There has been a disturbing escalation of violence in Afghanistan orchestrated by the Taliban as Ramadan approaches. The most recent was the murder of Glen Lapp, a relief worker from Lancaster, Pennsylvania working with the Mennonite Central Committee. Lapp was  traveling with a medical team of four Afghans, six Americans, one Briton and one German. All, including Lapp, worked with MCC partner organization International Assistance Mission, a charity providing eye care and medical help in Afghanistan. Local police found 10 bodies on Friday next to abandoned vehicles. One Afghan team member traveled home via another route and is safe. Another Afghan survived the attack and is being questioned by the police. The Mennonites are not known for their aggressive evangelism. They are known for their dedicated and unbiased humanitarian relief work. Lapp’s family said he was well aware of the dangers in his work, especially in Afghanistan where the Taliban is experiencing a resurgence of power.

Lapp was to complete his MCC term in October, and recently wrote about it in a report, “Where I was [Afghanistan], the main thing that expats can do is to be a presence in the country. Treating people with respect and with love and trying to be a little bit of Christ in this part of the world.” Read more at LAPP.

This is a tragic reminder of the irrational fanaticism of the forces we face in Afghanistan and other places where we are attempting to combat international terror. Our prayers for the Lapp family and all of those relief workers who are attempting to bring a little bit of the compassion of Christ to a worn-torn world.

Brees and the Saints win a Super Bowl

A hero of a different sort is Drew Brees. Brees began his career as a quarterback at Purdue in the Big Ten. He played five years with the San Diego Chargers before coming to the Saints. A serious injury almost ended his career, but he recovered and in 2004 was named Comeback Player of the Year. Brees was the QB in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit. Drew had already established himself as a humanitarian when he and his wife Brittany established the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 and since then have raised and/or committed over $5 million to help advance cancer research, care for cancer patients, and help rebuild schools, parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields in New Orleans, San Diego, and West Lafayette IN. The Brees bought a home in New Orleans and following Katrina, Drew became one of the most influential people in that community as he rallied his fellow Saints players to work for football success as a symbol of New Orleans’ hope for the future, but added to that humanitarian aid especially for the children of that city whose lives had been devastated by Katrina. Now he tells of his faith journey and the recovery of both his career and his adopted city in the excellent book, Coming Back Stronger: releasing the hidden power of adversity. (published by Tyndale House)

I am working on a review that I will publish in about two weeks.

Speaking of sports, I am discovering that the most read posts on Life Matters tend to be about sports.  I double-post Life Matters on WordPress as well as Blogger. Items like “Curtis Granderson is a Yankee” “Dagly Ordonez” “Fanstasy Baseball,” “Disabled List” and my Monday Morning Reflections which always have some baseball or sports commentary attract more readers than many of my other month’s posts put together.  I guess I’m not the only American who is fixated on sports. (My friend Tammie Gitt says she figured that out between my blog posts and my Facebook wall.)

So while we’re on sports, it was reported that Reggie Bush had apologized to Pat Haden and the folks at University of Southern California for his actions that costs them as BCS title and Reggie a Heisman. I wonder when Peter Carol is going to apologize for being asleep at the switch as the leader of Trojans Football. If he’s not on top of things better than this, then the Seattle Seahawks may have reason to be concerned, especially in this day when NFL Commissioner Robert Goodell seems determined to restore the moral reputation of pro football. (Kudos to Goodell).


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