Amy Orr-Ewing, among the most prominent apologists in the UK today, found her voice in a place where she wasn’t allowed to speak at all.
It was 1996, and Amy and Francis “Frog” Orr-Ewing were 19-year-old students in love and planning their second mission trip together. Having met at St. Aldate’s, a lively charismatic church in the heart of Oxford, England, the couple chose to spend Easter break in Afghanistan. By that spring, the Taliban controlled three-fourths of the country. The fundamentalist Islamic group would go on to capture the capital, Kabul, shooting or kidnapping many who failed to follow their harsh enforcement of Shari‘ah.
Not quite the backdrop for a wild spring break, but nonetheless the place Amy, Frog, and a ministry friend, Miles, believed God was telling them to go. The editor of a University of Oxford student newspaper wrote a letter explaining that they were journalists, one of the few groups granted visas into Afghanistan at the time. Then they filled their rucksacks full of Bibles and flew to Herat.
What followed was a series of highly improbable events. And since Amy isn’t a real journalist, she’s fine calling them miracles: being transported by a woman named Angela and a taxi driver named Aslan to a hidden apartment; passing through 12 gunned checkpoints without a hitch; and, finally, being invited to interview Taliban leaders at a secret military headquarters.
Upon arrival, the Taliban’s education minister turned to Frog. “Does she have to come in?” he asked, nodding at Amy, her uncovered blonde hair no doubt offending his propriety.
“Yes, she does. I fear for her safety.”
The three students were escorted into ...1
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