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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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American ISIS Hostage Kayla Mueller Confirmed Dead, Wrote Letter to Family Before Death

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Authorities have confirmed that American ISIS captive Kayla Mueller has been killed. ISIS militants claimed Friday (Feb. 6) that the 26-year-old aid worker had been killed in a Jordanian airstrike on the Syrian city of Raqqa, but did not present physical evidence of her death.


The White House confirmed today (Feb. 10) that the young woman had been killed. According to a government spokesperson, Mueller’s family received more information over the weekend from her captors that was deemed authentic by investigators.


ABC News reports that an intelligence official said there was no proof that Mueller died in a Jordanian airstrike as the militants claimed.


President Obama released a statement offering condolence to Mueller’s family. “It is with profound sadness that we have learned of the death of Kayla Jean Mueller. On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I convey our deepest condolences to Kayla’s family – her parents, Marsha and Carl, and her brother Eric and his family – and all of those who loved Kayla dearly. At this time of unimaginable suffering, the country shares in their grief,” he said.


Mueller’s family has also released an emotional letter written by the young woman while she was in ISIS captivity. The family received the letter in Spring 2014.


Mueller wrote, “If you are receiving this letter it means I am still detained but my cell mates (starting from 11/2/2014) have been released. I have asked them to contact you + send you this letter. It’s hard to know what to say.


“Please know that I am in a safe location, completely unharmed + healthy(put on weight in fact); I have been treated w/ the utmost respect + kindness.”


Mueller goes on to apologize to her family for the “suffering I have put you all through” and tell them that she does not expect them to forgive her.


She also asks her family to pray for her and remembers that her mother used to tell her that “in the end the only one you really have is God.”


“Please be patient, give your pain to God,” she wrote. “I know you would want me to remain strong. That is exactly what I am doing. Do not fear for me, continue to pray as will I + by God’s will we will be together soon.”


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