August 28, 2021

Subject: The Legacy of the Groenewald Family: Jesus Christ is in Afghanistan

Psalm 91:2 “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”

Ed Croteau

61% of Americans agree with the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. The nightmare we are witnessing is how America withdrew. President Biden removed American troops before completing 4 critical steps: 1) Afghan military was able to step in, 2) American citizens were safely evacuated, 3) Afghan civilians who supported America were safely evacuated, and 4) military weapons could not be taken by the Taliban.

None of these 4 were done. The world has been watching the consequences of American weakness in the face of evil. Within 2 days, the Taliban took over Kabul and claimed Afghanistan as under their rule.

The Taliban now own the latest U.S weaponry, paid for by American taxpayers: 1) over 600,000 rifles, 2) 160,000 pieces of communication equipment, 3) 16,000 night-vision goggles (now the Taliban can attack at night), 4) 2,000 armored vehicles, 5) 40 aircraft including Black Hawks and 6) our latest technology drones.

The worst consequence of Biden’s blunder is the thousands of Americans and Afghan loyalists trapped inside Afghanistan, with the Taliban actively searching for them as you read this. And we made it easier for them to find them – the Taliban now also have U.S. military biometrics devices which contain personal data to identify Afghans who assisted the US. These poor Afghans are sitting ducks if we do not act.

American military leaders are reporting brutal executions by the Taliban of Afghans who have helped America, as well as Christians. This will get much worse in the coming days. But this is not new news. The Taliban have always sought out Christians for execution. Hannelie Groenewald knows this all too well.

Hannelie Groenewald, a medical doctor from South Africa, was a missionary in Afghanistan with her family when in 2014 the Taliban killed her husband and two children. Fearless service to Christ had been a theme for Werner, the husband. A month before his death, Werner spoke at a conference on the subject of ‘Counting the Cost for Christ’. He ended it by saying, “We die only once. We might as well die for Jesus.”

Hannelie often shares their story, using our verse this week as her opening with the truth that serving Christ means there will be a price to pay: “It is easy for us as Christians to worship the Lord on Sundays in church and praise Him. But it is difficult to have a heartfelt obedience to the Lord and go when He calls you. I believe there is a price tag attached to being a real born-again believer. There will be a price to pay.”

Now, the Taliban are emboldened by America’s unwillingness to stand against them. Many families like the Groenewalds are being targeted by the Taliban for death. Christians: pray for the people of Afghanistan.

Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at