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FIRST-PERSON: 4 brave souls

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–We are deeply grieved once again at the tragic loss of brothers and sisters who were brutally slain while serving our Lord. These dear ones — Larry and Jean Elliott, Karen Watson and David McDonnall — lived and died for their precious Lord. Indeed, their lives and sacrifice reflect well the example and commands of our Savior, Jesus Christ, as they died ministering to the spiritual and physical needs of the Iraqi people.

Our hearts break with and for the families of the slain. In 1 Corinthians 12:26, the Apostle Paul wrote that when one member of the body suffers, the whole body suffers. The entire Southern Baptist family is mourning alongside those whose loved ones have been murdered. We pray that the Holy Spirit will minister His comfort, grace and peace — that peace that surpasses all understanding. We pray His peace will guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Southern Baptists around the world also join in praying for the full and speedy recovery of Carrie McDonnall, who was critically injured and lost her husband in this vicious attack.

The Apostle Peter wrote: “But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence” (1 Peter 3:14-15, NASB).

These four brave souls embodied the truth of this passage — they had sanctified Christ as Lord, they were ready to give a defense of their faith with gentleness and reverence, they suffered for the sake of righteousness, and now they are indeed most blessed as they have been ushered into the very presence of God. May God grant each of us the strength and grace to follow their example.

To our brothers and sisters around the world who are serving the Lord through the International Mission Board, we deeply appreciate your service and sacrifice and encourage you to stand fast, knowing that the entire Southern Baptist family is holding you up before the Lord.
Morris H. Chapman is president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee.

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  • Morris H. Chapman