Questions after a Missionary's Death

When William Borden died at age twenty-five in the dusty city of Cairo, Egypt, it looked like a senseless tragedy. The heir of Borden Dairy, William could have had any life he wished. Yet early on he recognized that his life belonged to Christ, and he followed God to Egypt to prepare to bring the Gospel to the Chinese Muslims. There he died, and engraved on his gravestone are the words, “Apart from faith in Christ, there is no explanation for such a life.”

Today we can read the story of William Borden’s life and see the great good that came from his dedication to serve God even if his life was taken. Countless men and women have been inspired by his example and the words in his Bible, “No reserve. No return. No regrets.” Nearly 100 years have passed since Borden’s death. Time gives perspective.

But in the aftermath, the early death of God’s servants is difficult to comprehend. Luke and Rebecca Onley, independent Baptist missionaries to England, were five months into their deputation when the unthinkable occurred. On October 11, 2009, Rebecca Onley received the call that her husband was in a terrible car accident and died on impact. Luke never made it to England, and he left behind a wife and two small children.

“I’ve been walking in a daze not really sure of the emotions of life, but during all this time the Lord has never seemed closer to me and our two young children.” She says she doesn’t know why this happened, but she is so thankful for those that were saved at her husband’s funeral.

It’s impossible to explain why God would take home those so committed to sharing the Gospel. But the question we should ask ourselves is not, “Why would God?” The question is, “Who will go?” Rebecca said, “My prayer is that through Luke’s accident someone will surrender to go to England as a missionary.” Who will take his place? Who will carry the torch which he has left for us?

If you would like to support the Onley family during this trial, donations can be sent to Luke Onley Memorial Fund c/o Windsor Baptist Church, 664 Academy Ct., Windsor, CO 80550.