FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Six weeks after the attack that killed David McDonnall and three other International Mission Board aid workers in Iraq, Carrie McDonnall stood with the aid of a walker before a gathering of colleagues, family and friends at a memorial service for her husband.
She was in a coma on a medivac flight en route to the United States when he was buried in March. Since then, McDonnall has been hospitalized and in rehabilitation recovering from her wounds. It was her first opportunity to participate in a service for her husband.
“We have come to celebrate my husband’s life,” she told those gathered in the chapel at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.
While there were tears and sorrow, the tone was one of celebration. David McDonnall was known for his humor and for a vigorous life lived on the edge. He had a laugh that could fill a room — a match for Carrie’s smile that still lights one — and a love for the Arab people.
Two songs written in his honor were sung, one delivered via the Internet from a co-worker in the Middle East. Video clips were shown, one produced by students who knew McDonnall when he was a student at the seminary celebrated his storytelling.
IMB President Jerry Rankin told the gathering that the gunmen who shot McDonnall “… could not take what he had already given.” And Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Seminary, awarded a posthumous degree of Master of Arts in missiology on behalf of the faculty and trustees.
Memorial services for others killed in the March 15 attack — Karen Watson of Bakersfield, Calif., and Larry and Jean Elliott of Cary, N.C. -– were held later that month.
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo titles: LEARNING TO PLAY AGAIN, A MEMORABLE WELCOME and HUMOR & FAITH.