Who Rescued Jessica Lynch?

      Back in 2003, we were all deeply moved by the details of the heroic rescue of Jessica Lynch. The US Army Private First Class was injured and captured during an ambush of her convoy while crossing the Euphrates near the town of Nasiriyah, during the invasion of Iraq. 

How miraculously that rescue unfolded. 

First of all, most of her convoy were killed in the ambush; Lynch was reported missing in action: which meant 'killed', or at least 'vanished' forever deep into the city of Nasiriyah or even further into Iraq. All hope of recovering her was given up: no one was going to locate her now. 

But incredibly enough, an Iraqi citizen showed up at Allied headquarters. His name was Mohammed al Rehaief. He practiced law in the city of Nasiriyah. He risked his own life, hiking six miles through the war zone, risking American gunfire by approaching the allies with his hands up: "I know where the American girl is." 

Amazing! Mohammed was a lawyer; his wife worked in the Saddam hospital in Nasiriyah. Mohammed had been with his wife when he saw the poor, wounded girl being slapped by a Fedayeen soldier. 

Later, as plans were made to penetrate the city for a rescue attempt, our dear 'Mohammed' was used by God again. This time he drew them a map of the hospital, complete with information about what floor, which room the young girl was held prisoner, and where they might expect to find resistance from the forty Fedayeen soldiers who occupied the facility. That night, right before the rescue took place 'Mohammed' went home, gathered up his family and his little daughter, and fled to the protection of the American troops. 

Here's another amazing thing: that hospital, and the entire portion of the city around it, had not yet been taken by the Allies! There were Fedayeen forces all over the place! But they got in there and got it done! Three marine battalions staged a diversionary attack some distance from the hospital, to lure soldiers away, while a Joint Special Forces Task Force of Seals, Berets, and Delta Force men launched the night-time raid that got her out!

Isn't it amazing what God can do to protect His children? How marvelous is this God of our deliverance! He raises up people to rescue us in need. 

 But I wonder if you are aware of the fact that it wasn't just 'Mohammed' the lawyer or those brave American commandos who rescued Jessica  Lynch that night? Someone else played a part. Perhaps the most important part, as a matter of fact.

I'm talking about the people of Palestine, West Virginia.
   Palestine is just a little place, but it is 'home' to Jessica Lynch, and so on March 23, when word got out that Jessica and her squadron had been ambushed, the entire community began to pray!
   Churches were full on Sunday morning, signs went up all over the streets, the local high school began opening each day with a moment of silent prayer for Jessica and her fellow POW's.
   As the news spread, neighboring towns took up the baton. Just a few miles away, in Elizabeth W.V., which is the county seat, Pastor John Watkins led a prayer vigil for Jessica on the courthouse steps.
   Before the week was up, news of answered prayer was sweeping the community! Jessica had been rescued! And the details of how it happened were just stunning!
   The community went wild! Motorists laid on their horns as they drove through the normally sleepy streets of Palestine! Fire-trucks and police cars roared down the streets with sirens at full-blare!
   And everybody knew who should really get the credit!
   "This is a miracle! A true miracle!" Jessica's grandmother, Wyonema Lynch, was quoted as saying. She went on to explain that the rescue could only be attributed to one thing: "God, and the—power of prayer."
   "This community is a community of faith," reported the high school principal, "This is very typical of the faith in this community, and their firm belief that she would return."
   Listen, dear Christian: do you know how much power you wield when you call upon your Father in Heaven? Every time you do it, you wade into the fray of a great spiritual battle!

Are you praying for us dear ones? Pastor Dave and I sat down to discuss things and we both agreed: we've never faced battle like this before! It is not guaranteed that our church will survive. Last Sunday, after the first service which was so sparsely attended, I just sat there and thought: 'this evil thing might win'! I was so disappointed. I had to fight to suppress that thought and get ready to preach 2nd service. 

Will it win? Because it certainly is evil! Will you pray? Come join us for Fight Night and pray for our church to survive this great ordeal. For, most certainly, this is a 'rescue' as well!  

Our doors are now open and —praise God it is now legal, Come if you can. God bless you all!

Brand new series on The Book of Acts this week.                                                       RAS


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