How would you feel if you were a husband and father of seven trapped in a foreign country by an invading army? What would you do to survive and keep from getting captured? How would you feel if you were his wife, the mother of seven, you had no money, and you didn’t know if your husband would ever get away from his captors? Who would you turn to?
Jim and Shirley Carroll found themselves in this predicament when they were tent-making missionaries in the summer of 1990 during the Iraqi invasion of the little Gulf country of Kuwait. Faith in Crisis – How God Shows Up When You Need Him Most shows the Carroll’s answers to these questions. But the answers were not easy, and they were slow in coming.
The Iraqis invaded Kuwait August 2, and Jim avoided capture by the Iraqis through refuge with Arab friends, whose kindness exceeded any realistic expectation. When the Iraqis threatened to kill Kuwaitis who harbored Westerners, Jim sought sanctuary in the US Embassy in Kuwait city. Leaving the embassy would have meant certain incarceration by the Iraqis. Remaining in the embassy meant that Jim was in the center of the oncoming war.
The embassy siege was punctuated by surrounding enemy soldiers, sporadic small arms fire, unexplained explosions, and finally poison gas installation. He remained trapped there until December, when Iraqi siege of the embassy concluded.
Shirley, back in Augusta, Georgia found herself with frozen financial accounts, no income, and seven hungry children. Friends gave her reasonable but unhappy advice: tell the children the truth, that Jim would not survive the coming battle. But the food kept coming in. Neighbors, community, and church family responded to the crisis. No one went hungry. Utility bills, house payments, and transportation costs were paid. God’s people intervened. Still Shirley didn’t know if Jim would ever get back. She prepared to go to Iraq and ask Saddam Hussein for Jim’s release. But God answered all these questions.
For Jim, the Lord brought continuing confidence in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose,” even in the face of a likely bad outcome for him.
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