November 2023: Dangerous Operations
Can You Rescue My Daughter
One of the difficult things about the work we are doing is that we are unable to share much about how we are getting people out of dangerous countries because of the extreme danger to all of those involved. Once information is disclosed on how an operation is executed, you have closed the door on doing it again. Some of the details in what I am writing have been changed. I have done so solely for the protection of the families needing rescue and for those of our team involved in saving them so that the Taliban will not know which operation this was. One of the families we extracted out of Afghanistan and relocated to South America had a 12-year-old daughter who was raped in front of them and then given to a Taliban soldier. They have not seen their daughter since. All they have are memories of her crying and calling for mom and dad for help, but they could not. Taliban soldiers held them at gunpoint as their daughter was raped. I cannot think of many more terrible things for a parent to experience. I am sure the guilt of not being able to protect their daughter never leaves them. If I were the father, the guilt would completely break me unless I knew Christ because, with Christ, we always have hope. This family just recently sat down with our team and asked us if there was any way we could find their daughter and get her back.
During the first year after the fall of Afghanistan, we had many people in safe houses all over the country. We had one group of about 20 individuals in Kabul, and I cannot share precise details to protect future operations. I was called one night and told that our team thought it was a possibility that the safe house had been compromised and the people were in danger. As we discussed all of this with our underground network, most felt that the place had not been compromised and the individuals were still safe. Getting a team in to move these people was extremely high in risk and in dollars. One of the greatest hurdles was that it would have to have been done at night when no one is supposed to be on the streets. The team would have to move around a myriad of Taliban checkpoints without being discovered. I had people in top intelligence networks, including those from the CIA, the DIA, and many other such groups, like Black Water, whose experience was far better than mine. All thought that they were safe. So, what do you do in a time like this–you pray.
As I prayed, I did not feel peace about leaving them. I shared with Brent that while I was the only one who thought moving them was justified, I had this nagging feeling of doom if we left them. The problem was how do I get 20 people moved in the dead of night without being discovered? Because the risk was great, I had to use private contractors, which was extremely costly. But Brent, Luke, Shannon, and I agreed that we had to move and do it immediately. An operation was put together in just a few hours, and monies were transferred. Just past midnight, the team began the operation. They were dressed to blend in, but they were professional soldiers. While I cannot go into detail, we were ready for an armed confrontation. The men knew it would be better to die than be captured by the Taliban, and any woman caught would be raped over and over, so stealth execution was essential. We decided to move them all at once rather than try to make multiple trips. The team rolled into the neighborhood and quietly moved them out of the location. The small children presented a real problem in that if they started to cry or make any noise, the operation would be compromised. So, they were given medicine to put them into a deep sleep. They were already scared, so this was merciful for them to not know what was about to happen. Our men moved them very quickly into the vehicle and started driving in the dead of night, winding through streets, around Taliban checkpoints, moving the vehicles as quietly as possible to a new location. Through the night, they were moved from one safe house to another, and just before dawn, they were all in a new safe house. Then, our men had to disappear before being discovered. If one man were left behind, it would mean being tortured mercilessly until information was gained, and all 20 would be found. But thanks to the Lord and prayers, the operation was successful.
That same night, the Taliban had also been planning, and at daylight, vehicles rushed into the neighborhood, breaking down doors with machine guns. Every room was searched, but no one was found. It was last year that these 20 people were finally extracted and are now living in South America. The family whose daughter was raped and forced into a marriage with a Taliban soldier has asked us to find their daughter and get her out of Afghanistan and back home with them. We are exploring options to see if it is possible to rescue her and safely return her to her parents. How we would carry out such a difficult operation is hard to say. But the cost would be tremendous because of the danger to the men tasked with the mission. We have been able to find and rescue others, including an eight-year-old girl who had been taken from her mother and forced to marry a 45-year-old Taliban fighter. However, some of our concerns in rescuing the 12-year-old would be if she has given birth and, if so, would she be willing to go or has she been brainwashed? If she has had a child, this sets forth many more difficulties in moving her across borders and into other countries without documentation. It would not be possible to contact her first. She would probably not be able to handle the knowledge of what would take place, causing her to panic and give away our operation. I think many think that this lifestyle our team lives is exciting, but it is something that causes fear and extreme stress. This is not a game, and I would not do it if it were not for a child. But I know that nothing would stop me if it were my daughter. Please pray that the Lord guide our team to bring this child home.
900 BABIES RESCUED
Pastor Lloyd Pulley of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge purchased a van which is equipped with a sonogram machine to show pregnant women their unborn child. It is estimated that 90 percent of women who see their unborn child do not go through with an abortion. The purchase of the van resulted in the rescue of over 930 children not being aborted and 120 men and women giving their lives to Christ. The church is seeking to purchase another van, which is projected to save another 400 lives a year. To make this a reality, they need to raise about $200,000. Far Reaching Ministries wants to help in this noble cause. It is strange to think that for every $215 a child’s life was saved. So, if you think that you cannot do much for $215, it can save the life of a baby. If you would like to partner with us in this noble cause, all donations we receive will be sent to Calvary Chapel Old Bridge with no administrative costs. We are including a photo of a family at church, who chose life. Just last week, 12 women came in who were seeking an abortion. After seeing the sonogram of their baby, they all chose life. Because of this, this time next year, the babies will be starting to crawl, and feel the love of their parents.
A GREAT CHRISTMAS STORY: A MAN CALLED VLADIMIR
The Lord has led us to the doorsteps of some of those who have longed for death, feeling that life was just too miserable to live. Life in countries like Russia and Ukraine, for the elderly, is most often one of merger existence. To be poor and know that life is never going to get better and not feel that anyone cares, leads to great despair. The food that has been provided through Potatoes for Grandmothers has often been the most that these individuals have ever had in their lives, but it is not just receiving food but knowing that someone will come back and care for them. Often, the elderly come to Christ and the fellowship at church, once they start attending, is life changing. The food baskets we provide have many items: canned fish and meats, corn, peas, cereals, pasta, tea, coffee, biscuits, sweets, flour, sugar, vegetable oil, sweetened condensed milk, tomato paste, and many other things.
Vladimir’s story stands out to me as one of the most heartfelt story.
I, Vladimir Komantsev, was born in 1935 in the village of Zaria, Levokumskogo district and I lived my entire life on 4 Krasnaya Street. My whole life was completely connected with this village and at a Sovkhoz Collective Farm where I worked for 45 years as a labor veteran and a former member of the Communist Party. Never in my life did I think that a time would come when I would have complete disappointment for all those years of my life. I never thought that old age would be such a miserable existence. All that I had and saved for all those years, I lost. I was left alone. My eldest son, Andre, came home from Afghanistan disabled and soon I buried him. My younger son, Sasha, died in the first Chechen war. My knowledge and experience as a winemaker was not wanted and eventually, I was dismissed from the collective farm when I reached retirement age. I always came up short with my meager pension. My monthly pension is not even enough to pay for my housing and public utilities. I had a small farm, but three years after traumas an surgeries, I could not maintain it, so I had to sell the farm. I was left with nothing; I had to survive only with the help of my neighbors. Never in my life had I thought I would be a happy man after so many years of disappointment. Having lost my sons, I thought I could never be joyful and happy again in my life. It happened on Christmas when missionaries brought me a lot of very wonderful and delicious food products! They told me that it was from believers in America who wanted to render aid to the poor, and they sent the food package. I cried when I saw all this food. I don’t even remember when I had seen so much food in my home. They told me that you are supporting me financially. They also gave me a Bible as a gift. I used to be a communist and never believed that God existed. I realized that God cared for me, spiritually and financially, by helping me through brothers and sisters. Meeting believers gave me great faith. Since then, the missionaries visit me all the time bringing food. When I had surgery on my leg and thigh, it was a difficult time for me. Thankfully, I had brothers and sisters around me that God had given me. I repented after I experienced such brotherly love and care. Thanks to the brothers who would come visit me every week in the hospital. Thanks for the care of the wonderful family, who visit me and help me with many things. I became sure that our Lord is alive! I forgot how it was to be cared for that way for so long, and I found myself in a big loving family where I am loved and needed. I personally would like to express my gratitude to everyone in America who has taken part in my life and in the lives of those who are alone like me. Thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ and my brothers. I received peace and love in my heart. May the Lord bless all the brothers and sisters! I love you all! Your brother, Vladimir
Vladimir had been a lifelong member of the communist party, but they did not take care of him and when he became old, they threw him away. When a person comes to Christ, we know that this never happens: the Lord says He will never leave us or forsake us. Fortunately, Vladmir found Christ and love. He went home to be with the Lord a few years ago, and he died knowing that he was cared for and loved. My prayer for this Christmas is that many more would come to know the Lord and His love through the Potatoes for Grandmothers project. This Christmas, we will be distributing the baskets containing the much-needed food and household items and we are once again inviting you to be part of this tremendous blessing. For $300 (USD), you can help an elderly grandfather or grandmother get through the winter. But more importantly many will come to know the Lord.
BURMA UNDER SIEGE
Once again, the Burmese army is bombing civilians. Luke was just there and sent back very difficult images of the wounded and dying. I have chosen to share just a single photo, which is graphic but not in comparison to what we have seen. We have many photos of babies who have been blown apart, and those images make the heart sick. One is of a newborn with the top of her head missing. I am sharing this information only because, as believers, we need to be informed and care about those who suffer at the hands of merciless killers. It is sin to be offended when we are taken out of our comfort zone when difficult things are shared. Along with the army’s attacks, there have been torrential rains, which have caused mass flooding, bringing sickness and death along with it. The believers living through this nightmare are again in great need of food and medicine. And once again, we are raising funds to send directly to Burma. As always, we will send every penny given with nothing taken out for administrative costs.
KILLED IN THE SERVICE OF OUR LORD
The first Sunday in November is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Often, when I share that we have lost 71 men, I think many do not know how to process this and I am sure some doubt. But Far Reaching Ministries has a rich history of men who have valued the lives of others more than their own. I can remember one incident in particular where a soldier was badly wounded on the battlefield and could not walk. Two of our chaplains went out under heavy fire and dragged the man to safety. In the process, they were both mortally wounded and died. They fully knew that death for them meant eternity with Christ, but they knew the other man had not yet given his life to Christ so death would mean eternal separation. They chose to die so that others might live. Scripture says that no greater love than this that a man lay down his life for a friend. This man was not even a friend but a lost soul. I know that when they stood before the Lord they heard, well done my sons, well done. We have before you the photos of 61 who have given their lives, not all were shot but most were killed in combat.
In the Lamb,