Making Friends Among the Taliban A Peacemaker's Journey in Afghanistan

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A Peacemaker's Journey in Afghanistan
Making Friends Among the Taliban

This book is published by our friends at Herald Press/MennoMedia, an agency of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada.  Mennonites are fellow Christians known for their stances on voluntary simpicity, peace, and social justice.

The Sharron Valley is as majestic, harsh, and remote as any in Afghanistan. In the summer, snowmelt feeds a silver ribbon of river, and the valley floor is strewn with stones and boulders. On each side, mountain walls rise steeply away to the crests of the Hindu Kush. As far as the eye can see, there is hardly any sign of human settlement. Not by chance is it home to the elusive snow leopard, ibex, and Marco Polo sheep.

On the silent valley floor, on a summer day in 2010, sits a caravan of three white Land Rovers. Closer examination suggests a desperate story. On small grassy mounds around the vehicles, bodies lie prostrate under a cobalt sky. Others are strewn in and under the vehicles where the victims took cover. All of them taken out execution-style. Ten in all.

The sketchiest outline of what happened there along the river emerges from the testimony of a passing shepherd who witnessed the events from the surrounding hills, and from the sole survivor, a young Afghan driver.

Making Friends Book Trailer

In Making Friends among the Taliban, childhood friend Jonathan Larson retraces Dan’s nearly forty years in Afghanistan and, through interviews and eye witness accounts, relays Dan’s incredible way of daily living. Facing famine, poverty, prison, and rifle muzzles—and across three decades of kings, the Red Army, warlords, the Taliban, and the American-led coalition—Dan found improbable friendships across the front lines of conflict and inspired small Afghan communities to find a better way of life. This inspirational narrative of Dan’s life and friendships offers a model for living authentically wherever we are.

Click here for a free study guide.

Jonathan Larson and others share more captivating stories from Dan Terry’s life, in the complementary documentary, Weaving Life: The Life and Death of Peacemaker Dan Terry.

Foreword by Michael Semple

Map of Afghanistan
Introduction: Rescued Marbles

1. Chosen by Afghanistan
2. Kebabs with a Captor
3. The Dantri Road
4. Enfranchising Others
5. Unarmed and Dangerous
6. Delicate Transactions
7. Pathos in the Backcountry

Afterword: Knotted into the Same Carpet
About the Author

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Format: Paperback book
Product code: MM9665
Dimensions: 8" x 5"
Length: 129 pages
MennoMedia / Herald Press
ISBN: 978-0-8361-9665-8
Written by Jonathan P. Larson


First-time author Larson is compelled to tell the story of the man who had been his best man: Dan Terry. The son of American Methodist missionaries, Terry had been raised in northern India and was familiar with the Hindu Kush mountain range between Afghanistan and Pakistan. For more than 40 years—through the Soviet invasion, Taliban takeover, and NATO-led invasion—Terry traveled the Afghan highlands making friends, becoming a trusted guide... toward a more peaceable country. It is doubtful that anyone other than Terry’s childhood friend Larson could have captured the nuances, adventure, faith undertones, and raw beauty of Terry’s story. Larson spins an elegant and exhilarating tale of heroism, love, recklessness, and altruism played out against one of the world’s oldest cultures and the longest-running U.S. war. In 2010, Terry’s execution-style murder, along with that of nine other aid workers as they returned to Kabul from a medical mission, made international news. While reminiscent of Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea, Larson’s look at an American in Afghanistan takes the reader beyond any facile definitions of enemy into a territory of dangerous love, where peace, sturdy and resilient, can neither be built nor dismantled at the point of a gun. (Oct. 19)Click to see original review on
Publishers Weekly