On Monday of this week I heard the reporter announcing that there had been a terrorist attack in Kabul at the Center for anti-terrorist something or other. My heart just about stopped because I knew Ken was staying Kabul, but I was not sure how close he was living too the bomb site. My first reaction was to say a Hail Mary for him and everyone near the bomb site. After a bit I calmed down and was able to put it out of my mind. Then came Ken’s email and I started all over again!! Here is his account of the events in Kabul.
Kabul (1/21/2013) — Early this morning, as many Afghans were setting out for work, the Taliban struck near our apartment. From what we have been able to gather, through the radio and from a friend living near the site of the attack, a suicide bomber and three gunmen began their mission in the predawn darkness around 5:30 am. The bomber blew out the main doors to the Center, the armed men following close in their wake, firing their guns as they came. We are not yet aware of any deaths or injuries. Two of the Afghan Peace Volunteers heard the explosion. A woman from the neighborhood who, along with her daughter, has been severely traumatized by war, also came to inform us of the explosion.
The young men living here were quick to discuss the attack. Faiz, whose friend sells potatoes from a cart and lives near the Center, said, “I cannot trust my life to the future.” No matter how hard they study, what plans they make for their tomorrows, a single shot, just one explosion, could shatter their dreams forever.
The Taliban has two motives for attacks such as this. The first, and perhaps not the primary reason, is to inflict death, injuries, and destruction. The second is to make the neighborhood live in fear. And it does. When a person is afraid for his life and the lives of his children, he hunkers down and shows a low profile, hoping to stay out of the line of fire. He does not protest; he does not speak out. He just wants to survive.
The afternoon, we will all discuss the attack. Our apartment has no armed guard, as many do, and our doors do not lock. My initial impression is that the young men desire to stay. My commitment to living with the Volunteers is unwavering; the only thing that will alter these plans is if the young men feel my presence might bring them a greater chance of being hurt. Should they feel this, I will move to another location for a while
Pat Driscoll and Kathy and Walter Doyle, speak constantly of ours being a work of faith. I have faith that there is a better day dawning for Afghanistan and that fear will never drive us out. For this we should pray; for this we should work.
Love to all,
It is hard to imagine just what Ken is seeing as real. It is so far from my everyday lives that I find it very difficult to believe that people, just like you and I are living in these conditions and the “world” seems to just hum along as if there was nothing wrong. Why aren’t in the streets protesting the treatment of these people who have been hijacked by evil? Have we gone to sleep? Have we become so hard hearted that we no long are able to feel the slightest twinge of compassion? We do need to speak out. We do need to pray for Afghanistan that the Lord will bless it with peace and justice.