Christian aid worker rescued in daring SAS raid

“We are deeply grateful to everyone involved in her rescue, to those who worked tirelessly on her behalf, and to family and friends for their love, prayers and support over the last twelve days.” The parents of Helen Johnson.

Committed Christian Helen Johnson, her Kenyan colleague Moragwa Oirere and two Afghan woman who all worked for aid agency, Medair, were rescued in a daring night time raid by members of the British SAS and US Navy Seals over the weekend.

“David Cameron authorised the rescue attempt after military forces in Afghanistan briefed him on the planned operation. Speaking outside Number 10 after the raid, he described the rescue effort as ‘extraordinarily brave’ and ‘breath-taking'” reports the Daily Telegraph, London.

Helen’s father Philip, a theologian and senior lecturer at Cambridge University, said he and his wife Patricia were delighted that Helen and her colleagues were safe.

Medair is Christian charity based near Lausanne, Switzerland:

“Our mission is to seek out and serve the vulnerable women, children, and men in crisis who live in often difficult-to-access regions in Africa and Asia, and other areas with extraordinary need. We are a non-governmental organisation (NGO), with internationally recruited staff who are motivated by their Christian faith to care for people in need. Our work is compassionate and practical, providing life-saving care and support that upholds the dignity and independence of every person, regardless of race, religion, or politics.”

Read more about the rescue of the four Medair workers:

Sydney Morning Herald

Sunday Telegraph, UK

Dying while bringing sight to the blind

The headline read ‘Taliban massacre big-hearted team devoted to helping Afghans’ and accompanying the written report was a video featuring the widow of one those killed.

Before the video plays, on the SMH online site, it is preceded by an advertisement for electric toothbrushes.

The team killed in Afghanistan was providing basic medical care, including eye and dental care and one of the workers was a dentist who had handed out thousands of toothbrushes over the years, to children who had never seen one.

This juxtaposition reminds us of the implausible position we in the west too often take – that our wealth and freedom has no connection to another’s poverty  and restraint.

This post is in honour of the six Americans, two Afghans, a German and a Briton who were slaughtered on August 8.

Many of them were Christians, most having given up their life in the west to embrace life in Afghanistan so they could be an example of kindness and goodness.

Read the full report here.

Watch the video report (minus toothbrush ad) and particularly note the response of widow, Libby Little, as she calls down God’s mercy on those who killed her husband.

Read the full statement about the deaths from International Assistance Mission, the Christian organisation for whom the team worked. This is an example of a deeply committed, intelligent, genuine Christian response to the world’s poor.

Asking the poverty question.

Too casual about casualties

One result of the constant stream of death and mayhem reported in our media is a numbing to the loss of human life. Real people become numbers and information, which represents a loss of dignity for those suffering.

A side-effect of this is that people quoted in the media make comments in the context of loss of life that, when we take a step back, can be seen to highlight the brutality of our thinking.Read More »