New book about IMB martyrs to inspire many

By July 6, 2005

USA (MNN) — Every month somewhere around the world Christians give their lives for the cause of Christ. Many are serving the humanitarian needs of their fellow man with the hope of sharing the Gospel with them. Others are answering God’s call to take the Hope of Christ to a dying world. Others, are providing necessary expertise to allow God’s Word to be proclaimed.

Over the first five years of the 21st Century the eight men and women with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board gave their lives in service for Christ. Erich Bridges co-authored a book to commemorate their loss. It’s called, “Lives Given, Not Taken.” It chronicles the lives of eight full-time and part-time missionaries who died in Iraq, Yemen and the Philippines over the last few years.

Bridges says, “It’s been a tough couple of years, but it’s made us realize that martyrdom is still part of the life of the church and that missionaries at times will face this. But, God still uses martyrdom to advance His kingdom. And, that’s very much the case in these eight people.”

The hope, Bridges says, is that many Christians will be drawn to full-time missionary service as they were when the five missionaries were killed in the jungles of Ecuador in the 1950’s.

The bottom line, however, is that completing the Great Commission won’t happen safe and easy, says Bridges. “Reaching all peoples for Christ will not be accomplished without the blood of martyrs. That’s a lesson that we learn over and over again in church history and it is still the case today because the church is moving in to places where it has not penetrated ever, or in many centuries.”

You can get a copy of the book “Lives Given, Not Taken” stories of martyred IMB missionaries Bill Koehn, Kathy Gariety, Martha Myers, Bill Hyde, David McDonnell, Larry and Jean Elliot, and Karen Watson at the IMB website. Follow the highlighted link above.

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