In 2001 missionary Jim Bowers, his wife Roni with children Cory and Charity (Infant) were shot down by the Peruvian Air Force after being mistaken for smuggling drugs. One bullet killed both Roni and Charity. Jim survived after crash landing the plane. Cory was unhurt. Below is part of his testimony given at his wife and daughter’s funeral. The entire service can be read HERE. (Emphasis below is mine)
“Most of all I want to thank my God. He’s a sovereign God. I’m finding that out more now… Some of you might ask, “Why thank God?” Of course, now after hearing some people speak tonight, you’re realizing why, maybe. Could this really be God’s plan for Roni and Charity; God’s plan for Cory and me and our family? I’d like to tell you why I believe so, why I’m coming to believe so. I didn’t believe that at all during the incident of the tragedy, or the day or two after that. But I began to see some things and God’s hand at work. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions.
I have a list here, and this is a partial list—it’s less than half–because of time, but I’d like to read a list of things and you tell me if this was of God or not. Of course there could be some coincidences, but you tell me with this half a list if that could’ve been a coincidence.
(Note: In his narrative 15 examples are given (Follow the link above to read them), here is one pertinent to this post):
Also, one thing that convinces me that God did this to Roni and Charity is the profound (effect) this event is having on people around the world. The interest in missionary work now I’m hoping will result in an increase of missionaries in the future. I’m sure it will; people are challenged now to go and do what Roni did.
Roni and Charity were instantly killed by the same bullet. (Would you say that’s a stray bullet?) And it didn’t reach Kevin, who was right in front of Charity; it stayed in Charity. That was a sovereign bullet.
And. of course, there’s lots more. Maybe some other time you’ll hear the other details; some of them are even better.
I’m convinced that God directly intervened to spare Kevin and Cory and me, because He still has some kind of work for us to accomplish. I think He did that also to wake up sleeping Christians, including myself, and maybe most of all, to wake up those who have no interest in God (or little interest). And I say tonight: Wake up! I have a new perspective, of course.
One thing I want you to know: Roni has forgiven the pilot who shot her. She’s forgiven . . . whoever might have made their mistake, and so should I. And I have. How could I not when God has forgiven me so? God will continue to forgive me no matter what I do because of Christ.
Those people who did that, simply were used by God. Whether you want to believe it or not, I believe it. They were used by Him, by God, to accomplish His purpose in this, maybe similar to the Roman soldiers whom God used to put Christ on the cross.”
My conclusion: If you look for God, you will see Him everywhere just as Jim did. Believe God. Trust God. Love God.
Powerful and inspiring message of forgiveness and God’s sovereignty, encouraging all of us to wake up!
We’ve often thought of Jim & Cory Bowers. Three men from our church helped design and build the houseboat from which the Bowers ministered during their Amazon days with ABWE. I wonder where Jim is now and how he is doing?
I don’t know where he is, but he spoke at Bethlehem Baptist several years ago giving his testimony. It is worth tracking down on DesiringGod.org.
I meet Jim and Cory five years ago in Maputo Mozambique. Jim has married and has two girls. Cory graduate from a private Christian school in
MZ. Jim was involved in a sports/boating ministries in Maputo until two years ago. He has since moved back to the US living on the east coast near or around Maryland. Cory, as could be expected, has struggled in certain areas.