Safe Return of Private Becomes a Testimony To God

Apr 03, 2003 11:50 AM EST

ELIZABETH, W.Va. – After 10 days as a prisoner of war, army private Jessica Lynch returned unharmed from the hands of the Iraqi army, April 2. The successful nighttime rescue of the 19-year-old private served as a miracle and testimony to God for her hometown.

“ God is in control of all things. God knew all about it. He knew exactly where she was. He was able to take care of her. I truly believe that God has proven that Scripture true -- he was in control of all things," said John Watkins, pastor of Jessica’s home church.

According to Watkins, the entire town had gathered in prayer throughout the crises. Watkins led prayer vigils on the courthouse steps both on March 25—when she was listed as missing in action—and when she was found. Watkins said more than 300-500 people attended the first vigil.

"The most encouragement that I have had through this was seeing that people, in times like this, knew where to turn to get help," he told noted. "They turned to the Scriptures."

According to Watkins, the town was both thankful and celebrant after Lynch’s rescue.

"There were fire trucks running through the town blowing their sirens," he said. "Policemen were doing the same thing. People were driving around this small town blowing horns. They were just thankful."

Lynch was listed as a prisoner of war following a firefight around Nasiriyah, Iraq, March 23, and was rescued through a nighttime raid, April 2.

By Pauline J.