NRP Apostolic Team Leader
The word Afghanistan has and will become synonymous with evil, humiliation, and defeat.
How things got to this point is going to be hotly debated for a long time. Most likely, there will be as much confusion over our political and military failure as there are warring factions in Afghanistan. Obviously, we had superior technology, weapons, and resources, so it must then turn back to a failure of leadership.
Let’s start here: There has never been a clear objective for being there. Without a clear objective, you can’t have a clear strategy and accompanying tactics.
We struck a responsive blow after 9/11, which seems to have been somewhat effective. That strategy somehow evolved into an occupation--an occupation with no clear partner on the ground, which should have been a clear sign not to go forward. That is not to say there were no brave and well-intentioned nationals, but the corruption and tribalism in the ranks paralyzed many initiatives that were helpful to the citizens.
What lessons can we learn? We must have crystal clear objectives in everything we are doing as a church. Why are we doing certain programs and ministry? Why do we do church the way we do? Clear goals produce clear commitment. The Taliban has demonstrated that their clear goal was that they wanted us out. My opinion is that that is the high water mark of their unity. The spiritual darkness and past record seem to pave the way for future chaos. Of course, the sad part is the population who will now be enslaved to serve their agenda.
In the days to come, we will have the opportunity to minister to those who were fortunate enough to escape. I imagine there will be a steady trickle of those working their way out. The Taliban will no doubt offer their neighbors incentives to return those who are fleeing for their lives. It’s important that we offer not just material aid and comfort, but that we see this as a moment in time to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. I can tell you from being under arrest in Egypt that in spite of our current spiritual state, we are looked at as Christians. The behavior of our political leaders will no doubt be a hurdle to us being heard--one that we will have to overcome.
As we pour our hearts out over this travesty, let’s be focused on our mission: Win souls and make disciples! Can you dare to believe that Jesus, the Redeemer, is even now positioning us for harvest? Could it be that this is an opportunity to touch the Muslim world? Could there be Afghans who have escaped, or will escape, who will in, turn, be spiritual rescuers? Let’s stay on course. Let’s be clear about our objectives. Let’s be reminded how critical our leadership is!