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My Visit to Tommy Hamill July 5, 2004 by Fr. Antonio Elfeghali

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The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? (Ps 27)
My Visit to Tommy Hamill July 5, 2004

by Fr. Antonio Elfeghali

On April 11, 2004, I was in St. Sharbel Parish in Warren, Michigan, when I saw Tommy Hamill on the TV. It was Easter. Tommy Hamill was kidnapped on April 9, 2004. It was Good Friday.

“This was out of my hand. I trusted that God would work this out.” Tommy said.

When I saw this guy, I felt like fire in my heart to pray for his freedom. I started praying asking the Lord on his day of resurrection to deliver this man from his captors: “Lord, as you set Peter free from the prison, I believe that you can set Tommy free.”

His captors said to him: “If you deny your faith and become Muslim, we will offer you a woman and a store in Baghdad.”

Tommy said to them: “I have my God and He has a Son and his name is Jesus Christ, and I stand by my God. I am a Christian and I’ve been with my wife for 17 years. My God will bring me back to my country.”

Tommy thought about St. Peter who was in prison and how the angel of the Lord set him free.

After hearing that, the captors wouldn’t talk to him for three days. They were very upset.

I kept praying for Tommy, and when I heard about the Italian hostage who got killed by his captors, I intensified my prayers: “Lord Jesus, don’t let Tommy to die before he comes to know you. Let him experience your mercy and love.”

Tommy said to me: “I wasn’t anxious, no fear. I felt the peace of the Lord.” He felt the presence of God and the prayers of his family and those who love him.

One day, his captors left the room leaving their weapons on the table. The devil tried to tempt Tommy saying: “If you use these weapons and kill them, you will be free.” But Tommy rejected the devil’s suggestion, saying: “I did not come to Iraq to take lives but to do good. I am not a soldier but a worker. I believe that God will set me free at the proper time.”

On May 2, 2004, Tommy escaped his captors. “After hearing the sound of [the American] Humvees nearby, [Tommy] kicked down a metal- plate door propped up by a piece of wood and made a stumbling dash across tomato fields with only socks on his feet. He was shouting I’m an American, I’m an American POW and he was waving his shirt above his head.” (NBC News)

It was Sunday, I was in St. Sharbel Parish Warren, Michigan, when I heard the good news that Tommy escaped his captors. It is hard to express the joy I felt that day. God answered the prayers of many people.

Tommy came home.

When you pray for someone, you build a strong spiritual relationship with this person.

Therefore, I decided to go and visit him. It was on July 5, 2004, when I went with my friend Gary to see Tommy.

Tommy welcomed us. He shared his story with us and I shared mine with him. I offered him the Imitation of Christ book to be his companion in his journey. Tommy’s experience was the beginning of a journey with the Lord. God is preparing him for something great.

Tommy forgave his captors. He would like to see them one day. He said, “I would like to go back one day and thank my captors because they treated me well. They never mistreated me.”

During his captivity, he was feeling peace. His peace and his zero fear made his captors confused.

Tommy and Kelly offered us dinner. And after dinner, we prayed together in private. Kelly told me that she had a dream on the same day her husband was captured.

Tommy came into her dream saying: “I am OK”. Kelly had another dream before he was released. He said to her: “Don’t worry, I’m gonna be home soon.” Kelly was completely at peace.

His mother had a dream weeks before he was captured:

“Something bad is gonna happen but everything will be OK.” The mother said that on Good Friday, the day Tommy was kidnapped, the very special antique clock started ringing and ringing and ringing like Church bells without any reason.

Tommy is a very humble person. He is not a preacher. He is not a minister. “I don’t know what to talk” he said. But people are moved to tears when he speaks about his experience with God during his captivity. There is a power that comes out of him.

“Tommy, your experience is the beginning of a long spiritual journey with the Lord. God is preparing you for the mission in his Church.”

What we learn from your experience, Tommy, is to have Faith in God, to cry out to Him when we are in trouble, and to trust in Him, in the way he leads us to salvation.

What I personally learned from the whole experience was the power of prayer. When you pray for someone, you build a strong spiritual relationship with this person.

PSALM 26 (27)

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom do I fear? The LORD is my life's refuge; of whom am I afraid? When

evildoers come at me to devour my flesh, These my enemies and foes themselves stumble and fall. Though an army

encamp against me, my heart does not fear; Though war be waged against me, even then do I trust. One thing I ask of

the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the LORD'S house all the days of my life, To gaze on the LORD'S beauty, to visit his

temple. For God will hide me in his shelter in time of trouble, Will conceal me in the cover of his tent; and set me high upon

a rock. Even now my head is held high above my enemies on every side! I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of

joy; I will sing and chant praise to the LORD. I Hear my voice, LORD, when I call; have mercy on me and answer me.

"Come," says my heart, "seek God's face"; your face, LORD, do I seek! Do not hide your face from me; do not repel your

servant in anger. You are my help; do not cast me off; do not forsake me, God my savior! Even if my father and mother

forsake me, the LORD will take me in. LORD, show me your way; lead me on a level path because of my enemies. Do not

abandon me to the will of my foes; malicious and lying witnesses have risen against me. But I believe I shall enjoy the

LORD'S goodness in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!

Source: http://www.maronite-heritage.com/html/my_visit_to_tommy.html

St. Sharbel, pray for us!
Baby Linda Victoria Love, pray for us.


Lord, you pour out blessings and lovingkindness on me before I can even ask. And you offer more than I could even conceive of asking. -King David, Psalm 21

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