Manna from heaven: 80,000 lbs of food, water dropped in Afganistan

January 21, 2008

“Then said the LORD to Moses, Behold, I will rain manna* from heaven for you.” Exodus 16:4 

It’s cold in Afghanistan, far below zero in some areas. About 26,000 of our boys are there, with an additional 3,000 about to leave soon. We haven’t heard much news about them lately. The economy, via the election, is the latest hot topic. Yet whether we hear about or agree with the war, tens of thousands of our fathers, brothers, sons and friends are there, far away from home, doing what’s asked of them. They’re serving amongst the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Men, women, and children made poorer by the ravages of war and winter. People who hope that one day they’ll be able to live in peace.

This week the Air Force parachuted bundles of food and water — totaling nearly 80,000 pounds — over snowy mountainous reaches of eastern Afghanistan. Deployed troops on the ground shared the supplies with Afghans in remote areas where hazardous mountain terrain restricts their ability to travel and obtain food. The airdrop was coordinated by the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, which includes members of the 17th Airlift Squadron based at Charleston Air Force Base, S.C.

“I think the best way we can do [bring democracy] — and show them what America is about — is to support them and give them the supplies they need,” said 1st Lt. Joe Purcell, a pilot with the 816th, in the release. “We’re not here to occupy their country. We’re here to help them rebuild.” 

Food and water, the basic sustenance of life. This mission of goodness stands in stark contrast to dropping bombs. One offers hope. One eliminates any possibility of it.

Thank you Joe and the 816th. May God Bless you and keep you safe.

*Manna: the name given by the Israelites to the food miraculously supplied to them during their wanderings in the wilderness.

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