Tuesday, October 21, 2008

'She died doing the Lord's work': Mother's grief for aid worker killed by the Taliban for being Christian

Heard this on the radio this morning, it struck a cord within me, just wanted to share it.


The mother of the British woman who was shot dead by Taliban gunmen in Afghanistan has spoken of her grief at losing her daughter.

Gayle Williams, 34, was walking to work in Kabul when she was gunned down by two men on a motorbike because she was working for a Christian organisation.

Her mother Pat Williams, who lives in London, said her daughter 'had died doing what she felt the Lord had called her to do.'

Mrs Williams, who, along with her sister Karen who lives in Johannesburg, is considering flying out to Kabul, said: 'Gayle was serving a people that she loved, and felt God called her to be there for such a time as this.

afghan

Gayle was murdered shortly before she was due to arrive at the office. Reports say that two men on a motorcycle shot her and then fled the scene

'We know her life was blessed and she was a blessing to those around her.

'No one could have asked for a more humble daughter with a loving heart.'

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing, saying its leaders had ordered the murder of Miss Williams because she was spreading the Christian message.

But the British-registered charity she worked for, SERVE Afghanistan, said this was a 'convenient excuse' for a 'completely opportunistic' killing.

Miss Williams, from London, had been an unpaid volunteer with the organisation for two-and-a-half years, helping to raise awareness of disabilities in Afghanistan and rehabilitating disabled people in their homes.

The aid worker was described by the charity's chairman Mike Lyth as a 'lovely girl' who was passionate about her work, crazy about sport and a lover of life.

He said she had only recently been pulled out of the southern Kandahar province because it was considered too dangerous to work there.

Serve

Shock: Serve spokeswoman Rina van der Ende, addresses reporters in Kabul after Gayle William's execution

Gayle Williams, who was shot dead in Kabul, Afghanistan

Gunned down: Gayle Williams, who was shot dead in Kabul, Afghanistan


'She came back about six months ago as we felt it probably wasn't a good idea to stay on there because we heard the Taliban had been seen coming in,' he said.

'Kabul is supposed to be the safest place in Afghanistan. Our people are thoroughly trained and Gayle always used to come by different routes to avoid risk.

'She gave herself for those who were disadvantaged - that was her passion. It was people who were marginalised and helping them to get on track which drove her on.'

Afghanistan's interior ministry said Miss Williams had been shot in the body and leg with a pistol. She died almost immediately.

A Taliban spokesman claimed she was killed 'because she was working for an organisation which was preaching Christianity in Afghanistan', adding: 'Our ( leaders) issued a decree to kill this woman,' he said. 'This morning our people killed her in Kabul.'

Daolad Khan, who was working on a building site opposite the murder scene, said: 'They raced up the street and stopped in front of the lady. They took out a gun and shot her on the spot. Then they rode off.'

Her Kabul-based colleagues said in a joint statement: 'Gayle never spoke of the rigours and privations of aid work in Kandahar, one of the most difficult places for a young woman to work in the world, but she kept a smile on her face and always had a good-humoured chuckle at the difficulties she must have endured.

'Gayle will be remembered as one of the inspiring people of the world who truly put others before herself.'

Miss Williams, who also holds South African citizenship, attended secondary school in Britain before moving to South Africa where she completed a sports degree with a view to working with the disabled.

killing

Aid agency: Vehicle at the SERVE Afghanistan office for which Gayle Williams was working. Williams was shot to death in the western part of the Kabul, Afghanistan, on Monday.


She moved back to London where she worked with people with special needs, before choosing to work with the charity.

The aid group she worked for - Serving Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprises - describes itself as a Christian charity registered in Britain.

Its website states that SERVE Afghanistan's purpose is to 'express God's love and bring hope by serving the people of Afghanistan, especially the needy'.

Rina Vamberende, a spokesman for SERVE in Kabul, said the group was a Christian organisation but added: 'They are here to do aid work. It's not the case that they preach, not at all.'

In Afghanistan, proselytising - converting a person from one belief to another - is prohibited by law and other Christian charities have faced severe hostility.

In August, Taliban fanatics killed three women working for the U.S. aid group International Rescue Committee while they were driving in Logar, a province south of Kabul.

Miss Williams' death will lead to a growing sense of insecurity in Kabul. Kidnappings targeting wealthy Afghans have long been a problem, but attacks on Westerners have also increased.

Afghan security officers at the scene of the shooting in Kabul

Militants swoop: Afghan security officers at the scene of the shooting in Kabul


Article taken from the Daily Mail website(Mail Online)

3 comments:

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Lori said...

What a tragedy! But again, God had a plan for her life, and I'm convinced that until you accomplish the job that God has for you, you will be invincible. It's incredible when you think of how many people she touched with the love of God, and how many ultimately came to Jesus (or seeds were planted) because of this one faithful woman's life. I pray that God comforts her family.

Thanks for posting this:)

masterfocus said...

I feel sad for her... The world is really declining and the Devil is controling it.. but I know Jesus will go back and put a end at all of this! And these good people will get their reward... :)

 

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