Memorial to the victims of the Manorom Crash (source: https://omf.org/thailand/

Over 40 years ago, several OMF mission workers and TCKs from Manorom Hospital were killed in a horrific road accident in Thailand.

Those of us who are part of the global missions community are no stranger to tragedy.  Even if a misfortune hasn’t happened to us, to our loved ones or our teams, we have all heard of mission workers who have died in car or plane crashes, were killed by tropical diseases, wild animals or armed militants, or who suffered unspeakable trauma in some way.

We can be tempted to think that such issues are a senseless waste of life.  We could easily be angry at God for not protecting them.  But those who serve in mission have weighed the risks, and found it preferable to face the danger with Jesus than miss their calling through fear.  After all, we have already died, and our life is hidden with Christ (Colossians 3:3)

A few years ago when I was in Thailand I had the privilege of hearing first hand a testimony from a bystander at the Manorom accident.  Apparently one of the survivors took the opportunity to preach to the crowd, despite the fact that his own family had just been killed.  His message was essentially that it didn’t matter that they’d died, as they’d lived for Jesus and were now with him.  The man telling me this story had been so impressed by this assurance of salvation that he subsequently became a Christian, and is now a highly-respected church leader.

When we glibly quote Romans 8:28 we can be tempted to infer that “all things work together for the good of me”.   Which makes it very hard for us to understand when bad things happen to us.  Perhaps the real truth is that “those who love him” are a whole community that reaps the benefit, rather than people individually.  We can never know what good will come from each individual tragedy, but we can be certain that “precious in the sight of God is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15).

 

You can read David Pickard’s reflection on this tragedy on OMF’s Billions online.