Three years ago, I was suffering from some pretty bad pregnancy-induced insomnia. It could have been that my left hip was screaming approximately 23.75 hours a day. Or it could have been that my dear little wee girl liked to kick the living crap out of the very top of my ribs on my right side. Or it could have possibly been that I was so damn thirsty, drank a ton all day, hence, peed about 12.58 times a night. Eh, either way, I was up.
One night I caught a show on the Discover Channel, or some such educational non-sense that I watch non-stop. It was about 5 American contractors working on an aerial anti-drug campaign with the Colombian government in February 2003. Their plane crashed in the middle of FARC territory, where the FARC immediately killed 2 of the Americans, along with a Colombian contractor that was with them.
The show went on to show the 3 remaining Americans finding out that not only had their employer been bought out by another company here in the US, but that their 2 co-workers had been shot and killed.
The show was gut-wrenching. I sat curled up on my couch, biting the inside of my lip until it bled, tears streaming down my face. I was absolutely livid that these men were being held hostage by some very scary people, and our government was doing nothing. Yeah, yeah, I know-I'm sure there were various under-the-table deals going on, that the public isn't privy to. However, this showed in 2005, about a year and a half AFTER they had been captured. How the hell could the US do nothing to save them?
After watching the show, I sat up another couple of hours, surfing the 'net for information on the men, their families, the history of the FARC, and any possible updates on their conditions. I wrote my Senator and Representatives. I ranted and raved about the show for weeks after I saw it. I had long conversations with my father about the military, our government, and my feeling of utter helplessness in this situation. And I prayed.
I have prayed for those men for the past 3 years. There have been countless sleepless nights where I have stared out my window at the stars, and wondered if they were still alive, and if they had any hope left. Not like I've prayed non-stop, but they were definitely on my list of people to pray for.
Saturday night, after a bottle of wine, I turned on CNN at about 3am. And there were the faces of the three men: Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, & Keith Stansell.
They were rescued by the Colombian government. After 5 years. I was speechless (and not because I was both drunk and stuffing my face with fries). I found myself saying 'Oh my God' over and over.
See, I am one of those people who prays, hopes, and worries, but sometimes I don't have much faith in my own ability to hope. I was letting logic take over--after so many years, and no updates about those men, it seemed pretty logical to say that they were probably dead. Yet, I continued to pray for them, whenever their faces entered my mind, trying to keep just the slightest bit of hope alive, for them.
And for me. I was hoping that 'the powers that be' would do something. I was hoping that they would be able to escape. I was hoping that God was hearing all of the prayers whispered in bedsheets. I was hoping that if they were freed/rescued, it would prove to me that having faith and hope actually means something.
And it did. They are alive. They are all about 30-40 pounds skinnier, but they are well. They are back in the US, back in the arms of their families.
They are alive.