Growing Kingdom People – Rescues That May Never Make the News
Today the world rejoiced at the news that all 12 members of the Wild Boars soccer team and their coach had been rescued from a cave in Thailand. I feel certain you have been following the story, so there is no need to repeat the details here. It was an amazing rescue, and those involved have every right to be proud of their accomplishment.
As you know, sadly, a retired Thai Navy Seal lost his life in the operation. You may also have heard a disaster was averted when Thai divers went in after the rescue to retrieve their equipment and the water pumps gave out.
Certainly, this rescue will be talked about for generations to come.
A reason for celebration!
But, we know this: not all rescues become world-wide news stories. In fact, some don’t even make the local news. I thought this might be a good opportunity to reference those responsible as a way of thanking them for their sacrifice.
First Responders: Almost all of us know someone who was saved by a First Responder. Lists of First Responders vary, but they usually include firefighters, emergency medical teams, policemen and other law enforcement personnel. Anyone who responds immediately to an emergency is a First Responder, and those who do often risk their lives to save others in danger. So many people are saved by First Responders, their acts of courage and sacrifice often go unnoticed. But those who are saved do not forget.
Foster and Adoptive Parents: Parents who bring other people’s children into their homes are amazing. Not only do they pour love into children who need to know the world has not abandoned them, but they are willing to navigate a complicated and, at times, frustrating bureaucracy. I found some U.S. statistics from 2016 that record 467,435 children in foster care in September of that year and 57,208 children adopted for the entire year. Great honor is due those who open their homes to children.
Substance Abuse Counselors: People who abuse alcohol and drugs risk destroying themselves and their loved ones. While it is true, their wounds are self-inflicted, they still need compassion. Those who are able to break the cycle of substance abuse can usually identify one or more people who stood by them when they had nowhere else to turn. Professional counselors and trained coaches save lives, as well as marriages and entire families. We must pray for them as they carry a heavy emotional load.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers: Every time someone chooses not to have an abortion, at least one life is saved. Often, the key factor that moves frightened women to have their babies is a Christian ministry where they receive love, medical care, counseling, food and shelter. Throughout the years there have been clashes at abortion clinics between pro-life and pro-choice advocates. While I do not in any way wish to discredit those who choose to stand up for life in this way, it is also true the less visible work of coming alongside pregnant women and giving them hope takes place every day in crisis pregnancy centers across our land.
Gospel Messengers: I would be remiss if I did not include those who share the redeeming message of Jesus in my list. So many of those who are involved in the other rescue efforts I have listed here are motivated by a Savior who rescued them from sin and for eternity. People come to know Jesus every day, and He changes the trajectory of their lives. I know the results may be less tangible than when someone is pulled from a burning building, but they are no less real. More than one person who was introduced to Jesus has told me his live was saved, along with his soul.
I don’t in any way wish to diminish the importance of the rescue of the Wild Boars. I can only imagine how good it will feel for the boys to hug their parents and sleep in their own beds. I merely want us to remember the other rescues going on around us every day – in some cases every moment.
They will never make the news.
I’m not suggesting this is because newscasters don’t want to report them. Many are reported.
There are just too many to count.
Perhaps this is why, when we can say 12 boys and a coach were rescued from a cave, we feel a sense of completion.
But make no mistake.
There are still a lot of people who need to rescued.
Maybe you know someone in peril.
Maybe you are the one being called to help.
Maybe I am.
Maybe we all are.
Maybe I should stop saying “maybe.”