David McDonnall's wife, family, friends remember his life

( [email protected] ) May 12, 2004 07:29 PM EDT

Six weeks after the attack that killed David McDonnall and three other International Mission Board aid workers in Iraq, Carrie McDonnall received her first opportunity to participate in a service for her husband. Since the attack in March, McDonnall had been in rehabilitation, recovering from the wounds she suffered.

At the chapel of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, McDonnall told the gathering of colleagues, family and friends, “We have come to celebrate my husband’s life.”

Although there were tears and sorrow, the tone was one of celebration. Those who knew David McDonnall testified to his humor and for the vigorous life lived on the edge. He had a laugh that could fill a room and a love for the Arab people.

IMB President Jerry Rankin, also present at the service, told the gathering that the gunmen who shot McDonnall “... could not take what he had already given.”

During the service, video clips were shown, one produced by students who knew McDonnall when he was a student at the seminary celebrated his storytelling, while two songs written in his honor were sung, one of which was delivered via the Internet from a co-worker in the Middle East.

Also, Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Seminary, awarded a posthumous degree of Master of Arts in missiology on behalf of the faculty and trustees.