She was caught in the cross-fire in the war on terror, and in the process, inspired thousands of prayers. Heather Mercer made headlines in 2001 when, while working as a missionary worker, she was captured by the taliban in Afghanistan. In East Texas, she shared with KLTV 7 details of her captivity, and why she says she's better off having survived this ordeal.
She was full of joy, laughing about how God has used her through her 105 days in taliban prison awaiting a death sentence for her work with a Christian Relief Agency.
"It really was at the end one of the best experiences of my life because I really had to really put into action what I said I had always believed and came to find out that what I believe is true. That God is real, that he loves me, that he loves the afghan people and he promises he will never leave us no matter what we go through," said Heather.
Even among the filthy, bug infested confines of the prison she felt God's prescence, helping her deal with the uncertainty of an unpredictable and dangerous situation.
"That was probably the greatest challenge was not knowing whether we were going to live or die at any given moment," said Heather.
She had been working with an international aid agency and was targeted for sharing her faith
"After 3 1/2 months we were very miraculously rescued by U.S. forces," said Heather.
She came back to the U.S., traveled, and shared her story with thousands. Heather has since returned to the Muslim world, to pick up where she left off.
"I have actually been living there for the past two years and just came back to the states temporarily to launch some new initiatives projects in the northern part of Iraq," said Heather.
Heather says amazing things are happening in Iraq, stories we don't hear on the news.
"The people as a general rule are very open to democracy, they want to develop their relationships with the global community," said Heather, "Not too long ago I had a chance to meet with one of the Kurdish government Leaders. He said if there is one thing you can tell the American people, let them know that we are so thankful you came."
Heather says she knows her mission work is her life's calling, and she's hoping her story encourages others to join in.
"Christians from the west to use their skills, talents, resources to serve people in that part of the world and help develop their own dreams and destinies within their culture," said Heather, "One of the projects we have going on right now is focused on business and educational development. We are wanting to bring in teams of professionals to provide training in all sorts of different fields to help empower the local community to grow and change."
Heather says in the area she works, they are constantly asking for more resources, more people in all professional capacities.