From Christian Newswire and Other Reports
Leaders, members and friends of All Nations (www.allnations.us), an international Christian missions training and sending organization, are mourning the reported death of one of its missionaries, 27-year-old John Allen Chau of Vancouver, Wash.
All Nations representatives are working with authorities in the U.S. and overseas to confirm details of Chau’s reported killing sometime between Nov. 16 and Nov. 18, when he visited remote North Sentinel Island, located in the Indian Ocean.
Chau is understood to have died after being attacked by local tribesmen.
The Columbian newspaper of Vancouver reported that seven fishermen have been arrested for facilitating Chau’s visit to North Sentinel Island, Visits to the small forested island are heavily restricted by the government; the Sentinelese people are known to resist all contact with outsiders, often attacking anyone who comes near with bows and arrows.
Chau was a graduate of Oral Roberts University in Oklahoma who had studied, planned and trained rigorously since college to share the gospel with the North Sentinelese people.
“All Nations is deeply saddened by this news and wants to publicly express our deepest sorrow for this monumental loss,” said International Executive Leader Mary Ho. “We have been in contact with John’s family and ask all to join us in praying for his family and friends during this time. We have been in contact with the U.S. State Department and continue to cooperate fully with all international, national and regional officials.”
A seasoned traveler who was well-versed in cross-cultural issues, Chau had previously taken part in missions projects in Iraq, Kurdistan and South Africa. He joined All Nations as a missionary in 2017 and trained at its North American headquarters in Kansas City, Mo.
All Nations prepares Christians to share the gospel and establish churches in parts of the world where the name of Jesus Christ is little or not known.
“John was a gracious and sensitive ambassador of Jesus Christ who wanted others to know of God’s great love for them,” said Ho. “As we grieve for our friend, and pray for all those who mourn his death, we also know that he would want us to pray for those who may have been responsible for his death.
“We remember too, how throughout church history, the privilege of sharing the gospel has often involved great cost. We pray that John’s sacrificial efforts will bear eternal fruit in due season.”
A news brief published in The Columbian in 2009 stated that Chau, a Salmon Creek resident, attended Vancouver Christian High School at the time.
The Associated Press reported Chau had described himself as being from Alabama. But it appears he spent his formative years in Clark County. The Columbian noted he was registered locally to vote.
According to the nearly decade-old Columbian news brief, Chau had received the Royal Rangers Gold Medal of Achievement at Mountain View Christian Center in Ridgefield, the Assemblies of God equivalent to the Eagle Scout award. “(M)edalists do a Christian service project as part of the process. Chau designed the (website) for Chi Alpha, the Assemblies of God outreach program at Washington State University Vancouver,” the brief stated.