FORT WORTH, Texas -- The pastor of Travis Avenue Baptist Church where David McDonnall, one of four Baptist workers killed March 15 in Iraq, testified the martyred missionary as one who would trust in the Lord above all things.
Travis Avenue Baptist Church is where Michael and his wife Carrie were commissioned last fall for fulltime service in Iraq. The Rev. Michael Dean was among those who prayed for them as they knelt before the alter before they left.
"No doubt that image is still very vivid in the minds of many of our people," Dean said. "It puts a very personal touch to the risk of the calling of missions."
According to Dean, David initially worried over the security in Iraq, and even considered buying a gun for his safety. However, after talking to Rev. Dean, he decided he would trust in the Lord as his shepherd and follow His guidance.
Therefore, despite the sorrow surrounding David’s death, Dean looked toward a greater purpose for the suffering.
"On a road in northern Iraq, there was a collision between some American civilians and some Iraqi terrorists, but it was really much more than that. It was a collision between love and hate."
Everybody knows, said Dean, that "love always wins out."
"This could be a hint that a spiritual awakening is in the future for Iraq," the pastor said. "If it holds true that the blood of the martyrs is the fuel of the fires of the Gospel being spread, this could be a great note of hope that the Gospel could make great inroads in that part of the world,” continued Rev. Dean.
Others who knew the McDonnalls agreed, David’s sacrifice was not in vain.
"David is a hero of the faith," said Brennan Searcy, a Southewestern PhD. Old Testament student who worked with the McDonnalls in the Middle East. "Just as people sacrificed their lives so that the Gospel could come to North America centuries ago, he's done the same thing in his effort to take the Good News to the people of Iraq. ...
"We should pray," he continued, "and we should go and do whatever it takes to do what these four people sacrificed their lives doing."