Did American Alan Gross bid a final farewell to his wife and daughter recently when they visited him at a Cuban prison?
Friends and relatives fear the worst if the U.S. government doesn't step in to help the 65-year-old contractor.
That's because Gross is apparently giving up. Depressed over his mother's recent death and despondent over his prolonged imprisonment, Gross told wife Judy and daughter Nina that he can no longer endure prison life. He's also refusing humanitarian visits from members of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana.
Gross was arrested in December 2009 for delivering Internet communications equipment to the country's small Jewish community. He was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison for committing "crimes against the state."
Nearly five years later, he's lost vision in one eye and is reportedly in deterioritaing mental and physical health.
In an expression of urgent concern, 300 American Jewish rabbis reportedly sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking that he secure the "immediate release" of Gross.
Christian leaders should do the same.
When I last interviewed Judy Gross two years ago, she remained hopeful that proposed talks between the Castros and the U.S. government would lead to her husband's early release. I asked readers of this blog to pray that Gross would be returned home in time for a joyous Hanukkah holiday celebration. That was in September 2012.
Let's keep praying that God will encourage Alan Gross and his family, and that the Obama administration will do more to negotiate the release of this aging, ailing man whose only crime was trying to help some Cuban Jews communicate with the outside world.
Learn more at Bring Alan Home.