On March 14, 2018, International Mission Board missionaries Randy and Kathy Arnett died as a result of injuries suffered in an automobile accident in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Arnetts were traveling with fellow IMB missionaries Jeff and Barbara Singerman to a training conference for pastors outside of the capital of Kinshasa. As a result of that accident, Jeff and Barbara also sustained some very serious injuries.
When I first heard this news, I was in China, and my heart was broken. I know the Singerman family well. Jeff and Barbara are members of the church I pastor in Dayton, OH. Their children grew up in our church (when they were home from the mission field). Two years ago, we helped launch Josh and Kari Ortega (Jeff and Barbara’s daughter) to plant H2O church on the campus of Wright State University. Barbara’s parents, Bill and Lucille Burns, are members of my church. This family means the world to me, and I was on the other side of the planet with limited access to communication and no ability to help.
Thankfully, we have a mission board that is prepared to deal with these tragic situations. Jeff and Barbara were flown to South Africa to get the medical care they needed, and they did not have to worry about who was paying for it, who was arranging it, or how they would make things work for their family while they recover. The reason for that is because of the faithfulness of Southern Baptists across this country who give to the Cooperative Program.
In times like these I am thankful for many things: 1) That we have missionaries like the Arnetts and Singermans who put their lives in harm’s way every day to share the gospel in hard places. 2) That we have a system like the Cooperative Program that allows us to pool our resources so that when situations like this occur, our missionary force can receive the best and most compassionate care possible. There is no way my church could have afforded to do what all of us can do together. 3) While I was unable to help this family in a tangible way, Southern Baptists from around the globe immediately began to pray, to love on the family of the Arnetts, and to reach out to the Singermans with encouragement and prayer.
We have something special in the Cooperative Program. Take a moment and watch the video below and see if you don’t agree that we are truly #BetterTogether.