an entire family entered heaven together. Jamison and Kathryne Pals and their small children were driving from Minneapolis to Colorado for final preparations as missionaries to Japan. They planned to leave in October. But in an interstate construction zone in western Nebraska, a semi truck rear-ended the family’s vehicle. Tragically, the entire family died at the scene, including Jamison and Kathryne, both 29, and their three young children, 3-year-old Ezra, 23-month-old Violet, and 2-month-old Calvin. The 53-year-old trucker was arrested and charged with five counts of felony motor vehicle homicide.
Here is one of the last articles Jamison wrote (July 15, 2016):
Unreached and how we reach them (original source here)
In our last post, we shared why we feel burdened for unreached people groups. More specifically, we feel a burden for Japan, the largest unreached nation in the world. People are surprised to hear of the gospel needs in Japan. In some circles, the work of missions has become synonymous with humanitarian work. The popular picture of a missionary is someone who runs an orphanage, does community health, digs wells or comes into a country after a disaster strikes. Japan is a well developed country, so why would they need missionaries? That question is why we wrote our last post, and why we’ll continue writing this one.
We are not against humanitarian work. I (Jamison) am of the belief that–in a shrinking world–wisely and generously caring for the global poor is one way to fulfill the command to “love your neighbor as yourself.” I simply want to point out that many of the good humanitarian activities that Christian missionaries take part in are not the distinguishing activities of Christian missions. Non-Christians can do them and are doing them just as well, in some cases better.
The thing that makes Christian missions unique is Jesus Christ. The work of Christian missions is making him known in places and among people where he is not yet known; worshipped where he isn’t yet worshipped; obeyed where he isn’t yet obeyed; loved where he isn’t yet loved. In other words, missions is the work of “mak[ing] disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And, behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This is nothing new. The people of God have affirmed it since the Great Commission was issued some 2,000 years ago. But, from time to time, history shows that we’re prone to forget, to lose sight of the work Jesus Christ has left to his people until the end of the age. Continue reading