Prisoners of Hope presents a surprising description of the experiences of Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer in Afghanistan. The story of their imprisonment by the Taliban for sharing their Christian beliefs is told in their own words by author Stacy Mattingly.
One of the amazing things is that the Taliban never mistreated these two American women they held captive. They seemed to go out of their way to do good things for them. Dayna and Heather attribute that to the prayers of those in other countries who never forgot them. The Afghan women prisoners, on the other hand, frequently beat one another and the children with them.
The book relates the profound fears these women had that harm would come to them. Heather was especially obsessed by fear. She finally came to a point where she surrendered to God. “By the time we got to the second prison I had deteriorated emotionally…I thought I would rather die than continue on in such pain…Either I could quit wrestling with God and trust him, or I could continue fighting against fear’s unyielding grip on my life and in the end surely die from the anxiety and grief. I feared that if I gave God the power to decide whether I lived or died, then he would take my life from me. I was not certain God wanted me to live as badly as I did…I chose to surrender to God. I gave up. I threw myself into God’s hands.” (P 226-7)
The women spent much time singing and lived as well as they could during their captivity. The very “humanness” of this book is charming. The book presents a view of two women who were fearful but whose trust in God grew. They were not unreal, untouchable saints. We can all learn from them.
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