MY PRAYER for the Afghan People

January 11, 2002 . Friday evening. The weekend's here, and I'm sitting in front of the computer, reading the news on the Internet. Struck by the title "Days of despair," I click on a report by dated January 9. It's about the village of Bonavash and other remote villages in the mountainous region of Abdullah Gan, in northern Afghanistan. Following years of hardship, especially war and drought, the people in the isolated regions of this country are now forced to eat roots, and bread made from grass and traces of flour.

Doesn't such a scene contradict what certain religions have to say about the power of God? Although the photos that accompany this moving article add to the shock and sadness, when I finish reading I am impelled to turn completely to God and listen for comforting spiritual ideas. I would love to say to the residents of those villages, "No, God does not abandon His creation. You are able to feel the practical effects of His love for you."

I think of the story of a man who lived in the Middle East nine centuries before Jesus. In despair because of drought and famine, he turned to God. God answered him, "I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there" (I Kings 17:4). And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening. Some time later, God spoke to him again: "I have commanded a widow woman ... to sustain thee" (I Kings 17:9). This man, Elijah, received proof that God governed his life and took care of him the way a parent would. This story illustrates God's omnipresence and omniaction.

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October 14, 2002

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