Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Like many of you, I have been soberly watching the situation unfolding in Afghanistan. I know it has surfaced many emotions for people across the world, especially those who have personal connections with Afghanistan and the Afghan people. Whether justified or unjustified, war is always a tragic consequence of the Fall. While in war we can witness the greatness of human courage and selflessness, we also realize the depths of human sinfulness, as poet Robert Burns wrote, “man’s inhumanity to man.”
Please join me in prayer for the people of Afghanistan, those Afghans and Americans seeking safe passage out of the country, and those on the ground continuing to help. Pray for wisdom for leaders at all levels who face very difficult decisions. Pray for the ever-growing underground Church in Afghanistan. Even more, pray that all Afghanis, especially those in power, are met by the Holy Spirit and come to personally know the risen Christ. Please join me in prayer and fasting with special prayers in our worship services this coming Sunday.
I want to send a personal message to all the military, foreign service, civil service, contractors, missionaries, and aid workers, and their families, who have given so much of their blood, sweat, and tears in service to their nations and for the welfare of the Afghan people. Know that your efforts are not in vain. You selflessly answered the call to service, sacrificing many things, and risking your own life for others. Many of you bear the scars, visible and invisible. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) These words may resonate so deeply in your souls in a way that many will never understand because they are words that you have lived by. However, our Lord knows. He also bears the scars. It is through His indescribable love for us that He gave His own life on the cross. The things of this fallen world will disappoint us, but our God never will. For those who are feeling burdened, please don’t go through this alone. Please contact your clergy or one of the many veterans’ groups. We love you and we thank you for all the things you have done.
Additionally, please offer up prayers for all those affected by the recent earthquake and tropical storms, especially those in Haiti, as well as the ongoing COVID pandemic. The depth of suffering, loss, and heartache so many are experiencing at this time can only be met by the supernatural Presence of the Lord.
As the world seemingly darkens, remember that the Church is to be a light to the world, pointing to the One who is the Light of life. Let us remain united together in Christ, as citizens of heaven, opposing the powers of darkness, and remembering what Saint Paul wrote: “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)
The Anglican Relief and Development Fund has begun raising funds for support for Afghan refugees and the people of Haiti. Donations for Afghan refugees can be made via this link: https://ardf.org/joseph-fund. Those who want to give towards Haiti should give via this link: https://ardf.org/relief-haiti-2021.
Your brother in Jesus Christ,
The Most Rev. Dr. Foley Beach
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America