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When Karen Watson felt God's call to go to Iraq, she responded by
resigning her job, selling her car, her house and other possessions. When
she left, everything she owned was contained in a duffle bag. Today, her
duffle bag has become a reminder of the work she did in telling people
in Iraq about Jesus Christ.
Watson's family shared her story with the President of the Southern
Baptist International Mission Board, Jerry Rankin, at her funeral. Rankin
then took Watson's message of sacrifice to a Missions Conference in New
Orleans. He encouraged students, faculty, and staff at New Orleans Baptist
Theological Seminary to consider missions not out of obligation to fulfill
the Great Commission, but because they are compelled by the Love of Jesus.
Rankin said, "Media and culture, they just don't get it. Why would
anyone go to a place where their lives would be at risk?" He added, "We
have all succumbed to a culture and a philosophy where it is all about
us, it's all about our comfort, all about our security, all about our future
in this life. They never understand that there is something worth giving
your life to. There is a purpose that's worth dying for. But the world
doesn't understand that." Rankin says no one becomes obedient to the point
of giving one’s life through a sense of obligation because Jesus told them
to go. He says, "No, you are driven by a passion in your heart for a lost
In addition to her duffle bag, Watson left a letter with her pastor
that was to be opened only upon her death. When the letter was opened after
she and three other workers were murdered in Iraq, Watson made it clear
she had counted the cost of going. In handwritten capital letters she wrote,
"THERE ARE NO REGRETS."
2 Cor. 5:14 (NIV) "For Christ's love compels us, because we are
convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died."
From Fresh Illustrations, http://www.freshministry.org/illustrations.html
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