Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Canadian Soldier Robert Semrau

When I was pastor of the Lakeview Free Methodist Church in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Canada there was a young man who moved to the city and got involved helping to lead the youth ministry as a volunteer. His name was Rob Semau. My then teenage son Alex thought Rob was both hilariously funny and spiritually challenging.

Imagine my shock to read yesterday's headlines from the Toronto Star online: Capt. Robert Semrau found not guilty of murder - But military panel finds him guilty of disgraceful conduct in shooting of wounded, unarmed Taliban fighter.

I will admit that I have absolutely no objectivity when it comes to Rob's case. From what I have read the evidence at trial included: no body -- conflicting testimony -- virtually no hard evidence of any crime. How in the world did this case ever come to trial? I have no clue.

But if Robert shot a fatally wounded enemy soldier as an act of mercy -- as it appears he might have -- I'm still not sure how that's a crime. If he just shot him to kill him straight up -- he might have gotten a medal instead of a prison sentence.

So all we can do, all I will do, at this point is pray for him. First for his lawyers and the appeals process and whoever decides the final disposition of the case. May justice and common sense prevail. And I will pray mostly for Robert and his wonderful family -- that they will find grace and strength from the Lord no matter what. For now Rob is in the lion's den. In time, no matter what happens, the Lord can bring Rob out the other side stronger and more like the Master. May it be so!

Please pray for Captain Semrau and his family today -- I know I will.

1 comment:

  1. It is quite surreal isn't it? The first we heard through a mutual friend from Rob's family was "We have spoken to Rob, he says he is innocent and we believe him". That was good enough for me then, and is good enough for me now.
    The latest as posted on the facebook support page is

    Dear Friends,

    Naturally, we are disappointed with the verdict today. Our family has always believed that Rob did nothing wrong.

    We put our faith in the military’s justice system and we would like to see that system also recognize Robert did nothing wrong.
    We would like to thank Rob's military legal defense team, especially Lt. Col. Dugas and Major Turner, who worked so hard, and continue to work hard, for Rob.

    And we would especially like to thank the thousands of people who have expressed their support for Rob and our family. Your calls, e-mails and postings on Rob's Facebook site were a tremendous comfort to us.

    Rob's Court Martial won't be complete until sentencing next week, so we would like to ask for your continued support.

    In time, our family will try to suitably express our gratitude to all of Rob's supporters, but we're afraid you may never know just how much your thoughts and prayers meant to us all.

    Thank you,

    The Semrau Family