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“I've thought a lot about whether I did good or bad”: Missionaries on John Allen Chau's death

November 30, 2018 World 0 Views An American missionary's death this month has led to an internal count among many…

An American missionary’s death this month has led to an internal count among many of his other missionaries.

After the missionary, John Allen Chau, a 26-year-old Seattle man, was killed by members of a Hunter’s Tribe on North Sentinel Island when he tried to visit them illegally, we asked missionaries to tell us how they saw Mr. Chau’s actions and how they responded to his death. We heard from more than 300 missionaries, mainly from the United States and Canada, who have worked around the world.

Many said they were decisive in their evangelical beliefs, but others said that Chau’s death had them reconsider what it means to be a missionary. And while some sympathized with Mr. Chau’s power to travel to the island and serve his inhabitants, others said that they were disturbed by what they saw as ruthlessness.

Here is an edited and condensed selection of their answers.

How has the killing of John Allen Chau made you think differently about missionary work?

& # 39; Assignments must be reformed

& # 39; Picture Jamie Arpin-Ricci at home in Winnipeg.

I have a deep commitment to address the history of colonization linked to mission and the damage we have done as a result.

The “single ranger” hero missionary story is VERY popular with Christians, while it is very unhelpful as an example. This enhances my determination that missions need to be reformed.

– Jamie Arpin-Ricci, 41, Winnipeg, Canada . Served 25 years as a missionary, mainly in Canadian cities.

John’s Death Encourages Me to Think About Eternity “

John’s death encourages me to think more about eternity, the calling of God on my life and how far I am willing to go for to share the love of God.

– Reynold Mainse, 57, Gulu, Uganda . A Canadian, he has served for four years as a missionary in Uganda with his American wife.

“I have thought a lot

Amy Peterson, the forefront of her mission in Southeast Asia in the early 2000s.

I worked as an English teacher and an “undercover” missionary in a country where proselytism was forbidden In the last 15 years I have thought a lot about whether I did good or bad when I shared the Gospel with those women.

“Missionary Myth” I grew up with originally developed next to the American border – in both, a robust individual puts say to conquer one new world. Both of you can find white superiority and western cultural imperialism. All of this leads to the kind of effort that John Allen Chau has done – a right in line with the way missionary work has often been mythologized in the White American Church.

– Amy Peterson, 37, Upland, Ind

& # 39; The goal is to change the hearts, not to change cultures.


Grace Laurel Rogers on her mission trip to Romania.

The murder has made me really think of and defines my views of being a missionary. Why do I do it, how I do it, how to do it right.

The goal is to change the hearts, not to change cultures.

– Grace Laurel Rogers, 22, Charleston, S.C. Served on mission trips to Romania and East Asia.

“If someone is really called by God to do something, they must do it.”


Mike Wilson in Haiti, where he lives and works with his family.

I think if anyone is true is called by God to do something, they have to do it. Jesus broke with his traditions and taboos to make contact with the lover lover. The world will not always look up for my safety; Much of that responsibility is for me, and with my faith I have to go and do what I’m called to do.

– Mike Wilson, 46, Leogone, Haiti . Served several short-term missionary trips to Haiti since 2003; has lived there with his family full time since 2014.

“I was not there to save souls or convert people”


Andrew Millman, Center, meeting with community leaders on his mission in Moscow. [19659009] As someone serving a progressive main line of Protestant denomination, I went through extensive education on cultural skills, postcolonial theory and faithless organization. I was not there to “save souls” or to transform people but sent instead of living in solidarity with marginalized communities while working for holistic systemic reform.

I think Chau’s decision was uninformed, arrogant and self-serving. He has reinforced the stereotype of all missionaries as brash young colonists who try to tame “primitive” tribes.

– Andrew Millman, 30, Colorado Springs, Colo. Valid from 2013-15 as Global Mission Fellow with United Methodist Church in Moscow, working with the West African diaspora there.

“This situation has begun to analyze my own priorities


Harmonie Chapman, in striped shirt, is leading a children‘s program on behalf of Japan.

I think this situation has begun to analyze my own priorities and decide if I am willing to risk everything to reach those who do not yet know God.

– Harmonie Chapman, 22, Mitchelton, Australia. Has served as a missionary with youth with mission based in Brisbane, Australia since 2017.

“Let Justice Leave in Almighty God’s Hands”

Being a missionary is difficult, but you count the cost before you go. Even in death you have to be willing to share the jump as is all for you to the world. The idea of ​​being thrown into a Nepalese prison cell did not frighten me so much as the idea that all people in the country die without hearing about Jesus. That’s why we did r what we do.

This is a tough puzzle. By the end of the day, the death of another person is wrong.

But to punish them with virtually foreign laws, it would be wrong in my opinion. Let justice be left in the hands of an almighty god here, because this case seems to be out of the hands of the Indian government.

– Blake Dahlin, 21, Calimesa, California. Served nine -month mission starting in 2017, in Swaziland, Lesotho, India, Nepal, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

What do you think about Mr. Chau’s decision to venture into an isolated and forbidden society vulnerable to the crowd? [19659053] “Why must he go to one place in the world where he was not allowed?”

There are many other people in the world who need to hear about Jesus Christ. Why does he have to go to a place in the world where he could not go?

– Spencer Yamada, 28, Provo, Utah. Served a two-year mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the countryside of Washington State and Oregon.

“The threat of sickness was nothing compared to the reality of eternal corruption”

From where I stand now, it seems irresponsibly stupid. But from his point of view – a point of view that I used to keep – the threat of disease was nothing compared to the reality of eternal perdition.

My goal was to share the gospel with Muslims and eventually plant churches of Muslim-background believers. I thought that anyone who had not received Jesus Christ as his savior was condemned, and going to an “unjust” place like Sindh was simply the most logical and faithful I could do.

– Matthew Cook, 36, Toronto. Valid from 2005-09 as an evangelical missionary in Sindh, Pakistan.

“I think sharing the gospel is the risk of the potential division of disease”

It is a real problem to be aware of the potential of disease spread, but I think sharing the gospel is the risk of the potential division of disease as well.

– Michael Meyerdirk, 25, Bratislava, Slovakia. Living in Slovakia and serving with a Christian non-profit organization.

“I wish he had heard a doctor”

Brady Cook, left, met a local manager in Zimbabwe. “Had to ask his permission to come to his country,” said Cook.

I do not know in many other ways that he could have prepared for where he went, but there is always a risk when a new area is evangelized. Somebody must be the first through the door, and I think John Chau thought it was his duty to be that person.

I wish he had consulted doctors who specialize in that area to understand the risks first and if it poses a significant danger, find other ways to communicate the gospel to them, such as books, works of art or even a Bible that was

– Brady Cook, 32, Greenville, Tex. Spent seven weeks on a mission to Zimbabwe in 2007.

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