Our son David Hendrick and wife Cortland Brooks Hendrick have had numerous friends through the years who have been killed … martyred … while serving our Lord Jesus Christ. The first of several, a particularly difficult and painful experience happened in the 1990’s. While a student at Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas – Dr. Mark Grossmann was one of his roommates — a “door opened” through the International Mission Board (of the Southern Baptist Convention) for David to serve two years in far southeastern Russia, in the city of Khabarovsk, near the Sea of Japan.
It was during that time, in the city of Khabarovsk where he met his wife, Cortland Brooks, who arrived during David’s second year there. She was affiliated with the “Navigators,” host of the Navigator Topical Memory System which I completed during high school when I was new-born again. (John 3:3) (That structured bible memory effort has positively affected me to this day. I regularly quote scripture now that I learned through the NTMS more than a half century ago. And I have heard the great Bible preacher/teacher Chuck Swindoll acknowledge a similar impact in his memorizing the Word with NTMS when a young U.S. Marine in Okinawa. Two of our grandsons are serving in the US Military, Andrew “Drew” Hendrick and Jacob “Jake” Burritt. I have encouraged him to use this great tool to memorize scripture during his leisure time and his quiet time.
At my urging, David tells of his service during that time in the Siberian region of Russia. His colleagues there, Korean Americans Dr. and Mrs. Yi (“yee”), also serving with IMB, were his dear friends with whom he spent much time, enjoying their meals and friendship. Joan and I were delighted that cardiologist Dr. Yi was David’s personal physician while there.
This was early in his friendship with now wife Cortland, who was also serving in a one-year mission there. At one period he did not appear at his teaching position for several days nor for his regularly attend worship services. At the direction of his missionary supervisor in South Korea, David was directed to go to their apartment immediately and check on their welfare. Cortland went with him. As David shares in this radio conversation, he discover the murdered … martyred … bodies of Dr. and Mrs. Yi!
With his IMB supervisor not able to get to Khabarovsk immediately, David, deeply moved at the whole experience, was responsible for overseeing the shipping of their bodies back home.
It was a world-wide story. Not knowing how much danger that David was in … not knowing whether the murderers were motivated by anti-Americanism, anti-Korean, anti-Christian or anti-missionary attitudes, for his protection, David was considerably kept “under wraps” for his protection. It was not known if he or other Christians might be next.
(Another IMB family moved into the Yi’s former apartment. When David visited them, the couple’s young son wanted David to see his rod and reel. They stepped into the boy’s room, which had been Dr. Yi’s office where his body was found. In David’s looking up while making the motion of a practice “cast” of the rod and reel, he saw blood spatter on the ceiling … the blood of the martyr, Dr. Yi!)
David has been reluctant to talk much about this impacting experience, not ever wanting to appear to be exploiting it.
It has taken me years to get him to do radio about it.
An article was featured in the “Pathway,” the official periodical of the Missouri Baptist Convention regarding David’s experience in Russia. To read, click on: http://mbcpathway.com/2017/02/14/years-later-martyrs-memory-lives-on/.
Earlier related radio for anytime listening …
To hear … “Son David Hendrick welcomes Khabarovsk, Russian roommate, Pastor/teacher Vladimir Lebedev to USA” … click on … https://haroldhendrick.com/content/view/272/5/; (David and Vladimir Lebedev began a church in Khabarovsk that is still active. Vladimir is now a graduate student in Trinity Theological Seminary near Chicago.)
To hear … “’Atheist in the family !?’ Daughter-in-law Cortland Hendrick tells her dramatic, compelling story” … click on … https://haroldhendrick.com/content/view/797/5/;
To hear … “Dr. Mark Grossman/David Hendrick; specialist Mark defines strategic importance of Biblical orality” … click on … https://haroldhendrick.com/content/view/866/5/;
To hear … “Missionary to students Mort Whitman and HHH talk about impact on us of the ‘Navigator Topical Memory System’” … click on … https://haroldhendrick.com/content/view/659/5/; and
To hear … “Dwayne King, founder, www.kingdomaircorps.org, in missionary aviation, urges others to look into it” … click on … https://haroldhendrick.com/content/view/252/5/.
(Dwayne King was ministering in Khabarovsk at the same time David and Cortland were there. He leads a missionary aviation ministry – Kingdom Air Corps — which includes the training of missionary pilots, in Alaska. See www.kingdomaircorps.org.)