by Ginny Dent Brant
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” – John 15:13, The New King James Version
After September 11, 2001, our safety, freedom, way of life, and financial security were threatened. Fear swept through this country like a tidal wave engulfing every object in its path. And we were the objects-all of us.
Although I remembered what the missionaries in Yemen had taught me on my trip there in 1997, I was keenly aware that their level of danger had increased far more than mine. They prepared me before I left them, it might be God’s will for them to die a martyr’s death for the sake of His Kingdom. They, like the Apostle Paul, were willing to give it all for the sake of the Gospel. They lived in primitive and dangerous situations so the Yemeni people could see Jesus in them. They loved the people of Yemen and the people of Yemen loved them. These “Heroes of the Faith” were willing to take up the cross of Jesus and follow him even unto death for the sake of their Yemeni friends.
Five years after my visit to this dark corner of the Middle East, three of these missionaries died instantly when shot by a member of Al Qaeda on December 30, 2002. This leader in Yemen feared Christian influence in his country and would be sentenced six months later to die. I attended their memorial service in Richmond, Virginia and two of these dear servants requested burial on the grounds of the hospital in Yemen. It was the Yemeni people who lovingly built their caskets, dug their graves, and lined the streets as their caskets passed by to pay tribute to these saints.
As for the missionaries left behind, the tragic deaths of their colleagues did not stop the work of God in this country. It has only caused it to grow and multiply. The missionaries have all chosen to continue with their work and not one of them has chosen to leave-not even the wife of the hospital administrator who was slain.
To say that my life was touched by the courage, dedication, and service of these medical missionaries is an understatement. They did not consider themselves to be heroes, but they became “Heroes of the Faith” to me. They lived as if dying were gain.
Each day as you dirty your feet walking in this world-live it as though dying is gain. This is the heart of the Gospel. There is no greater love!