Words fall short to describe the events over the weekend regarding the death of 21 Egyptian Christians at the hands of ISIS. Thanks to the outcry of concern by those in our own circles such as Dr. Russell Moore, I took comfort in knowing that the book of Revelation declares martyrs such as these not as victims, but as “overcomers.” Amidst sadness and heartbreak for families and those affected, I’m also challenged to reflect about my own devotion to Christ. Take a moment and read Karen Watson’s own Epitaph. An IMB missionary, she was killed by unknown assailants in Iraq in March of 2004. You can find her whole story in this free resource made possible through the IMB. Before going, she left this note to her pastor enclosed in an envelope:
Dear Pastor Phil and Pastor Roger,
You should only be opening this in the event of death.
When God calls there are no regrets. I tried to share my heart with you as much as possible, my heart for the nations. I wasn’t called to a place; I was called to Him. To obey was my objective, to suffer was expected, His glory my reward, His glory my reward . . .
The missionary heart:
- Cares more than some think is wise
- Risks more that some think is safe
- Dreams more than some think is practical
- Expects more than some think is possible.
I was called not to comfort or to success but to obedience. . . .
There is no Joy outside of knowing Jesus and serving Him. I love you two and my church family.
In His care,