Tragedy strikes in a flash. This recent story in the news broke my heart.  I thought of many friends and loved ones, and how they would answer the question, “If you lost your life today, do you know where you would spend eternity?”

One young Twin Cities family knew.  University of Northwestern college sweethearts, Jamison and Kathryne Pals along with their children, 4 year old Ezra, 2 year old Violet, and 2 month old Calvin, were traveling through Nebraska on Sunday when they were in an accident. They were on their way to fulfill their calling to be missionaries in Japan.  They loved Jesus and wanted to share Him with the world.

The whole family went to Heaven together in an instant, and so many are grieving their loss.

Jamison worked at Feed My Starving Children in the Twin Cities before heeding the call the mission work.  Andy Carr is the Vice President of Marketing and Development for Feed My Starving Children and worked alongside Jamison.  He says the family lived for Jesus:

I could not have known a couple who were more dedicated to Christ and to share Christ with everyone that they met.  They are some incredible people.  I had the privilege of working with Jamison for over 3 years, and both he and Kathryne were amazing, amazing people.  Jamison had a blog “Joy of Japan.”  He had told us for the last couple years that he was planning on pursuing this missionary work.  We were fully supportive as they were going to make this transition.

I came across something he wrote back a few months ago.  He said, “I do not know how things will turn out for us.  As a husband I feel obligated to lead our family toward obedience—whatever the end may be.  Whether it is life or death or discomfort or disappointment, it is clear the Lord Jesus calls us not to an easy life.  However, He calls us to take up our cross just as He did to suffer and die.  Perhaps we will toil for years to raise support and never make it overseas.  Perhaps we will go and utterly fail as missionaries from all the worldly perspectives.  Perhaps we will labor for decades without any visible fruit.  Or perhaps through willing obedience many will pass from death to eternal life.”

Those are Jamison’s words.  How appropriate that he has that opportunity through his family’s passing to have the Good News of Jesus shared with so many people in a way that he never imagined.

Jamison was somebody who would say have a sense of urgency.  How appropriate that is with this news.  I hope that it is a wake up call for anyone out there who is on the fence.  Jesus wants to have a relationship with you.

Jamison’s dad, Rick told WCCO Channel 4, “If I could pick someone in this world that I would want to be like, it would be my own son. In a way, it’s a blessing, to have them all together.” His dad also said, “Ultimately he’s where he belongs.  They didn’t get to make their trip to Japan, but they got a better trip.”

If you’d like to help the family with expenses, they have a GoFundMe page to raise money to bring the family’s ashes to Japan.

But if you could do anything, Jamison’s father asks that you take some time to read the family’s blog, Joy of Japan, and learn what they were truly about. Jamison recently wrote, in part:

The thing that makes Christian missions unique is Jesus Christ.  The work of Christian missions is making Him known in places and among people where He is not yet known; worshiped where he isn’t yet worshiped; obeyed where he isn’t yet obeyed; loved where he isn’t yet loved.  In other words, missions is the work of “…(making) disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And, behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 29:19-20

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