Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)
TITLE: Guns and prayers
By Suzanne R
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Their leader still wasn’t back from the negotiations. Abdul and Mohammed jerked their guns into position as a noise alerted them of an intruder. Abdul picked up a pebble and tossed it at the mangy dog that had dared to approach the gate. The beast yelped and ran back into the scrub.
Mohammed glanced at his friend. The boys had spent their teenage years together in a refugee camp just over the border, learning how to be mujahideen (holy warriors). Now they were home and determined to bring order to their nation.
“Abdul, remember why we’re here. And besides, worst case scenario, we go straight to heaven. Best case scenario, the infidels leave our people alone AND give us the resources we need.”
Abdul’s steely brown eyes softened momentarily with a haze of moisture. He jerked his head towards the building behind them and banged the bare earth with the handle of his gun. “I would like to finish the lot off, myself. Obliterate them. But orders are orders. At least I did get the privilege of terminating the most dangerous two.”
Some things cannot be talked about. The recent tragic death of Abdul’s stunning younger sister is one such taboo topic. Sick, vulnerable, but a good Moslem girl, she had fallen under their poisonous influence. Oh, she still wore her modest coverings outside the family home. She still played the part of the dutiful daughter. She was a more obedient girl and certainly a healthier worker. Until that awful day when Abdul explained that now she was well again, he could no longer take her for her appointment each week. Abdul had become suspicious of her heartfelt disappointment, and made a few enquiries.
The family did what had to be done.
Abdul had reported the TB clinic to the Ministry for the Protection of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. The bureaucrat he spoke with seemed to think that such potential infiltration was a reasonable risk for the provision of free health care and medicines.
A vehicle approached, followed by a cloud of dust. The men leapt to their feet and stood to attention. Their commanding officer stepped down from the vehicle.
“Men, I have news. We are making progress with the negotiations. Abdul, I know that today’s decision will not please you, but trust me. May Allah be praised, and may our nation soon be liberated once more.”
(Inside the complex, the Koreans are ostensibly talking together in Korean over their meal of palau. Open prayer would most certainly incite their captors’ wrath.)
“Dear God, we pray for our captors. Bless them, save them, bring their family members into a relationship with you too. Give them hope for eternity. “
“Yes, Lord. You know that we would sing like Peter and James did when imprisoned so long ago – but our captors have prohibited any sort of music. Yet they cannot keep us from praying. And so we come before your throne and ask that you will give strength to stand firm till the end. “
“Amen, great Provider. Thank you for the hope that you’ve given us. We know that our two brothers are already part of that group of martyrs beneath your throne. That picture of them praising you gives us great comfort. Honour the blood of the martyrs, great Redeemer. Indeed it is a privilege to die for You who gave your life for us.”
“A privilege, yes, but Father, you know that the rest of us have no burning desire to join our brothers before your throne just yet. It is our families with whom we want to be reunited. However, we accept your will, whatever that may entail.”
“We accept your will, but we need your Spirit to help us to stand strong.”
“Shut up, you lot.” Abdul strode belligerently into the room, his gun casually pointing at one woman, then another. “You – and you – there’s a vehicle at the door. You’re on your way out of here. Get moving.”
After six weeks of captivity, the remaining 19 surviving hostages were released by the Taliban. In return, Korean Christian workers in Afghanistan were withdrawn from the country. It is rumoured that significant funds were also paid to the Taliban. The concern is now that the Taliban, people created and loved by God as we are, will now be emboldened to try similar tactics with other Christian workers. We need to pray for this nation in tumult.
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