'I Prayed in the Name of Jesus, and He Answered': Heroes Rescue 17,000 While 'Saving Aziz' in Afghanistan
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After the Taliban takeover, Afghans who helped the U.S. military faced death. One U.S. Marine veteran and former mixed martial arts champion risked his life to go back and save his Afghan interpreter. But he says God didn't want the rescue mission to stop there.
When Marine vet Chad Robichaux learned about the Biden administration's plan to rapidly pull the U.S. military out of Afghanistan, he thought it would be a disaster.
Robichaux told us, "So a full withdrawal and a surrender of Bagram Air Force base, I knew it'd be catastrophic for national security, for global security and stability in the region. And it's just not consistent with how we deal with post-war conversions as America."
Having served eight deployments in Afghanistan, Robichaux tells CBN News his first thoughts centered on innocent people stuck in a country led by a brutal regime.
"Initially, my biggest concern was our allies – those who fought beside us for 20 years being left behind. One being my friend Aziz who did 15 years in Special Operations, eight deployments with me; saved my life multiple times, and just my friend," Robichaux said.
Robichaux's friend, Azizullah Aziz, was a former Afghan interpreter. "I was really worried about my children because my relatives – they turned their back at me – my friends, my parents, everyone. They're like, 'You're not coming to our house. This is your call. You did it; now you handle it.' And I cannot go to relatives; I cannot go to friends, and it was a total chaos. For me, it was like the end of the world," Aziz recalls.
Fourteen years after Robichaux's final Middle East deployment, he organized a rescue mission to save Aziz, his wife, and six children. Once in Afghanistan, the situation on the ground led to a shift.
Robichaux said, "One of our team members noticed this group of 3,500 orphans and said, 'Hey, let's not just get Aziz and his family; let's get these orphans as well.' And we kind of paused for a second, and all of us are Christians. We all felt the burden that God put on our hearts to just help as many Americans, interpreters, their families, women, children, Christians that were being persecuted. We just wanted to help as many people as we could."
The goal became a mission to save thousands from Taliban rule. Altogether, Robichaux and his coalition of heroes evacuated more than 17,000 people.
"When the military was forced to leave, after that Abbey Gate was blown up and 13 of our service members were killed, we chose to stay because we knew that while the White House was saying there was a hundred Americans, we knew there were thousands of Americans, thousands of allies. We knew we still had the ability to help, so we did," Robichaux said.
He shares his story in a new book, titled Saving Aziz. He takes readers behind the scenes for a unique look at the chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan and miraculous evacuation efforts during the historic humanitarian crisis.
"The book's important to us, not to sell books, but it's important the story gets out," Robichaux said.
And the man whose name is in the title also sends his own personal message.
"Please keep the Afghan poor people in your prayers because I strongly believe in prayers. And even with this evacuation thing, I prayed in the Name of Jesus, and He answered. And you know it all happened as a miracle for me," Aziz said.
Robichaux points to God's role in all the rescues. "He kept us safe; He gave us clear thinking and opened doorways that were impossible for any man to open. And we were able to do this incredible thing and just be part of it. But ultimately God orchestrated it, and all glory to Him," he said.
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