Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Update from Afghanistan/Pakistan

Some of you may remember my trip to Fort Riley, KS this summer to meet up with a friend who was training there. (You can read it here.)


Megan is in the Air Force, and has been documenting her trip with email updates to friends and family. She works in the medical side and does a lt with administration and logistics of getting medical equipment and supplies to dangerous areas. I received Update #10 today and wanted to share with you what she is doing and how she is changing lives. In her Update #9, she talked about working with the Brigade Commanders wife as she was not well. Here is an interesting story about the female interpreter:

Earlier this week, I made a follow up appointment with the Brigade Commanders wife.  We convoyed to pick up the Doctor and Technician.  Then I arranged to have a female interpreter assist us with the visit.  The appointment ended up being very short.  The patient only needed her spine and neck realigned because her muscles were finally relaxing.  She doesn’t have any more anxiety!  PRAISE JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

After the appointment we had a few minutes and I took the female interpreter and the Doc to eat lunch.  As we were eating, interpreter began to talk and really open up about her life.  She is an Afghan lady who moved to the US when she was little.  She is a US citizen and has worked in the US at a Bank for about 15 years.   When she heard about this war and about the opportunity for her to be an interpreter for the US military, she gladly jumped on board to travel back “home”.  The interpreter is a beautiful lady in her mid 40s.  She is an extremely professional interpreter.  She is not like any of the other afghan ladies I’ve met.  She doesn’t wear a Berka or a scarf to cover her face.  Actually, she wears jeans and a long sleeve shirt all the time.  She wears make up, jewelry, and carries herself with dignity.  Quite different from the “always hidden” Afghan ladies.  She is a Muslim, who believes in Jesus as a Prophet, Mohammad and the Koran, loves the Bible, and worships Allah (God).  

The Doctor and I began to ask her questions about her "mannerisms".   She was telling us the reason she came back to Afghanistan was to tell/show her people, there is much more to life than following the rules of the religious officials in Afghanistan.  She explained that since 70% of the Afghan people cannot read, they believe whatever they hear.  This gives an immense power to the religious leaders in the nation.  For example, this year the religious leaders of Afghanistan said, “It is sin for any Muslim to say “Merry Christmas or Happy New Year”. “  Therefore, all the Muslims didn’t say it because they were afraid they would go to hell.  The interpreter on the other hand told me, “Merry Christmas”.  When asked by her afghan friends, “why?”  The interpreter is saying, “Where in the Bible or the Koran does it say I cannot celebrate Jesus Birth?  No one has shown her in writing where these statements are at.  She also uses this same argument for all of her mannerisms.  "Where does it say I must remain covered from head to toe hidden?  Where does it say Women cannot read or write?   Until I get an answer, I won’t do it.” 

I immediately fell in love with her and with her explanations.  We spoke for 2 hours about how she is teaching a few Afghan children to “think for themselves.”  To be happy, and to live a free, loving, joyful life.  These are her exact words,   “The focus in Afghanistan is on war, on “tribal” differences, on selfishness, corruption, greed, and envy.   In order to change Afghanistan, we must change the negative, selfish, greedy mindset and hearts of the Afghan people.  You American and coalition forces give us hope.  If you were not here Afghanistan would be completely run by Taliban.  Every “good person” here would flee to Pakistan.   We need you!  We need you to help us change and to continue to give us that hope.  Hope that the good people of Afghanistan will win, that we will overcome the evil mentalities.”

HPIM0964[1]This picture is of a West Point Grad, An Air Force Academy Grad and a Naval Academy Grad... pretty cool!!!  We are on the Pakistan border.

This was so inspiring to me that I wanted to share it with you. Megan and her crew have been doing so much in Pakistan and Afghanistan to help the people. Let’s continue to support our troops and pray for Megan.

1 comment:

Ben and Corineah Williams said...

What a neat entry! Thanks for sharing.