Martyrdom: One Missionary’s Death Impacts the World’s Largest Democracy

The Australian medical missionary,  Dr Graham Staines, 58, & his 2 sons, Philip, 10, and Timothy,, 6, were burnt to death in their car in the state of Orissa, India,  on  January  23, 1999.

God had prepared Gladys, Graham’s widow, for bearing this greatest grief. She recalls: “I believe God very specially spoke to me on January 14, during my morning Quiet Time. I use a particular daily Bible reading book as help. The story for that day’s reading ran like this: There was a young 12-year-old girl in hospital that was losing her sight. Her pastor came to visit her and she told him, “Pastor, God is taking away my sight.” For a long time, the pastor kept silent and then said, “Jessie, don’t let Him.” The girl was puzzled, and then the wise pastor said, “Give it to Him”. As I meditated upon this story, an inner voice asked me whether I was also willing to give all that I love – my husband, children, and possessions for Him. I spent much time on this. Tears began to roll down my cheeks. Then I told Him, “Lord Jesus, yes, I am willing, take all that I have, for Your use – my husband, children and everything that I have. I surrender them all to You.” The Lord comforted me by saying. “Don’t you know that Abraham pleased me by sacrificing his only son, Isaac…” These days, our blessed Lord has been strengthening me in very unusual ways.”

Asked whether she planned to leave India for good, Gladys said: “Never. My husband and our children have sacrificed their lives for this nation. India is my home. I am happy to be here.”

Gladys and her daughter, Esther, announced their forgiveness of those who had murdered their family. Because of these events, Christ has been proclaimed from the front pages of the newspapers of India. In the face of persecution, many are coming to Jesus from families that have rejected the Gospel for years.

Another martyred missionary, Jim Elliot had this to say: “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Think about it.


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