for those left behind. My heart breaks for each one of them but, most especially, for the women and children who have little or no control over their future…even their life or death.
The Middle East has never been known for its free and equal standard of living. The culture and religion was based on the dominance of the male and inferiority of the female, and this has only changed with the influx of Western ideas over the last couple of decades. As the popularity of these ideas has grown with the population and the government, many of the old restrictions have loosened. Women have gradually gained the freedom of education, employment, and dress, and have actually earned positions of power in many areas, including raising their children.
In Afghanistan, the presence of the United States has made much of this possible, and its withdrawal will soon return the country to its old ways. We are already seeing women reverting to the old style of dress, completely covering their bodies and faces, some in compliance with the idea of servitude and others hoping to hide their identities. Young girls are no longer free to obtain the education they have previously been given, and children, as a whole, will once again be seen as the property of the male head of the household.
Unfortunately, another staple of the old ways is the practice of cruel and savage revenge on those who are considered enemies. In Afghanistan, the radical groups who are now in control see all those who were involved in helping the United States in any way (translators, advisors, office workers, military officers, and soldiers) as their enemies. According to the old ways, these people and their whole families deserve punishment and death from the “righteous.”
Since it seems almost impossible that the current United States Government will be able to remove all of our own citizens who are in Afghanistan before the deadline it has agreed to, it’s even more unlikely it will keep its promises to protect our allies from danger. Everyone who remains in the country is in extreme peril of their lives as well as their freedom, and I ask that we join together in prayer for them on a daily basis! May God have mercy…
“From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.”