December 14, 2001
CHICAGO/TORONTO: CPT staff to depart for Afghanistan
On Sunday, December 16, Gene Stoltzfus, CPT Director/Program Coordinator,
and Doug Pritchard, CPT Canada Coordinator, will depart for New York City.
At 3 pm, they will meet with CPT supporters in the New York area for a
prayer vigil at Ground Zero, where terrorists destroyed the World Trade
Center towers on September 11.
From New York, Pritchard and Stoltzfus will depart for Peshawar, Pakistan,
where, according to Pritchard, the two “will begin to approach the terror
and violence and death which came to that reginon in a new way on October 7
and is still continuing.”
From Peshawar, the two men will begin trying to enter Afghanistan. Since
the U.S. ordered the Pakistani government to seal its border with
Afghanistan, and since it is unclear at this point what factions will be a
part of the new Afghan government scheduled to take power on December 22,
they anticipate having to deal with numerous complications as they try to
get visas for Afghanistan.
When asked why CPT was sending its two coordinators to the region at this
time, Pritchard said, “We want to find out more about what’s really
happening on the ground, so we can communicate what is happening there to
people of faith back home.” They hope to meet many people and groups
currently working for peace and justice in the area and explore
possibilities for longer term cooperation.
Pritchard made the decision to make the trip to Afghanistan after feeling
the personal presence of Jesus, who urged him to go as Pritchard prayed for
discernment. The words of Psalm 27 also came to him during his prayers: “I
believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
Although unsure at this point what “land of the living” refers to in the
context of the upcoming trip, Pritchard closed the interview by saying, “The
call for me to go now is quite clear.”