By Kristen Johnson
It’s always a great day when we get to hear about a hero – particularly a female hero in Afghanistan where women have extremely limited rights. 87% of the females in Afghanistan are illiterate, and 70-80% are forced into marriages, with 54% of those aged 15-19. (The New Economy).
Fighting against these kind of odds are miraculous in and of itself, but then we see someone like Laila Haidari, who founded a shelter for drug addicts although she has no training as a counselor. 3,600 people have left the facility recovered! Haidiri saw the huge need whenever she passed the Pul-e Sokhta bridge in Kabul where literally hundreds of addicts live in deplorable conditions. She fought cultural norms for women and worked with family and friends to start a drug treatment facility. Now the facility runs a restaurant that provides jobs for people who have been in the program as well as providing income for the treatment facility. (Christian Science Monitor).
I have no idea what religious ideology Ms. Haidari ascribes to, though 99% of those living in Afghanistan are Muslims. (GlobalSecurity.org). But, Ms. Haidari is certainly living to serve her neighbor, as Christians are required to do.
Christians can certainly learn a lot from Laila Haidari’s focus on helping those in need. She saw a need and filled it, in spite of incredible odds. We should always do the same.
Matthew 5:16 (NRSV): In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
Serve all with love.
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