The perils of shooting first
April 27 2001 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

The perils of shooting first | Friday, April 27, 2001

Friday, April 27, 2001

The perils of shooting first

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor The tragic deaths of a missionary and her daughter while flying to their home base in Peru have been sobering. Veronica (Roni) Bowers and her 7-month-old daughter, Charity, were passengers on a small, pontoon-equipped Cessna 185 that also carried her husband, Jim, and their son, Cory. According to widespread news reports, as the small seaplane flew in a straight course toward a planned landing near their mission outpost on the Amazon River, a Peruvian officer in a spotter plane under contract to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency identified the plane as a possible drug-runner. Peruvian Air Force jets scrambled to the scene and shot down the plane after failing to follow appropriate procedures for identifying aircraft.

Family sources say mother and daughter were apparently killed by the same bullet, which went through Roni's heart and into Charity's head. Kevin Donaldson, the missionary pilot, was shot in both legs but managed to land the flaming plane on the river. Jim Bowers spent the next half hour getting his family members out of the plane, putting a tourniquet on the pilot's shattered right leg, and keeping his wife and daughter's bodies from floating away while also clinging to a pontoon of the sinking plane. Villagers eventually reached them in dugout canoes and brought them to shore.

I can't imagine.

Can you?

It's not just death in the jungle or the potential risk of mission work that is so sobering - it is the needless nature of their deaths. These courageous and faithful people did not die at the hands of the people to whom they ministered, but as the targets of one or more trigger-happy fighter pilots.

Whether we shoot with bullets or with words, going off half-cocked and without accurate information inevitably leads to deep, tragic and unnecessary wounds.

There is biblical virtue in being swift to hear but slow to speak (James 1:19) - or to shoot.

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4/27/2001 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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