Monday, October 12, 2009

Kabul 24

Kabul 24 is an amazing book that details the story of eight humanitarian aid workers who were kidnapped and imprisoned by the Taliban in Afghanistan, in August, 2001. The workers were part of Shelter Now International (SNI) and their efforts were headed by Christians from Western countries who were falsely accused of trying to convert Muslims into followers of Jesus. They faced 105 days of bad food, deplorable conditions, and the constant threat of execution before being freed by an American Special Forces Team in November of that year. Even more remarkable than their survival, was the faith and perserverance that each team member displayed in spite of their situation. Kabul 24 reminds all of us that God is with his children even in the most horrific of circumstances.

I'd strongly recommend that all Christians read Kabul 24. If you're familiar with the Biblical story that details the imprisonment of Paul and Silas, you will discover an amazing similarity between the two. The six women and two men led by German worker Georg Taubmann, display the same courage with their captors that Paul did in scripture. As a result, God sent many miracles their way, which ultimately led to their release.

In spite of the indignity of being forced to sleep on insect infested beds, and being forced to use toilets that were so filthy it was difficult to read about them, the group spent their days praying, singing hymns and reading scripture. Even in their darkest hour, each SNI worker displayed a sense of courage and faith that could only have come from God. The most amazing part of the tale comes after their release, when six of the eight decided to return to Afghanistan, so they could continue to help the country rebuild.

While it is a great read for Christians, Kabul 24 will also appeal to those who aren't strong in faith. The writers keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next, and the book does an excellent job of forcing you to look inside the war torn country of Afghanistan. It also makes one appreciate the freedom that life in a democracy ensures. From the first page, to the last, Kabul 24 is a story of faith, determination and compassion and it's a must read for anyone who likes a tale of hardship and great adventure that ultimately leads to a happy ending.

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