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2 slain Baptist workers buried on hospital grounds in Yemen

SANAA, Yemen (BP)–If the gunman who murdered three Christian workers Dec. 30 in Jibla, Yemen, intended to take their lives, he did not succeed, one of their co-workers said on the day two of the victims were buried in the Middle Eastern country.

“This [gunman] did not take their lives; they chose to give their lives long ago when they responded to God’s call,” said John Brady, who leads Southern Baptist International Mission Board work in northern Africa and the Middle East.

“Their whole point of deciding in advance that they wanted to be buried in Jibla was they knew they may not ever leave” — not because of any threats, but because of their commitment to the people, Brady said Dec. 31.

Physician Martha Myers, hospital administrator William Koehn and purchasing agent Kathy Gariety were killed by a man who burst into their early morning meeting and sprayed them with gunfire.

As they had previously requested, Myers and Koehn were buried on the hospital grounds Dec. 31.

“The gunman perpetrated a physical act of causing death, but these people willingly gave their lives because they loved God — and loving God, they loved the Yemeni people,” Brady said. “They loved where they were.

“The last thing Bill Koehn said to me was, ‘I live in the most beautiful place on the earth.’

“Kathy Gariety was very passionate about this place, and loved it, and was willing to give her all for it. And they all did.”

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  • Erich Bridges