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Putting missionaries in harm’s way

What a summer it’s been!  Karen and I are doing a debrief in Guatemala now, but it’s gotten a little crazy elsewhere in our world.  This morning, our leaders and those on our project in Matamoros, Mexico awoke to assess the damage left by Hurricane Dolly.  Thankfully ever…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

What a summer it’s been!  Karen and I are doing a debrief in Guatemala now, but it’s gotten a little crazy elsewhere in our world.  This morning, our leaders and those on our project in Matamoros, Mexico awoke to assess the damage left by Hurricane Dolly.  Thankfully everyone is OK.
 

More traumatic was what happened to our team in Johannesburg, South Africa two nights ago where a squad was robbed at gunpoint in the hostel they were staying at in (for a more detailed report see Kim’s blog). Here’s team leader Rusty Jackson’s report:

Dear World Race Parents,
 
Guns were pointed at people, threats were made, but NO ONE was physically harmed. Praise the Lord! However, LOTS of our stuff was taken: cash, cameras, computers, passports, phones, clothes, IPODs, etc. Id say the whole thing lasted about 20 minutes. As soon as it was over, the first thing we did was to make sure everyone was OK. Then we started taking an inventory of what was taken, I called AIM, and then people began calling and canceling cards. So anyway, things are just now settling down.

Just so you know, I got the squad at a missionary base an hour away from JoBurg. Luckily, when we get to India our team coaches Michael and Kathy Hindes will be there to help us process thru everything. Believe me, we are taking this matter seriously and we do understand the need for counseling at this time.

Here’s a list of my personal losses:

1. Laptop computer
2. Bible
3. Journal
4. iPOD
5. Two cell phones
6. Passport
7. Credit card and two bank cards

8. 100 USD cash
Plus some other small items that were in my small backpack.

“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” – Philippians 3:8

I love the response of our young people.  Robbed of everything, they are undeterred and continuing on in their mission.  And the youth leaders from the Jamaica trip are pretty awesome too. One said, “Let me know when you guys open up Kingston again.  We want to be the first ones who go back there!”
 
It’s time for the Church that Jesus gave his life to establish to stop trying to find ways to arbitrage risks and to start responding to attacks with this kind of loving boldness.

Comments (8)

  • I just want to cry… and it’s not defeated tears… it’s kind of a combination of frightened, joyous, awed and amazed tears… I love all of you so much, sight unseen, and pray for you always… I’m so proud of you all… a little envious… you are my heroes in this world… and I’m so greatful for your safety, for your loving, giving, serving hearts… for your mission… for your weakness and your strength… God bless you every one…

  • I’m so thankful everyone is ok!! As a mom what a reminder to put my children in God’s hands and depend on Him to keep them safe and let my children go WHEREVER God leads them.

  • Dear Dadi Seth,
    We are happy and thanks God everybody is ok.We will be praying for the lost things.
    God is good God and He will be return back soon.We are also praying for the team in India.May God bless them richly and God use them overther for His glory.We are continouly praying for visit in Pakistan.
    God bless You.
    Ps.Emmanuel.

  • I’m not going to lie; I am scared to death to “amen” your last line of this blog. But, in faith, I will. So… Amen Seth!

  • While we were in South Africa in January, we walked in upon a robbery in process. A couple of small items were stolen, but as with the other story, praise God that no one was hurt.

    That said, it did scare me a bit and to be honest, made me have second thoughts about wanting to return to Africa as full-time missionaries, but I had to remind myself that if God calls me and my family to go somewhere, then we need to be willing to go, no matter the cost.

    If I’m really wanting to follow Jesus, then I must be willing to follow Him into the dangerous places if that’s where He leads. After all, He went to a pretty dangerous place when He came to earth. From the very beginning of His time on earth His life was at risk. And Father God protected and kept Him til the task on earth was complete…and then He gave up His life willingly.

    I pray that I will be able to have that same faith, trust, and then sacrificial heart. That I will trust God wherever He leads, and if that path leads to harm, even death, that I will die knowing that He will provide even then and that ALL things work together for the good of those who love Him and that even DEATH cannot seperate me from God’s love.

    We must not let fear keep us from going into those very places that need God’s transforming power the most.

  • This is tough stuff. This is the frontlines… For all you beloved ones that lost a thing or more; may your lose(s) be Christ’s gain in more ways than we could ever jointly wish…in Jesus name! Amen! Be Strong…He smiles on you!!

  • I wonder how God’s gonna use that bible in those gunmen’s hands? I’ll bet they got a lot more than they bargained for…reading all of this is so encouraging to know that this generation is still alive and moving and actively breaking ground for the kingdom of God.Prayers are with all of you 🙂

  • Just finished reading CRAZY LOVE by F. Chan and I thought of this team during one part. He talked about that though its not wrong for safety on trips, what would our lives and the world look like if we also prayed “do whatever you need to do on this trip to bring me closer to Jesus” or something like that. Wow! Now that kind of praying really means we gotta trust the Father.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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