As Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons went to sleep in their station wagon on January 22, 1999, they surely had no idea what was soon to happen to them:
. . . [Dara] Singh and his mob approached [them] at around 12:20 a.m. . . ., running [in] from the fields, armed with lathis [sticks] and trishuls (tridents – three-pronged spears). . . . [A]s they approached [the station wagon], they began screaming.
Singh struck first, wielding an axe at the tyres, deflating them. The others broke windows and prevented the Staines from escaping. Graham was beaten mercilessly and his boys were not spared either. All three were pierced with trishuls. Singh then put straw under the vehicle and torched it. In seconds, the vehicle was on fire. Graham held his two boys close to him. Anyone who knew him would say that the one name on his lips would be—Christ Jesus.
The killers stood there and watched the three roast alive as the fire consumed the vehicle.
—Burnt Alive: The Staines and the God They Loved, 35
As the news of the martyrdom of this great man and his two sons spread around the world, speedy and widespread criticism abounded for this horrific display of inhuman wickedness. The authorities dealt with the perpetrators, punishing them for murdering these helpless people.
Graham Staines and his sons suffered martyrdom for the sake of their faith. Let us allow the memory of their martyrdom to motivate us to be true to Him even as they were.
Copyright © 2011-2023 by Rajesh Gandhi. All rights reserved.