To the Parents of the Boys of the Thailand Cave Rescue

I have been following the Thailand cave rescue of a soccer team and their coach with a pounding heart. Here’s what I want to say to their parents.

Dear Sweet Mamas and Daddies,

I cannot begin to imagine your anguish.

When I first heard that there was an entire soccer team missing for DAYS in Thailand, I was aghast. What a nightmare! And then—improbable joy!—they were found after nine whole days trapped in a cave. I truly could not believe it.

And then—devastating worry!—I learned that it would be a long, dangerous, arduous Thailand cave rescue to get the twelve soccer players and their coach out alive. Honestly, my imagination cannot grasp teaching little boys how to dive in a small enclosed, pitch-black area, and then how to swim out nearly a mile to safety, much less little boys who are weak from days with no food and plummeting available oxygen.

To be fully truthful, Brave Parents, I became so anxious about your children that most of the articles I started reading about the rescue process, I could not finish. My anxiety was high, and the information I was receiving about how dangerous and honestly improbable the Thailand cave rescue efforts to get your boys out alive would be was very upsetting to me. It  became especially upsetting after one of the Thai retired Navy SEAL divers lost his life trying to save your children. When your tragedy became too difficult for me to read about or think about, I had the luxury to look away.

But you don’t have that luxury. You have been on pins and needles waiting to see and touch your children for over two weeks now! Worry, anxiety, and prayer have been your constant companions. How you are even putting one foot in front of the other, I have no idea.

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I have been praying for you, Mamas and Daddies. Even when I did not know how to pray, I’ve found myself just begging Jesus to intercede on your children’s behalves. Their lives are so precious to Him, and though I don’t know your children, their lives are precious to me, too.

And now we have the news that eight, hallelujah, eight of your boys are safely out of the cave and are receiving medical treatment! What joy! What thankfulness! I pray for their continued recovery, and I pray still that the four remaining of your precious soccer players along with their young coach may also be brought out alive.

thailand cave rescue soccer players
Screen shot: CBS This Morning

I have to tell you, Parents, that your sons, who will always be remembered for their role in what I’m sure will become the historic Thailand cave rescue, are making a great impression on this world. I know you’d rather not have to play a role in this drama, but if there is any silver lining to this ordeal, I believe it is this: your children have re-taught all the people of the world about the value of life. The thought of their lives being lost and the hope of their lives being saved have reminded a global population that every life is precious and valuable.

And oh, how we needed that lesson!!! Even in the United States, we are having trouble seeing the value of our fellow citizens’ lives, much less the lives of those who were not born here (which is also an issue we are having.) And yet my Facebook feed is FILLED with people praying, hoping, and cheering for the rescue and continuation of your children’s lives. It gives me hope for the human heart.

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The news stories tell us that over a thousand people from over a dozen countries are helping with this rescue effort. The world’s diving and search and rescue professionals have truly converged upon the Thailand cave rescue efforts to say with one voice, “These lives are precious! We must not lose even one!”

I am a mother of three children, two of whom are the ages some of your sons are. I would hope that if my children were in mortal danger, that the world would respond in the same way, with relentless tenacity and grit, with perseverance to save every last precious soul, no matter their nationality or gender.

Seeing the world rally around your children gives comfort to my anxious soul. And when every last child is plucked safely from the treacherous waters filling the narrow passages of that cave, I will rejoice and shed happy tears right along with you. I may not understand your language, but I understand your parent’s heart. And right now, that heart of mine is with you, and with your children.

Stay strong, Mamas and Daddies! I will not cease in praying for you, and I also pray that, given a second chance at life on this earth, you and your children will one day come to know Jesus as your Savior, and have a chance at eternal life together, too.

With much love,

An American Mom

Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter.

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