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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Reason for the Season of Christmas (12/04/08)

TITLE: Death of a Missionary
By Clyde Blakely


“Ryan’s been killed,” my wife’s voice over the phone is cracking from the terrible news. I retreat to the employee restroom to cry and pray. Ryan, a friend, leaves his young wife, Katie, and three little girls, Anna, Lydia, and Ella, behind. It happened in a car wreck in Malawi, Africa, only a few days before this writing.

I can live a thousand life times and not be able to explain why, in God’s economy, this happened. I wish I knew but I’m thankful I don’t understand as I would have to try to explain it. I trust God and accept the fact He knows. It still hurts, bitterly hurts, Christmas, when a family is left without their beloved husband and daddy. Many have been in similar situations and only a few have lived to see an answer. Most will have to ask “why” and wait. It’s not a sin to ask God questions like this. Jesus did on the cross, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” It was the only time Jesus ever called His Father “My God”. Jesus, during His greatest suffering, did not feel His Father’s presence. Yet the answer to Jesus’ question is US, You and I.

How can God coming to earth in human form to die for our sins so we can live with Him forever in Heaven without sorrow, illness, or death have any relevance at a time like this? Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and goodwill. How can it be when tragedy has struck? Can anyone but God truly answer that? Yet it must not be ignored for it has been asked for centuries.

The feelings of loneliness and abandonment are only for a season. As Jesus is by the Father’s side today, so too will we be when this earthly life is over, as Ryan is currently experiencing. The timing and purpose of Ryan’s death is a mystery now, but only now. God knows. The rest is left to faith and trust. And time.

Real names have been used here because they are real people, hurting, in need of prayer from their brothers and sisters in the Lord for comfort. Jesus came and experienced life as we do in all forms to be able to comfort us as One Who understands our suffering. Yes, He is our hope and our reason to celebrate His birth!

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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Murray12/11/08
Many children were sacrificed over the birth of Jesus, and Jesus Himself promised us persecution. (Matthew 5:10 - 12, Mark 10:29,30). He also promises to be husband to the widow (Is 54:5) and father to the fatherless (Psalm 10:14), offering a greater intensity to their relationship with Him.

"In the world you shall have tribulation..."

I pray that the church to which they belong takes great care of the surviving family and secures them for life. This is the role of the church in such a situation. Christian schools can offer full scholarships to the children, and the church can build them a house. I truly believe this is required and pray that it occurs. Their ultimate sacrifice should be honoured in this degree at least.

Perhaps the reason you have posted this tragic information is that writers can show churches their responsibility for widows and orphans which is true religion, and God-like behaviour.

Love to you and them. Helen
Gregory Kane12/16/08
I remember reading that Malawi has one of the highest rates in the world for death on the roads as measured against the number of vehicles. Poor maintenance, corrupt inspection, falsified documents, they contribute to making life on the mission field all the more demanding.
At the end of the day only God knows and God cares. Whether we live or we die, it do it all for Jesus.
The Lord's grace be upon your friends.