I was heartbroken this past week when I heard the story of Jamison and Kathryn Pals and their three children, who tragically died in a car accident. They were a missionary family from Minneapolis heading to their final training in Colorado before leaving to serve Jesus in Japan.
Their blog, Joy for Japan, described their excitement on serving in Japan and their preparations for the journey. Jamison, in particular, had a heart to serve overseas for many years, and this would have been a dream fulfilled. Instead, a few weeks ago, these two people, both 29, with a heart to serve Jesus, along with their children, ages 3, 1, and 2 months, went home to heaven together.
In one of his posts (March 2016), Jamison wrote, “Maybe I subconsciously envisioned this stage of ministry as something like climbing a mountain- it takes a lot of work, but at least it’s a stationary object…We’ve come to find that we’re not up against a stationary object. The mountain fights back…Our God is strong; therefore, we do not fear. He has promised that his Church will prevail over the gates of hell….He will be exalted among the nations and in all the earth.”
Jamison and his wife knew they would face obstacles in their journey to share Jesus, but they pushed forward. Before they could reach Japan, they went home to be with the Lord, but as he stated in his post, God will still be exalted among the nations because of their testimony.
Thank you, Jesus, for the courage of people like Jamison and Kathryn Pals, who were willing to take a risk and serve you in a foreign land. Thank you for missionary Jim Elliot, who was killed while trying to save the natives of Ecuador and who said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” May I, too, have that kind of courage in you and walk in the freedom you paid for.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1