Friday, January 28, 2011

“Missionary Killed in Mexico”….

You have probably already seen the news…or read about it somewhere.  If not, you can go here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/us/28brfs-MISSIONARYSH_BRF.html?_r=1&ref=americas

http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/americas/01/26/mexico.missionary.shot/index.html

How tragic…how unsettling…how incredibly sad.  We prayed for the family, for the husband, at the seminary during morning devotions yesterday morning.  And, Jeanne and I have talked about the incident quite a bit in the last 24-hours.  How horrible to see someone who has given her life for some 40 years in Mexico, someone who has worked so long for good, to be brought down so thoughtlessly.

So, we had to think through it all to determine if there was a message in there for us, if there was a “sign” here for us…perhaps to consider packing it in and leaving?

The couple was in a dangerous area—all the border areas are quite dangerous.  And, they were on a highway that is known to be rather dangerous.  They were asked to stop, albeit at an illegal check-point/road-block (one run by thugs, narcos).  And, instead of stopping, they tried to run.  The narcos reacted as they would in any case of someone trying to outrun then—they opened fire.  The thugs wanted the couple’s pick-up/SUV—the preferred vehicle of narcos.  They steal them to use for drug transport and for their inter-cartel drug war.

The attack—as horrible as it is—came as a result of a bad choice on the part of the couple, perhaps the husband: he decided to run rather than turn over his vehicle.  And, the fatal shot was a response of the narcos…but not a knowing, conscious attempt to kill an American missionary.

So, we’re staying.  American missionaries are not being targeted. We simply have to live with great prudence—avoid known problem areas, stay calm in tense situations…and be very willing to hand-over our keys to someone and walk away—a life is far more precious than a vehicle.

Somewhat sad but also funny to us is the fact that as we teach our teenaged children to drive, as they complete drivers training, we have to teach them how to react to such situations:  “If some approaches the car with a gun, give them the keys and walk away.”  “If you find yourself caught in or near a shoot-out, pull over immediately and get in the floorboard.”  What?  Not a part of your driving training in the US??

No one ever said that life on the mission-field would be easy—it’s not.  However, we are fulfilling that call and passion God has put in our lives…and we ask for your prayers as we press on!  God is good…all the time!

1 comment:

Steve and Suzanne Buchele said...

Thanks for the thoughtful post Jon. You all were in our Prayers this morning after we read the news in the Austin American Statesman.

While not having been in that exact situation, we have been in situations similar, and I find your advice sound. A since of humor at the check-point and some grease can go a long way toward safety.