Originally published in the Midwestern Magazine, Issue 42
Many Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College students have a burden for the nations. This is certainly true of master’s student, Samuel Womble. As a missionary kid himself, Samuel got a first-hand look at the ups and downs of life on the mission field, including experiencing a terrorist attack that necessitated emergency surgery to address infection and to remove shrapnel from his brain. Samuel has a powerful story that only makes sense in light of a powerful gospel.
MBTS: In this issue of the Midwestern Magazine, we are focusing on the important topic of missions. Samuel, you have a unique perspective from growing up in a missionary context. Where is “home” for you and how many years did you spend overseas?
Samuel womble: Thailand is home for me. My family moved to Pakistan when I was three and we lived there for three years. We moved to Thailand when I was seven and I lived there until I graduated from high school at the age of 19. Most of my memories are from Thailand and I love the culture and the Thai people.
MBTS: You have both a tragic and fascinating story from your childhood on the mission field. Would you mind sharing some of that story?
SW: My family left Pakistan because we were the target of a terrorist attack at our church back in 2002. I was six years old at the time and a terrorist entered our church with grenades. To make a long story short, the individual killed himself and four others. My mom, dad, and I were a few feet away from a grenade that did not explode. If it had, we would not be here today. I suffered injuries in the attack and had two brain surgeries to help with infection and to address swelling in my brain. Being only six at the time, I still knew that God had saved my life and that I wanted him to use me for his purposes and not my own. What Satan intended for evil, God intended for good. He has used this situation to glorify himself in our lives and others’ lives as well.
MBTS: How did growing up on the mission field help you cherish the gospel more?
SW: My parents modeled for me what it truly meant to take up your cross and follow Christ. Even after the terrorist attack, the love my parents had for Muslims did not change. If anything, they developed a deeper desire to share the gospel with more Muslim people. Living on the mission field helped me understand that the gospel is truly worth more than anything, even life itself.
MBTS: What advice would you give to parents who are considering or currently are raising their children overseas?
SW: I would encourage them to keep showing their kids that the gospel is worth it. Living in uncomfortable or even dangerous situations can show your kids that the gospel and living for Christ is worth more than anything the world can offer. My parents are first generation missionaries and their commitment to sharing the gospel to the ends of the earth has greatly influenced me and my three siblings. I’m forever thankful to my parents for allowing me to see them live out the Great Commission overseas.