Category Archives: Box T Bible and Saddle Camp

Jeremiah Small ~ A Modern Day Martyr

“Why do you always say martyred instead of murdered
when you talk about Jeremiah?”

Great question for a 9 year old, who learned the hard way the definition of martyr.
She had started the conversation by saying,
“Mom, I’ve been thinking about Jeremiah a lot.  It’s so sad.”
She was referencing Jeremiah Small, a Christian teacher in Iraq,
 who was killed March 1st by one of his students

in  the classroom after opening the class with prayer.

(One of the early reports about the death of Jeremiah Small.)

I explained that because of the Internet the world is hearing he was martyred,
 and automatically are exposed to the Gospel. 
I explained  his death is preaching the Gospel.

But, it still is sad.
 Our family was touched by the martyrdom of Jeremiah Small,
a man known to our family since he was in his early teens.
Yet, I cannot pretend that our pain is anywhere close to the loss
his very loving, close, faithful family is feeling.
(listen to his father’s interview the night his son was martyred)

We met him at Box T Bible and Saddle Camp in Hurdsfield, ND
run by Florence and Lewellyn Tewksbury where my husband was the Bible teacher.
Even as a young man, his faith set him apart from the other campers.
I was able to spend hours with him in the garden pulling weeds
and picking his brain.
Since the Bible camp was on a farm, every afternoon the activity was farm work.
Some weeded.  Some cut firewood.
Some shoveled manure.  Some branded calves.

Based on Jeremiah’s life, I figured  his mom, a homeschooling mother of 7,
must have been doing a great job, so I plied Jeremiah with questions.
My kids were young and I knew I had much to learn.
We worked together for serveral years when Jeremiah returned as a counsellor.

Ten years later, when our family moved to WA,
we learned the Small family had also moved there to work at Shiloh Bible Camp.
I was thrilled to finally meet the parents of this amazing young man.
His parents have continued to prove faithful through the death of their son.

For some reason, both the martyr and the shooter were memorialized together,
something that wouldn’t happen in America.
Dan and Becky Small, along with four of their children,
stood on stage with the family of the student who shot their son.
They hugged the parents of their son’s murderer.
There was nothing fake or phony about this action,
their searing pain did not hinder them from acting as a Christian should.
That is amazing grace.
It’s also amazing that Jeremiah was the first Christian memorialized in a mosque.
That is amazing.

An article was written about this preemptive love that shocked
a land used to vengeance and hatred.
They had not expected the family to come bury their son with love and forgiveness.

The original news reports like to emphasize there was an argument,
anybody who knew Jeremiah for more than 15 minutes,
knew he was incapable of that. 
Others may argue with him, but he would listen patiently and give a calm answer. 
A truthful answer, an answer that would never tickle ears or deny the Lord,
but he would answer graciously.
Here’s a better article that describes the events that led up to
Jeremiah being shot by his student in the classroom.
 
Jeremiah’s family will accepted his death in the same way he lived his life,
with strong faith, a victorious testimony and a growing love for their Savior.

A beautiful tribute  was published by the Kurdistan Tribune,
and written by a student who is grieved that a man
who came to serve, was killed by one he came to serve.
Read “What It Means to Kill A Teacher.”
Jeremiah was only 33 years old.
Who does that remind you of?

A student’s YouTube tribute.

This is another student’s tribute, but it includes some scenes from classroom. 
Skip from 54 seconds to 1 minute 13 seconds is blood bothers you. 
I didn’t know it was coming when I found this on Facebook
 and it made me weep.

Pray for the family as they learn to live without their
son/brother/uncle.
Death leaves no sting for the one going to their eternal rest,
the sting is for those left behind.

Pray for the students who were in the classroom at the time.

Pray for the power of the Gospel to go forth.

John 12:24
Unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies,
it cannot bear fruit.

May much fruit come from the death of the Lord’s precious saint,
Jeremiah Small.

Good News and Bad News

This old saying is supposed to be comforting.
As if having some good news
can take away the pain from the bad news.
It’s just a saying.
You can never take away the sting of bad news.
However,  good news gives you a reason to go on with life.
Years ago, while my husband was a Bible teacher at
Box T Bible and Saddle Camp,
we were blessed to work with two teenage girls, Jess and Becca. 
They loved the Lord and gave us great inspiration
for raising our small children for the Lord.
We wanted our daughters to be like them.
We worked in the kitchen and talked about boys, 
we folded mountains of laundry together and talked about marriage,
they played with my kids and showed me what great mommies
they were going to be some day.
Most of their dreams have come true. 
They have been blessed with godly husbands.
They have been blessed with beautiful children.
They continue to serve and praise the Lord
with the exuberance of youth,
although they are mature women.
They inspire and encourage me with their lives.
So, true to tradition, we hafta’ start with the good news.
Jess stayed with us for a few weeks
after moving to our town.
We participated in some crazy baby contests at Wal-Mart,
and she actually won the contest
for how fast we could drink a bottle of juice.
I beat her on diaper changing, though,
but not sure if I could now –
because she has eight adorable children
and has changed hundreds of diapers.
In fact,
they are so adorable,
they are being considered for a TLC show.
Check out her blog and watch their demo tape.
Pray for the Lord’s will in this matter.
Yea, you’ve been waiting for the bad news.
I haven’t been able to talk about it yet.
My eyes are all puffy and red.
Becca gave my little Jon much attention at Box T,
and by keeping him on a horse,
kept him from running under a horse.
Since Jess and Becca are still extremely close,
I know the good news definitely is not going to soften the bad news.
Becca has been fighting untreatable (by traditional medicine)
 lung cancer with holistic methods.
She just found out she has cancer in her liver, as well.
You will weep and worship at the same time.
I would really appreciate if you would pray
 for my two little sisters in the Lord,
as they seek the Lord’s will
in the Good News,
and the Bad News.