The center we live on in PNG is a small town. We are a community of approximately 600 missionaries, including families. We have a grocery store, hardware store, medical clinic, gas station, airport, post office, cemetery and more.
Yes, we have a cemetery. I walk past it four times a day on my way to and from my office. I am drawn to the conclusion of how as a Christian that cemetery serves as a monument to our final victory on this Earth through Christ. (1Cor15:54 …”Death has been swallowed up in victory” [HCSB])
The intellectual solemnness of this was brought to life in front of my eyes and heart this week. There was a freshly dug grave waiting… Waiting for the body of a tenacious follower of Jesus who died with his boots on.
[Official Statement from our organization] “It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the death of Carl Richard Campbell, who went to be with the Lord on Friday, May 19th, 2017.
After several years’ absence from Papua New Guinea, Carl flew to his village Nagatiman on May 9th to spend time with the Yale people. He became ill and suddenly passed away on Friday, May 19th surrounded by those he had come to serve.
Carl and his late wife Jody first came to Papua New Guinea in July 1981, and worked on Bible Translation with the Yale people of the Sandaun province for many years, before taking a home assignment in the United States. He is survived by his three adult children, Karis, Emily, and Robert, and three grandchildren, Jezelee (6), JD (6), and Jaxton (18 months.)
The SIL-PNG Branch would like to express their condolences to the family, and share their gratitude for many years of service to the Yale people. He will be greatly missed by friends and colleagues here in Papua New Guinea.”
How many of the Yale people will be counted around God’s Throne? God only knows how many but some will be there. (Rev 7:9 [HCSB]) “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands.”
You will recognize Carl at the Throne. He will be the one with muddy boots on.