In the 1990s I had a friend, Graham Turnbull, who gave up a safe job in the UK because he was sure God was calling him to Rwanda. After teaching there for a short while during the immediate aftermath of the genocide, he sensed God calling him to work for the UN as an observer. His friends and family also saw this as God’s call. After Graham had been some weeks working in Rwanda and Burundi, I heard a BBC report of the death of UN observers, ambushed and killed. Graham was one of them.
People like Graham and like James Foley are modern martyrs – people who have sought to bring peace and hope, or to raise awareness. People who have seen the light of God and have chosen to follow that light wherever it leads.
While they have not sought death, they have seen the goodness and justice of particular actions and have undertaken them even at risk to their own lives. They call us to greater efforts for peace, justice, honesty, openness.
RIP Graham and James.