Story by Verna Stutzman

Cedar Hill, TX
Nov 6, 2000


“Honey, what if we die this time while we’re out in Sopu village”, I asked Robert as we were preparing to leave the safety of Ukarumpa, Wycliffe’s headquarters in Papua New Guinea, to fly out to our remote village in the mountains.

“I know, I’ve been thinking about that too, especially since it seems the violence in the area has increased so much”, he responded.

“You know, in that dream that I had two years ago, I dreamt that only one of us was killed when some men came to our village with guns. One of us was shot, but I awoke before I could see which one of us died.”

“I’m just so thankful our boys aren’t coming with us this time. They’ll be here safely at the Children’s Home attending school.” Just then the phone rang. Robert went to answer it. I listened to the one-sided conversation realizing from Robert’s voice that something was wrong.

When he hung up the phone he turned to me with a sober expression. “Our house in Sopu village has been broken into. I think I should fly out by myself and access the damages. Then I can communicate to you by two-way radio about any missing items that you need to bring with you when you come.”

“But what if we are killed”, I asked again. “Do we have to go? Does obedience to God require us to die? Are we willing to die for His sake, if that’s His will?” Even as I asked these questions, I knew the answer. Robert and I had settled that long ago. We were willing to do whatever God asked of us, even if that meant dying.

I was reminded of this incident this past week as I struggled with another difficult decision. When God asks us if we’re willing to die for Him, He isn’t always referring to physical death. More often He’s referring to dying to self as we submit our will to the will of another. “Yes Lord, I’m willing to die for you.”

PS If you want to know about what happened to us when we went to Sopu village that time (June 1991), you can read about it here.