The Missionary Heart

Karen Watson wrote her own epitaph. Its message has stirred me up to pray for more radical devotion to Christ. She has not died in vain. She was a Southern Baptist missionary to Iraq and was killed by unknown assailants March 15, 2004. I am mentioning it now simply because I was reading the book Lives Given, Not Taken: 21st Century Southern Baptist Martyrs, by Erich Bridges and Jerry Rankin. In it I ran across the letter that Karen wrote and left behind in an envelope that said "Open in case of death." It said in part:

Dear Pastor Phil and Pastor Roger,

You should only be opening this in the event of death.

When God calls there are no regrets. I tried to share my heart with you as much as possible, my heart for the nations. I wasn't called to a place; I was called to Him. To obey was my objective, to suffer was expected, His glory my reward, His glory my reward . . .

The missionary heart:
  • Cares more than some think is wise
  • Risks more that some think is safe
  • Dreams more than some think is practical
  • Expects more than some think is possible.
I was called not to comfort or to success but to obedience. . . .

There is no Joy outside of knowing Jesus and serving Him. I love you two and my church family.

In His care,

Salaam, Karen

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.