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Father, we thank you for freeing Mark Frerichs. Continue to protect Americans from the Taliban, God, both here and overseas.

After years of perseverance and determination, Charlene Cakora’s brother was finally released by the Taliban in a prisoner swap.

From Chicago Sun-Times. Charlene Cakora’s cellphone rang on Monday at 3:36 a.m.

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On the other end was President Joe Biden, calling from Queen Elizabeth’s funeral. He wanted to tell the Lombard woman that her brother, Taliban hostage Mark Frerichs, was being released after being held hostage in Afghanistan for more than two years.

“He was really brief and sweet and just basically said that my brother is pretty much lucky to have me as a sister,” Cakora told the Sun-Times.

“I’ve been having my phone next to me and had little sleep for the past two and a half years. I’m alert to the phone every time it rings — even during the day, I’ve got it with me all the time, and I’m not like that,” she said.

“I was just in awe. I was stunned, very happy, very happy, but right now we just need time to process this,” she said from her Lombard home, an American flag and a POW/MIA flag waving in the wind in her front yard.

Held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan since Jan. 31, 2020, Frerichs was part of a prisoner swap Monday for an Afghan drug lord, Bashir Noorzai, who had been serving a life sentence in U.S. prisons.

“I spoke with Mark’s sister today to share the good news and express how happy I am for Mark’s family,” Biden said in a statement. “Bringing the negotiations that led to Mark’s freedom to a successful resolution required difficult decisions, which I did not take lightly. Our priority now is to make sure Mark receives a healthy and safe return and is given the space and time he needs to transition back into society.” …

Sister works behind the scenes

After her brother’s capture, Cakora began pressuring both the Trump and Biden administrations to trade Noorzai’s release for her brother’s freedom.

“We were close, still are, always have been,” she said of her relationship with her brother, who’s two years older.

A Biden administration official said the talks leading up to the deal were not easy. …

A good night’s rest

Although she had spoken to the president, as of Monday afternoon Cakora had not yet reached her brother. …

But she said it has been a happy and exhausting day.

“I think I can sleep tonight,” she said with a laugh. …

Duckworth: ‘We do not leave Americans behind’

Illinois Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dick Durbin, both Democrats, had also been pressuring the White House for Frerichs’ release.

“I’m thrilled that his family, who have long been Mark’s champions, will get to reunite with him,” Duckworth said in a statement. “I applaud President Biden, who I spoke with personally about the need to get Mark home, for taking the steps necessary to prove that we do not leave Americans behind.” …

Are you encouraged by this story of perseverance and freedom? If so, share this article with your friends and family to encourage them.

(Excerpt from Chicago Sun-Times. Photo Credit: Andrew Ruiz on Unsplash)

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Susanj
September 21, 2022

One release down, many many more to go. God, please help us! Why do I not take seriously Duckworth’s “I applaud President Biden” in release of this POW, after the shameful early, withdrawal of our military
BEFORE American citizens and allies in Afghanistan? That list of Americans left behind was seemingly intentional by this administration. There is a whole govt department dedicated to release of Americans abroad, dealing with the Taliban. That list of needed swaps for Americans, got “off the charts longer,” one year ago. Biden doesn’t deserve any applause.

8
    Martha
    September 22, 2022

    Jesus says, Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6: 28

    1
      Susanj
      September 23, 2022

      There is a place for righteous anger.
      Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who could recite those scriptures too, died a martyr, trying to save those deluded into going along and applauding Hitler.

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