A person at the church sent this to me Sunday morning. "Some of you they will kill." Luke 21:16. "The victim was spreading Christianity to the Yemeni people.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror network's affiliate in Yemen, claimed responsibility for the killing. In a text message sent to Yemeni media outlets, the group said the victim was spreading Christianity, calling him one of the biggest missionaries in the country.
But the International Training and Development Center said the victim, whom it identified as "Joel S.," was not a missionary. "He was an American development worker who had been working in Yemen with his wife and two children since 2010," when he began working for the education center, it said. "Unfortunately Joel S. has been accused of being a part of a proselytizing campaign, but the staff of ITDC, which consists of Muslims, Christians and other religions working together, has continually focused on human development, skill transfer and community development," the center said. "Joel S. was a very professional employee who highly respected the Islamic religion." Authorities have not said who killed the teacher. The head of security in the province, Mohamed Saidi, identified him as Joel Shrum.
The U.S. Embassy in the capital, Sanaa, said it had heard reports of an American death and was investigating. It did not confirm that an American had been killed. On Thursday, tribesmen demanding the release of prisoners kidnapped a female Swiss teacher in Hodeida on the Red Sea coast, officials said.
A couple of thoughts. First, I have no doubt that he was doing missionary work. You cant go to the Middle East as a missionary, at least not out in the open. You always go under some other avenue. Second. Of course the Agency says that, they would not want to damage the ability to work, and yes, maybe proclaim the gospel.
But Third, while you weep for his family. But at the same time, rejoice, because, as so many saints before him (Act 5:42), He has been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
Some of you they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name's sake (Luke 21:16-17). Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:11-13).