I like humor. I like to laugh and tell jokes. I often refer to the mission field in humorous ways because even though the work may be hard, there are some funny moments in it all. But every so often we hear a sad and disturbing story. A local missionary was killed yesterday in Yemen for trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. He was gunned down in his car by two men on a motorcycle. Joel Shrum was 30, a husband with two young children. He was teaching vocational skills to poor communities.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this. We have all been taught that it can and will happen. Although this is hard to take for remaining family and friends it is a part of our faith. I am saddened by it today but I also rejoice in knowing that God will be glorified in it. As much as I fear this for people I know, I also hope that I may go out in this way some day. I hope that I will be able to hold to Stephen’s prayer in that time.
Please remember to pray for Joel’s family and co-workers. Please pray for the men responsible for this act of hate and violence. Pray that the lost will come to know HIM.
55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.