Businessman shares story of captivity in AfghanistanBy Celeste Kennel-Shank Mennonite Weekly Review
Al Geiser spent 56 days thinking and praying, with only a set of worry beads and his memory to aid him. Captive in Afghanistan, he spent much of that time lying blindfolded with his body partly on earth, partly on rocks, under the open sky.
“I was literally hidden amongst the rocks,” said Geiser, an engineer from Kidron, Ohio. “I often felt I was not hidden by God for my protection, but hidden from God to my detriment.”
Meanwhile, Gladys Geiser, his wife and fellow service worker in Afghanistan, had her Bible, hymnal, friends and family as she prayed and waited, beginning Aug. 20 when Al Geiser did not return from a trip to a rural area.
“That night began our own separate faith journeys such as we had never experienced before,” she said.
The Geisers spoke Oct. 26 at their congregation, Kidron Mennonite Church — in a service recorded and available on the church Web site — about Al Geiser’s 56 days of captivity.
U.S. soldiers rescued Geiser Oct. 14, killing several militants, the Associated Press reported.
The family and congregation are grateful to God and to the people who participated in Geiser’s rescue, wrote Terry Shue, pastor of Kidron Mennonite, in an e-mail Oct. 30.
“We are saddened by the loss of life and the violence used but realize the values of the military are quite different than those of the Geiser family or Kidron Mennonite Church,” Shue wrote. “And yet we humbly realize that God moves in mysterious ways, and we rejoice that Al is home.”
The Geisers had worked in Afghanistan since February 2000 — Gladys Geiser at a school in Kabul and Al Geiser on hydroelectric engineering in rural areas. Both were supported by Kidron Mennonite.
Al Geiser worked with an Afghan business partner, Shukur, and contracted on projects with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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