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Student missionary dies in Peru accident

REVISED Monday, Nov. 22, 2010

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–Gregory Gomez IV, 22, a student missionary serving in Peru for the summer through the International Mission Board, was killed in a bus accident July 5. Gomez was traveling with another IMB student missionary and a national translator when the accident occurred near the town of Abancay. The other missionary and the translator received only minor injuries.

Gomez arrived in Lima, Peru, in late May with 60 other student missionaries to serve on the REAP (Rapid Entry Advance Plan) South Team. He had been traveling around southern Peru researching unreached people groups.

“Our researchers do all the footwork to provide us with the information we need to know what areas to enter, how long it takes to get there and what we’re going to find when we get there,” said missionary Kathy Weaver. “It’s been the crowning glory of our ministry to have these students here every summer –- they’re such an asset. It overwhelms me to see the spiritual depth that they have.”

Originally from Natchez, Miss., Gomez was living just outside St. Louis, Mo., prior to his service in Peru. A recent graduate of the University of Mississippi, Gomez received a mechanical engineering degree. He was campus chapter president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, vice president of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity and a member of the Engineering Student Body Executive Council. He had been employed by the Nestlé Purina PetCare Product Technology Center as an engineering intern.

A member of Bethel Baptist Church in Troy, Ill., Gomez also attended North Oxford Baptist Church in Oxford, Miss. He served on the Baptist Student Union leadership team, organized small-group Bible studies and was involved in discipleship.

Mo Baker, BSU director at Ole Miss, said Gomez had deferred a good job offer in order to go to Peru.

“Greg was doing what he considered to be the will of God,” Baker said. “He knew God wanted the nations to hear the Gospel and he was willing to forsake or delay a career –- opportunities to make money –- so that he could fulfill a mission to preach the Gospel to all the nations. This was his one big opportunity to do that and that’s why he chose to go. He went out doing what he felt called to do.”

Posted on Gomez’s blog are comments from family and friends, including one from Peru -– “I will miss Greg enormously. It was a great honor to meet him and, yes, he was obedient in doing what God called him to do. I know how painful it is to lose someone we hold dear, but remember to lean on the fact that we will be reunited again in Heaven.”

Gomez is survived by his parents, Elida and Gregory Gomez III, of Glen Carbon, Ill., and two sisters.

Funeral arrangements are pending.
Reported by BP international bureau sources.

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