Thursday, April 09, 2009


A couple of days ago, I shared with y'all about the death of a young missionary in South Africa, Sarah Buller. You can read that post here:

Last year, I took my two oldest daughters to Swaziland with me. This summer,my oldest daughter returns without me for a month of ministry. I'm a scaredy cat at heart. I'm very protective of my kids...I even send my cell phone with them when they just walk down the road to the creek. I've just now started letting my two teenage daughters walk around the mall without me. And we still don't let them spend the night at anyone's house unless we've known the parents for at least a hundred years. And did I tell you that my 15 year old daughter is going to Africa without me for a month?

God's been teaching me a lot about obedience, trust, and sacrifice. And my kids have been a part of that.

Steve Basden, a staffer with Adventures in Missions, wrote the following in light of Sarah's death:

I just spent the day yesterday with some other staff members
at AIM responding to the fact that one of our First Year Missionary participants
in South Africa was killed in an automobile accident. In the midst of getting
the details of what happened, working to make sure the team in Africa is cared
for, contacting the family, and praying, I found myself thinking about the cost
associated with obedience. This wasn't an instance of martyrdom in the sense
that you and I think about martyrs. However, a life was lost as a result of
obedience to an understanding of God's will and and call. I've not spent much
time asking why. I know that on this side of eternity, there may not be a good
answer. What I do know is that God is sovereign and in His sovereignty He
allowed this tragedy to happen.

I've thought a lot about the parents in the last 24 hours. I can't imagine their pain. I think often about the parents who send their kids on our mission trips. I know that they are concerned for the safety of their kids. It's natural. You send your 18 year old half way around the world and as a parent, you worry. You understand that something could happen to them. But you move from that quickly, because the possibility of that happening is remote. And then it happens. As I spent the day working through the aftermath of this tragedy, it occurred to me that God doesn't have us playing games. Yesterday death reached up and took one of our missionaries. I know God was and is sovereign in the midst of that, but a price was paid today. If we're going to be in the center of God's will we will find ourselves in danger and the
consequences might be our lives. I've heard it said many times, "The center of
God's will is the safest place you can be." How completely untrue that is. The
martyrs would tell you that God's will is a dangerous place to be. God has sent
us as ambassadors into a world that is in opposition to Him. It is dangerous for
us to be in His will and in obedience we take risks.

This summer my 15 year old son, Ryan, will spend 5 weeks in Mexico serving our mission teams. As a parent I think about worst case scenarios. I understand that something could happen to him. I have a choice. Do I allow my son to be in a situation that God could use to make him look more like Jesus? Do I do that in spite of the known dangers or do I opt out of the danger and keep him home this summer? Yesterday I came face to face with the starkness of the possibilities. God reminded me of the cost that might be required and has asked me to choose. I choose to opt in
to the danger. I choose to risk something for the upward call of Christ. I
choose not to take the safe road that leads to complacency. I choose the danger
that exists within the will of the Father. I'm not sure how this will sound, but
I'd rather my son die in the midst of obediently responding to God's plan for
him, than to live a safe, mediocre life that is an affront to the reality of who
he is: an heir of the King, called to wage a battle for the establishment of the
Kingdom of the King. So I will let Ryan go to Mexico this summer and I'll pray
for two things. I'll pray for his safety, but I'll also pray that God begins to
awaken him to his destiny and that he begins to embrace the danger inherent in

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