Across the world I work with interpreters; people who take the words I speak and pronounce them in a language my audience will understand. Too frequently, I have found myself in a foreign land without the valued aid of someone who could speak the language. And while the skill-set of "charades" could be added to my resume, I know in critical times, to have someone around who can interpret your needs, is imperative.

"Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." Romans 8:26

Even without the help of interpreters speaking Swahili or Spanish, I am ever conscious of the Spirit, knowing the Living God is at work in the hearts and minds of the people present. Oswald Chambers wrote on the Romans verse:

"God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you can't understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands. God brings you to places, among people, and into certain conditions to accomplish a definite purpose through the intercession of the Spirit in you... to bring them before His throne, and to allow the Spirit in you the opportunity to intercede for them.

In this way God is going to touch the whole world."

Presently, I find myself in one of those circumstances I don't understand. I spent almost an entire month away from home, out and about the Father's business. As I looked at my blank calendar for the upcoming weeks I wondered what the Lord would fill my days with. It didn't take long before I received notice of a tragedy in "my own backyard."

The Joni and Friends office in San Antonio, Texas contacted the few people that reside in the DFW area about one of the Wounded Warriors (a female) who has attended 5 of the 7 Retreats. Her husband had a massive heart attack and was in the ICU at a local hospital.

I was shocked. I know the family well. I have been blessed to interact with the soldier and hear her story. The family immigrated to the United States in 2000 with refugee status from Iraq; they are Kurdish (who suffered some of the most horrific persecution and annihilation under Saddam Hussein). She joined OUR army after the bombing of the World Trade Center to return and fight against the evil she knew first hand. She left her home, her husband, and her children to fight for OUR freedom. She knew all too well what life without freedom was like.

She served as an interpreter.

In 2008, the convoy she was in was struck by an IED (improvised explosive device). She suffered a traumatic brain injury as well as wounds to her extremities. The family came to the second Wounded Warrior Getaway in October of 2008 while she was still undergoing treatment for her injuries at Brooke Army Medical Center. They returned every spring and fall for the next two years. Her three teenage children (17, 14 and 12) were definitely missed by many. Her husband was not only her primary caregiver, but he also managed the hectic activities of the children as well. "He did everything for us," she tearfully told me, as she stood over him looking at the various machines monitoring his vital signs.

I can't imagine what she and the children are going through. I couldn't fathom looking at the body of one I cherish, unable to communicate with them...

a tragic circumstance without an explanation, or interpretation.

"God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so we can be there for that person just as God was there for us." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 The Message

Walking alongside the wounded Rallying the troops,

If you are in the DFW and would like to assist the family please contact me for how you or your Bible Study or Church group can help.

If you would like to send a note or card of encouragement and let the family know of your prayers and concern contact me for the address.

The doctors informed her that her husband needs to be transferred to a Long Term Acute Care facility within the next few days. They also made sure she understood there is no hope for his recovery. Although his eyes are open, they have also told her his brain activity is minimal and the man she loved will never return.


This transition period will be extremely difficult for everyone in the family as they adjust to life without their primary source of help and comfort. We know our God is able to show Himself through every circumstance. Pray they recognize His presence, mercy, comfort and grace.

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