The cost John Chau was willing to pay
MISSIONS FEST ALBERTA
Our hearts have been saddened in recent days, to learn of the death of one of our All Nations workers. I’m sure you have heard of this in the news. John Chau died after being attacked by bows and arrows as he attempted to engage with an unreached tribe on the North Sentinel Island in the Indian Ocean. We have been mourning his death, and honouring his life.
When Floyd and I first met, he had been greatly impacted as a young man by the life of Jim Elliot – the missionary to the Huaorani Indian tribe in Ecuador. Jim and four others were martyred as they tried to reach the tribe in 1949. Jim had said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” That became a motto for Floyd in his call to ministry. I remember him telling me that he/we might have to give our lives someday if we followed God’s call. We prayed and dedicated ourselves to Him.
That cost was never asked of us, but it’s one that John was willing to make. In a recent newsletter, John had said he was willing to do whatever needed to be done to make contact with this tribe. He journalled the night before he was killed, and asked his family not to be angry if he didn’t survive. John was willing to take on the hard challenges. He had been praying, planning, training, and preparing for years for this step. It wasn’t a light-hearted decision.
In recent years, when Floyd preached on fulfilling the Great Commission by taking the Gospel to “every tribe and tongue,” he often said that all the “easy” places have been taken. To fulfill what God has asked us to do, we need to be willing to sacrifice, to lay down our lives. There is cost involved. And Floyd would always ask for those who would be willing to go.
We know it’s true – the places that are still unreached are the “hard” ones. Nonetheless, it brings grief to our hearts when we see what the cost might be. My prayer is that the “seed” of John’s life that has been planted will bear fruit for the Kingdom in the time to come. “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” John 12:24
As we grieve for our friend, and pray for his family, we also pray for the unreached tribe that he carried so close to his heart. We remember, too, that throughout church history, the privilege of sharing the Gospel has often involved great cost. We pray that John’s sacrificial efforts will bear eternal fruit in due season.
“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14
“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9
Please join us in praying for the Sentinelese tribe, and for John’s family, friends, and co-workers. The Lamb is worthy! Someday, we’ll worship Him together around the throne.
Floyd McClung was a Missions Fest
Alberta Keynote Speaker 2004 & 2007