"Have you grace to be a martyr?" D.L. Moody was once asked.
"No," he replied, "I have not. But if God wanted me to be one, he would give me a martyr's grace."
They came from around the world. Administrators, teachers, doctors and nurses, church planters and pilots. Regular people in the prime of life.
In A Martyr's Grace, Marvin Newell tells the individual stories of these faithful men and women who made a difference in the places they served. He also describes—in many cases for the very first time—how Jesus called them home. Their legacies live on in the rainforests, villages, churches, and cities where they died.
What is it that compels ordinary people to sacrifice their lives in this way? Only Christ. They didn't go expecting to die. But they went—having already given their lives.
D. L. Moody wrote: "If we live for God we must suffer persecution. The kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light are at war...As long as the kingdom of darkness is permitted to exist, there will be a conflict, and...if you want to be popular in heaven, and het a reward that shall last forever, you will have to by unpopular here." Moody Bible Institute has a history of training and equipping soldiers to enter into the kingdom of darkness and fight for the souls of man. In Marvin Newell's A Martyr's Grace, you will read about twenty-one Moody students who were found "unpopular" among militants, combatants, guerillas, rebels, extremists, communists, and bandits, all because they chose to engage in the battle for souls in God's kingdom. After reading their stories of relentless courage and resolve in the face of death, you will be challenged and inspired to live a life engaged in the same battle and consider it an honor to fight alongside others who are "unpopular."
-Tom White, Executive Director, The Voice of the Martyrs, USA
Missionaries have been described as ordinary people with an extraordinary calling. Dr. Newell's compelling research of these who were called to martyrdom is both inspiring and instructive. Each step of obedience these servants took brought them closer to God until one day--quite unexpectedly in most cases--they found themselves in His very presence. Our call into ministry is not without cost. Some in our churches today must answer the call to the hard places. I highly recommend this book as an excellent way to enrich our understanding of being called into missionary service. I am looking forward to the day when there will be no need for a martyr's grace, but until that day comes, these stories powerfully demonstrate God's faithfulness to those He called to martyrdom.
-Dr. Mike McDowell, Mission Pastor, Christ Community Church--Zion, IL
Psalm 46:10 reads, in part: "Cease striving and know that I am God's." A Martyr's Grace stops us in our tracks as we reflect on brothers and sisters in Christ who were called upon to give their all. Story after story draws the reader to consider afresh what God calls us to do, and what we as leaders are calling others into. The lives detailed here resonate with the rest of Psalm 46:10: "I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in all the earth." In the end, it is God who is calling and we don't know where that might lead. We do know that ultimately, it will end with him.
-Rev. Greg H. Parsons, General Director, USCWM
In Africa, I stood before hallowed soil at the grave markers of missionaries, some of whom had died violently for the cause of Christ. I was sobered and at the same time motivated in my own service to Christ. Dr. Newell's work serves as an importnat marker to remember and honor some of those who experienced A Martyr's Grace. This book is carefully researched with grace, and Dr. Newell in his telling of the stories has preserved the dignity of those who suffered under brutal hands. In their own words taken from their letters and journals, the missionaries' thoughts and motives ring clear. Loss for Christ is always gain.
-Dr. John H. Orme, Executive Director, IFMA--Wheaton, IL
This is a very unusual and challenging book. It will not be easy to read, especially in this day of so much shallow commitment to the Lord. These are people who truly gave their all and we can learn so much from them.
-George Verwer, Operation Mobilization
In reading this book, I was struck again by how "ordinary" these martyrs were. Yes, many had outstanding abilities and displayed mature Christian character even during their school years, but, as the author points out, no one would have picked them out during their days at Moody as future martyrs. Yet, as martyrs, most of the people Marvin Newell writes about had an incredible impact on the kingdom of God. The martyrdom of Arthur Tylee and Mildred Kratz was the event that most shaped South America (Indian) Mission for two decades after their death and still has an impact on us today. Their story, along with that of the nineteen other "Moody Martyrs" will encourage you to entrust your life to God and allow Him to use you for His glory as He chooses.
-Bill Ogden, Executive Director, South America Mission
Will the 21st century witness many martyrs for Christ? Will North American Christians suffer persecution in great gospel advance? Signs point that way. Marv Newell's inspiring collection of Moody Bible Institute students who've suffered martyrs' deaths while on mission for Christ will provide wisdom for the future by looking to the past. Moody grads, missionaries, and all believers will be blessed to consider afresh the cost of the cross for 21st century faith.
-Jim O'Neill, President, CrossWorld