In the summer of ’21, mass evacuations were not on Help The Persecuted’s radar…then U.S. troops withdrew from Afghanistan, and the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, 2021.
Phone calls started to pour in, persecuted Christians in Afghanistan fearing for their lives as their homes became warzones—knowing their faith was a certain death sentence. A young woman, Farida, left a desperate voicemail that was especially haunting:
“Hello brother…excuse me for calling you a lot. I am very worried, and my last hope is for you to get us out of here. My father has been missing since yesterday…and we are afraid that the Taliban will attack our house….”
When the Kabul airport was no longer an option, our team began to pray because helping Farida and others seemed impossible. On August 31, the final U.S. transport plane took off, carrying the last of military personnel but leaving thousands of Afghan allies and persecuted Christians behind.
We prayed, asking God to show us what to do. Doors began to open in ways that left us amazed. We mobilized our connections in Afghanistan and forged new ones as a group of well-connected advisors and volunteers came together almost overnight.
We began to move persecuted Afghans to the northern part of the country, where it was easier to hide from the Taliban and gain access to bordering countries. Farida, her sisters, and her mother all arrived and were placed in our temporary Safe House. Soon after, they joined about 200 persecuted Afghans we helped evacuate on various flights out.
But there were so many more who needed our help…
Teenage sisters Esin and Kashm had been living with their Christian uncle after their parents’ divorce years ago. As the Taliban invaded, the sisters disguised themselves by wearing burqas and exited their building unnoticed. They soon arrived at our Safe House and waited with hundreds of their countrymen not knowing what the future would hold.
And then God moved.
On October 20, Help The Persecuted chartered two flights out of Afghanistan. On that day, 545 persecuted Christians were successfully evacuated and landed in a temporary location while their resettlement plans could be worked out. It was a miracle of proportions we never could have imagined.
All in all, we evacuated more than 750 persecuted believers from the Taliban’s regime.
Restoring and Rebuilding Lives
As these refugees started to taste freedom in their temporary locations, we witnessed many joyous baptisms for believers who, for the first time in their lives, had the opportunity to make public professions of faith.
As families began to move out and arrive in their new home countries, we received messages from them. Instead of the desperate pleas for help we heard a year ago, we now hear words of gratitude, filled with hope for their futures.
We received this text as one family arrived in their new home country of Germany: “Greetings to you, and thank you for saving our lives!”
Farida and her family are now living in the United States! She told us, “Thank you so much. What you’re doing for us — it’s a big thing for us. We are in a good place right now, and everything is because of you. Really, thanks to all of you.” However, Farida’s father remains in a Taliban prison. Please join us in praying for him!
Esin and Kashm were able to reconnect with their mother and are with her now in the United States!
These updates are just the beginning. We anticipate that by the end of this year, 95% of the persecuted Afghans we helped evacuate will be resettled.
Faith Made Sight
The stories of those we helped rescue, those who lost their homeland and escaped near-certain death, remind us that in even the darkest places, light will break in. The Gospel and our God will never be stopped. A year ago today, on October 20, 2021, faith in that was made sight. And now, these individuals and families stand as a witness to God’s grace and mercy. May their stories draw others to Him!
Thank you for supporting Help The Persecuted. Because of you, Farida, Esin, Kashm, and many, many more were not only delivered from the hands of the wicked but also given the opportunity to forge new lives where they can openly worship and share about our God—a God of deliverance and hope.