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Curry and Mercer to Appear at the Southern Baptist Convention

Dayna Curry and Heather Mercer, the two relief workers who were held captive in Afghanistan, have accepted an invitation to address messengers during the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in St. Louis.

"We are thrilled that Dayna and Heather have accepted our invitation to be the guests of the Executive Committee," said Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the SBC Executive Committee. "We have every confidence that those attending the SBC will be blessed to hear them tell of the great grace of God in protecting them during their confinement in Afghanistan for their Christian testimony."

Mercer and Curry will address the SBC on June 11 during the Executive Committee report. They also will be available at the Executive Committee booth in the SBC exhibit hall following the Tuesday morning session.

Curry, 30, and Mercer, 24, both graduates of Baylor University and members of the Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas, were among eight westerners arrested by the Taliban in August and charged with breaking Muslim law by teaching Christianity. Both women were working for Shelter Now International as relief workers.

The eight detainees were released as Kabul fell to Northern Alliance and American forces during the early days of the war on terror. Curry described her release as a "modern-day miracle."

"These young women have demonstrated what it means to seek to extend the Kingdom of God and to impart the good news of Jesus Christ to others," Chapman said. "They have constantly been in the limelight since their release and have borne faithful witness to Jesus wherever they have gone.

"Many thousands of Southern Baptists faithfully prayed for the safety and release of Dayna and Heather and were overjoyed when the Lord freed them from their captors," Chapman added. "Their presence will give us an opportunity to rejoice in those answered prayers and celebrate the kindness and benevolence of the Lord together."

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