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By Matt Shiner, A Mentor 

Hello, readers! Ten-forty is an interesting number. We recognize it more readily in its numeric form, 1040. For many of us, that makes us remember that April 15 is the day our taxes are due, and tax returns need to be filed. Ah, but today, that number represents the exact number of days that Imama has been hunted by the Taliban. Think about 2 years, 10 months, and 4 days of complete uncertainty and fear. Today, the fear has subsided, but the uncertainty is ongoing. While there is light at the end of the tunnel, there is no perception of how much tunnel remains because light travels at, well, the speed of light. And governments seem to operate at some inverse relationship.

Ten-forty is also the number of days we have been sharing messages of hope, courage, and love with Imama and her family. I normally associate this kind of timetable with the Old Testament stories of God and Israel. Others have traveled in her shoes.

It’s been a year since I last recorded Imama’s adventure, so let me update you.

Five months ago, the receiving European country took a step and flew over half of Imama’s family to freedom. That was a big day, and I apologize for not writing a note to you then. Today, those refugees are being integrated into the European culture.  The children are in school, and adults are in language classes. We praise and thank the Lord for the launch of their new lives.

Imama and the others remain, still waiting one day after another.  She continues to experience health issues that will involve surgery; please join us in asking the Lord that she get into the European country before the symptoms progress where surgery is required.

Here are some quotes from Imama:

  • “We are doing well and waiting for an update from the embassy. Children miss the family, and it is normal. I encourage them to talk with the family daily so it can keep them close to others. I am thankful of your friends and love you tons.”
  • “We are doing well and still waiting for an update from [country authorities]. Thank you for continuing to pray. This is our biggest hope. Love and hugs.”

From me to Imama:

“You are an amazing woman! You constantly are doing good, no matter where you are or what your circumstances are. You are like our daughter from [Central Asia], who says, ‘Servant leadership is not just a tool in my toolbox.  It’s the way I live.’ And God will bless you mightily as you bless other people.  You are a wonderful example to my wife and me, and all the people who know about you and pray for you.”

From Imama: 

  • “Dear professor, anything that I do, I have learned from people like you and lovely [my wife]. This chain of Servant leadership will become bigger and stronger each day. Many times when I help someone I don’t even expect to get a reward later.  I enjoy what I do and that is enough for me. Thank you for being.”
  • “Dear [my wife], Hope you and dear professor are happy, healthy and full of peace. We are doing well. I think it is normal to be exhausted, under pressure and even physically tired. We pray for the ending of this long journey and hope to hear soon good news. We follow the plans which I told you in my previous texts and believe in the God schedule as you have always told me. I know you and your friends/relatives constantly pray for us as we feel it in our hearts here. Thank you for thinking and supporting us. Love you so much.”

After I sent a devotion from 1 Samuel regarding Hannah, my wife added:

“Definitely an encouraging meditation for today and it rolls right into your situation sweet [Imama]! We love you and am sure your stress level is ‘through the roof’ as we say in English. Know that we all keep praying for you and your family’s situation!  May the Lord Jesus open a window when the door closes… for your move and reuniting of your family!  Keep your eyes on Jesus Christ, He is the One, because of Him we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! Love you tons! Hugs and kisses and a good night to you!”

Imama said, “There is no one else who has the power to save. Thank you dear [my wife].”

We closed our last note with the hope that we could meet with Imama and her family in Europe during our trip last fall. That didn’t happen but we do ask the Lord to arrange such a meeting someday, somewhere, somehow. We leave all the options in His lap.

Continue to pray for their immediate evacuation and her health.

We praise God for each of you and are very grateful for your steadfastness as a prayer warrior! God bless you!


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Write out a prayer for Imama and her family on your own social media. 

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