CARY, N.C. (BP)--Larry Elliott had a laugh so hearty it could fill the streets of Honduras or the villages of Iraq. When his wife, Jean, smiled, she could light up an entire nation. So said friends and family at a memorial service for the Elliotts in Cary, N.C.
The Elliotts were killed March 15 in a drive-by shooting in Mosul, Iraq. Their coworkers Karen Watson and David McDonnall also died. McDonnall's wife, Carrie, survived the attack and is recovering in Texas. The five International Mission Board workers were researching locations for water purification projects in Iraq. Before working in Iraq, the Elliotts served for 26 years in Honduras.
|Lessons of love |
Norma Martinez de Robbins, who came to Christ because of the witness of Larry and Jean Elliott in Honduras, says the couple became like parents to her. Photo by Mike Creswell
"They loved the Gospel and the souls of lost men and women more than themselves," said Stephen Rummage, interim senior pastor at First Baptist Church. Co-workers, former volunteers, friends and family overflowed the church's sanctuary into the gym as they celebrated the Elliotts' lives March 25.
The Elliotts' oldest son, Scott, read a version of the song "Thank You" by Christian recording artist Ray Boltz, changing some of the lyrics to honor his parents.
The frail frame of Elijah Chipeta lies helpless on a mat. Troy Lewis (center), an International Mission Board worker, and Samson Zulu, pastor of Bualeni Baptist Church, comfort him with prayer.
Southern Baptist missionary Troy Lewis says it breaks his heart.
Lewis moved to Lusaka, Zambia, last year with his wife, Tracey, and their two young sons to work as an AIDS/HIV program developer.
The relief volunteers are no strangers to working in crisis situations. Most of them have served together in locations as distant as Venezuela and as close to home as Ground Zero in New York City.
Moore, a noted speaker and Bible study author, told the mission workers they are pouring out their lives for the most important cause in the world.
"I cannot think of anybody doing anything on the face of this earth ... that matters more than what you pour your lifeblood into," she said. "We may be tired at times. It almost seems unbearable, but we have what the world is looking for.
More than 100 International Mission Board missionaries recently wrote to Southern Baptists, thanking them for their gifts to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and Cooperative Program.
While the McIntires easily thanked Southern Baptists for the home they live in and the car they drive, they found it more difficult to express their gratitude at being able to share the Gospel with those who don't know the Good News.
That's how Southern Baptist missionaries Paul and Faye Burkwall felt about the Gospel-hungry people they served during their closing years in Africa.
After working for 30 years in West Africa, the Burkwalls spent their last five years of service among northern Ghana's Fulani people. When they arrived, there were no believers. Today, God has raised more churches among the Fulani than the missionary couple ever could have imagined.
"With millions of Fulani yet to be witnessed to, we only wish we had another lifetime of service to give," they said.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--As the United States military and its coalition partners battle in Iraq, Henry Blackaby is calling American believers to pray for their country, walk closely with God, love their enemies and trust God's sovereignty.
Bill Thompson and his wife, Susan -- International Mission Board missionaries to Taiwan -- were confronting an issue more and more missionary parents are facing: Their daughter, Christina, was marrying a man of another race.
Though the Thompsons struggled with the idea at first, they did not doubt Charlie Walker, an African American, was God's choice for Christina.
| Taiwan tradition |
At the reception the bride and groom visit each table to greet their wedding guests. Following Taiwanese tradition, friends and family toast them (with teacups filled with punch). Photo by Roy M. Burroughs
Bill had told several pastors of his daughter's engagement before he called Michael Prince, pastor of Robertsville Baptist, but Prince was the first to congratulate him on his daughter's upcoming wedding.
Prince quickly volunteered to help make the wedding a happy one, promoting the marriage of "their" missionary kid as part of the church's Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. It was a natural role for him and the members of Robertsville Baptist. For them, supporting the Thompsons is just part of their job.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Judy Williams was working in the surgical area at the Jibla Baptist Hospital in Yemen when she heard that there had been gunshots.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Don Caswell, the International Mission Board worker who survived the Dec. 30 shootings at the Baptist hospital in Jibla, Yemen, is resting with his family and expected to recover fully from his injuries, reported Judy Williams, his attending physician.