Ruthe and I met Tom Little in 2002, when we visited Kabul. We toured the eye hospital he was rebuilding. We pray for his family, and thank God for the privilege of meeting him.
This is from his hometown newspaper…
Tom Little hailed from upstate New York, but made his home in Afghanistan.
The 62-year-old optometrist was the guiding force behind the National Organization for Ophthalmic Rehabilitation (NOOR), bringing eye care to the remote rural regions of the war-torn nation.
Little was among 10 members of a medical team gunned down by Afghan militants earlier this week during a three-week mission of mercy to northern Afghanistan.
Little, who typically traveled with his wife Libby, moved to Afghanistan in 1978 to provide eye care for indigent locals.
The couple raised three daughters in Afghanistan while maintaining a home in Delmar, near Albany. His wife was at home coming to grips with the brutal slaying, said Lawrence Roff, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Schenectady.
The church offered support for the Littles’ mission for more than three decades, Roff said.
Little operated a half-dozen clinics and hospitals in Afghanistan, including one in Kabul and three in smaller towns.
He was thrown out of the country in August 2001 by the Taliban government following the arrests of eight Christian aid workers accused of trying to convert Afghans to Christianity.
An undeterred Little returned to Afghanistan just three months later when the Taliban government was overthrown by U.S.-backed forces
For a photo essay on the life and work of Dr. Little, see here.