An Afghanistan story
Posted by Iwan Russell Jones on 21 October 2010, 22:17
WEDNESDAY 20 OCTOBER – The pace of this conference is relentless. It’s not just the tidal wave of words and ideas that are taking their toll – it’s the emotional intensity. Some of the personal testimonies we’ve heard are almost too painful to bear.
After the Bible study on Ephesians 3 this morning, Libbie Little (pictured above) came before us to tell her story. Just a couple of months ago her husband Tom, an optometrist from the USA, was among 10 people killed by gunmen in Afghanistan. They were all on a medical mission to a very remote part of the country, treating people who otherwise have no medical care whatsoever.
Tom had assured Libbie that this would be his last trip to that area. The Littles had spent the last 30 years working in Afghanistan and Tom felt that he simply could not face the physical challenges of this expedition again.
Libbie told us that some time after his murder his personal effects were returned to her. Among them was a bloodied notebook taken from his body. She held it up and proceeded to read from it. Alongside records of the medical conditions he’d treated were notes for a sermon. She believes that he preached it to the group during their Sunday worship service just days before they were all killed. Among the texts he referred to was Ephesians 2:10:
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Libbie told her story with immense dignity and composure and without a hint of bitterness. As she left the stage, every person in that immense hall rose to their feet.
The leader of that session suggested we abandon the scheduled discussion and use the remaining time in our groups to pray. It was many minutes before anyone on our table could open their mouths to say anything at all.
Photo: Lausanne Movement