He’s dead.  Lover of Jesus. Husband.  Father.  Teacher.  Leader.  OPEN worker. My friend. And now a martyr. Shot by a sniper while out running, getting some exercise.

Whether riding motorcycles, running, he was a fast paced – frontlines type of guy. We had talked on several occasions. I was encouraged by his vision, his heart, his “all in”, “I am willing to lay down my life for the Lord” attitude.

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.  (Rev.12:11)

He counted the cost and he paid in full.  And it’s assuring to know his sacrifice will not go unrewarded by God.  It is the souls of martyrs (not missionaries, evangelists or pastors) who are given the front row seats in heaven. (Rev 6:9)  And it is not the missionaries but the martyrs of whom it is said, The world was not worthy of them. (Heb 11:38)

Certainly there are lessons to be learned from this, but this is not the time for lessons.  It’s a time to grieve the loss of a solid brother.  It’s time to surround and love on his widow and son.

Was he murdered because of his nationality? His faith? Or because he just happened to be at the wrong place (near the USA Consulate) at the wrong time?  We may never know.  Yet I hope and pray this will spur more to go forward, to claim hearts for the King of Kings.

Andreas Riss, served in Ghana in the 1830s.  In those years that part of Africa was known as “the missionary graveyard”. Andreas saw 7 of his co-workers die due to disease.  He wrote home,
Let us press on. All of Africa must be won for Christ.  Though a thousand die, send more.
This commitment was typical of many of the early workers to Africa.  This was my friend’s thinking. Today sub-Sahara Africa is one of the most evangelized regions in the world.  May his example spur 100s more to take his place.

We miss you Ronnie.

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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