On December 5, 2012, American medical doctor Dilip Joseph and two colleagues are driving back to Kabul, Afghanistan, after serving villagers that morning at a rural clinic. Suddenly a man waving an AK-47 blocks their path. More armed men jump out of hiding. For Dilip, it is the beginning of a nightmare—he’s being kidnapped by the Taliban.
So begins the description on the back of a very exciting book—a true story describing the events that forever changed the lives of Dr. Joseph and his companions.
Given that the book is written by Dilip himself (along with co-author James Lund), we know from the start that he survived the ordeal. But there’s more to life than mere survival. How did the hostages react to their kidnapping? How were they treated by the Taliban? And perhaps most importantly, what did God teach this compassionate, soft-spoken doctor through what was surely a terrifying experience?
This book is definitely a page-turner! Repeatedly, just as we’re sitting on the edge of our seat wondering what will happen next, we’re left hanging as the next chapter focuses on another piece of Dilip’s life. How did an American doctor end up in Afghanistan? What was he doing there? Would he ever come home to his wife and young children waiting and praying in Colorado?
Dilip is impressively transparent about his fear, as he’s repeatedly threatened with execution. He makes an effort to connect personally with his kidnappers, hoping they may spare his life. But there are unexpected consequences. As day follows day, he discovers that his captors are human too, with their own hopes and dreams.
If you followed the news in 2012, you may already know that Dilip was freed by SEAL Team Six. How does a doctor, committed to saving lives, deal with knowing that his rescue claimed the life of one of his rescuers?
This book is eminently readable, clearly and concisely written, with fascinating descriptions of the Afghan people and their harsh land. It took me around two hours to finish, less time than it takes to watch many movies, and I checked my copy out of our local library.
Yes, it’s exciting, but Kidnapped by the Taliban is ultimately a redemptive story, one that vividly shows how God’s love conquers hatred and fear. Isn’t that exactly the sort of book you want to read?