Since the announcement that the United States was withdrawing from Afghanistan, our Field Ministry Team and in-country network have worked day and night to help as many people flee the Taliban’s rule as quickly and as safely as possible.
It is times like these when God reveals to our team how strategically placed our team members are throughout the Middle East and North Africa, including Afghanistan.
God is at Work in Afghanistan
We see Him working through government authorities in numerous countries. We see Him working in the lives of Afghans who are able to make their way to safety. We see Him represented in our brothers and sisters actions as they seek to help their fellow countrymen at risk to themselves. God is working in Afghanistan.
A Timeline of Our Efforts in Afghanistan
When you support Help The Persecuted you’re supporting real people whose voices we’ve heard through our phones, whose eyes we’ve seen in video calls, whose hearts we’ve felt as we’ve prayed through email correspondence.
God has mightily used you and Help The Persecuted to evacuate Christians and other targeted minority groups out of Afghanistan!
Here’s how it happened over the last several months:
- Joshua Youssef receives a call, “Afghanistan’s in real trouble!” Help The Persecuted’s Executive Vice President, Allan Guinan, was intimately familiar with the situation having previously worked inside Afghanistan post 9/11.
- Our first plea for help came from a group of 150 Westerners and locals, many Christians, from a trusted partner organization. They were working in Afghanistan to help rebuild — setting up schools, orphanages, etc. — when they suddenly couldn’t leave the country.
- Our Field Ministry Team member in Turkey, Qasem, begins receiving daily calls from those needing help to get out of Afghanistan. He starts a list: Afghan Bible college students, Afghan Christian Council, and other well-known Christian NGOs.
- Hundreds of local nationals begin leaving desperate voicemails, sharing stories of kidnappings, threats, beatings, and door-to-door raids by the Taliban.
- Our list swells to about 700 Christians in a two-week period. On top of that, we receive calls from another six or seven hundred Hazaras, an at-risk Shia minority population.
- A makeshift “command center” is set up in our Atlanta office. With many prayers lifted, we begin working with other humanitarian aid organizations and ministries, former government officials, U.S. military, and former military to get people to the Kabul Airport for transport.
- The “system” at the Kabul Airport in Afghanistan was chaotic. Thousands were able to get their hands on photocopied Special Immigration Visas (SIV) with no identifying numbers or names, and the airport was overrun with people! Officials believe very few of the 100,000+ people who got out were SIV candidates.
- August 31, 2021, the final U.S. transport plane takes off, carrying the last of the military personnel and leaving thousands of our Afghan allies and Christians behind.
A more clandestine approach
- As the Kabul Airport is no longer an option, we begin working on another way.
- Thankfully, a group of well-connected advisors and helpers comes together with us to move people on our list up to the northern part of Afghanistan, where it will be easier to hide and gain access to a border.
- The original group of 150 decided to stay in-country, willing to serve and help us move people more efficiently, along with a special group of “Rahabs.”
- Over the next few weeks, we are able to help approximately 200 persecuted Afghans evacuate the country.
- On October 20th, we chartered eight buses and two planes, and we successfully moved 545 people out of Afghanistan in one day!
We struggled to find a place to house evacuees after leaving Afghanistan. In a miraculous move of the Lord, a nearby country opened their doors as a temporary harbor for our refugees.
Today, we have helped move many of these refugees to new home countries, and others remain in process. One sent us a text as they arrived in their new home country: “Greetings to you, and thank you for saving our lives!”
Needs are Great for Afghans Left Behind
Praise God for His deliverance of these Afghans from imminent danger. Yet, there are still more Christians and at-risk people hoping to one day be free from the Taliban’s persecution. Through a private, secure connection, our team members are able to send money to families in dire need of food and necessities. We continue to provide housing for many, along with encouragement through discipleship and prayer.
We continue to expand our network of helpers and supporters in Afghanistan so that we can be ready to rescue more persecuted Christians from Afghanistan when the opportunity arises.
We ask that you intercede in prayer on behalf of the families we are working to bring to safety. Join our Prayer Network and receive updates each week on persecuted believers that you can pray for.