Deadly Afghanistan blasts unsettling; ministry hunkers down for wary vigil.

By August 30, 2006

Afghanistan (MNN)–A series of bomb blasts linked to the Taliban are stirring insurgency fears in Afghanistan. Two of the more blasts yesterday were targeted at those helping to round up rebels linked to the Al-Qaeda terror network.

Interserve USA’s Doug Van Bronkhorst says the unrest is unsettling, but won’t do much to disrupt their work. “We were doing it while the Mujahidin were fighting the Russians, and we were doing it while tribal chieftans were fighting the Taliban. It’s been one thing after another there in Afghanistan–we’ve been able to stay and more or less keep those things going.”

The stalwart team has been tackling eye diseases, using doctors and nurses from Interserve. They’ve also brought in community development workers and teachers to help local communities rebuild.

Because of the investment in the local Afghanis, VanBronkhorst says, “It’s not easy to do that in the middle of a war zone. Hopefully, it won’t get back to as bad as it was, but right now, it’s nowhere near as bad as it used to be.”
As for the ministry aspect of their work in Afghanistan, he says, of their staff: “They really function there the same way that Christians function here in the U-S. They do their jobs, they do them as Christians, and when there are opportunities in personal relationships, to talk about spiritual things, they do that.”

Because the Muslim community is spiritually minded, the patients enjoy engaging Interserve staff in faith discussions. Says VanBronkhorst, this is how evangelism happens. “They’re able to bear witness to their own personal faith. They’re known to be Christians, that’s why they’re there, otherwise, why would they want to work in a country like that?”

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