In the news this week, is the posthumous awarding of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Elizabeth (Libby) Little, on behalf of her
husband Dr. Tom Little. Tom and Elizabeth (Libby) Little went to Afghanistan in 1977 as Christian missionaries and aid workers. Not long after arriving, the Littles helped organize and build the National Organization of Opthalmic Rehabilitation (NOOR) in Afghanistan, a total of 6 clinics, some in remote areas. NOOR provided critical eye care to Afghans, including eye glasses.
In 2001 when the Taliban took power, the Littles were forced to leave the country and accused of proselytizing. He returned only three months later. He was murdered in August 2010 in Badakhshan, Afghanistan, execution-style by Taliban groups that quickly took credit for it, and still accused him of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. And so his death was deserved in their minds, and in their holy book. The couple’s church in Loudonville, New York supported the Little’s mission for many years, both financially and emotionally. The Little’s home in the U.S. is in Delmar, New York, near Albany. Dr. Little is buried in Afghanistan.
“We raised our three daughters through what was, at times, just hell,” Libby Little said. “A hundred rockets a day was a good day.”
Family members lived underground to avoid bombings, she said. Yet they stayed out of a love for the people and a passion for providing eye care for the needy…
“He died right where he loved to be — and that was doing eye care in remote areas,” Little said from her home in New York. “Our daughters are missing him terribly. But I think their feeling is, too, that this is a real passion that he had.”…
Little said her husband had recently become involved in a program to eradicate preventable blindness by the year 2020.
“There’s a lot of preventable blindness in Afghanistan — blinding eye diseases that can be solved with just very small work,” she said.
“We went, and we thought it was going to be two years, and it was 33,” Little said. “We loved the people. … The Afghan people were wonderful, absolutely wonderful to us. And they would be the first ones to protect us. So this is not the usual state of things, where they would murder all these people.”
Among the dead are Dr. Karen Woo of the UK, six Americans, one German and two Afghans. Read more here.
GOD’S ANSWER is always Jesus is talking about Grace and Mercy this week (no, this isn’t about your favorite cats). This is one of those posts that if I were properly disciplined, I would print several copies, and tuck away everywhere as a reminder, that as the author says:
“We need this [God’s] grace to support us in our every day life and to preserve us in our next day of temptation.”
We are to call for mercy and grace when we need them. We have been given the liberty when we come up to the throne of grace to call boldly for mercy knowing God hears and will dispense the blessing we need. We come not on our own merits … we have none.
How many of us feel unworthy? How many of us are unbelieving of mercy and grace? What a terrible thing it is to carry our massive burdens of guilt all by ourselves. Most of us must do that, at least for awhile each day – at least until we reach what we consider our prayer time.
Do you ask boldly for the grace and mercy so abundantly available to you? Maybe asking boldly, when we know we have displeased God, our families, friends, employers, feels disingenuous, and maybe we feel unworthy. Read Grace and Mercy. You will feel uplifted and refreshed, because one thing you and I know is, we are going to sin. And that sin must be taken seriously. We do that by taking it to the Throne of God.
Last is a video, and it will stir your soul. Listen as Kamal Saleem talks of how he came to the U.S. and why. Listen to why Kamal moved to the Bible-Belt of America. You may have heard more than a few conversion stories of Muslims to Christianity, but you will find this one different, and inspiring, and hopeful that the culture hate was feel each day, will not prevail, and our out-reach is not in vain.