Remembering Kenji Goto

It’s taken a while for me to process what the tragic death of Kenji Goto, the Japanese journalist murdered by ISIS, means to me. Here in Japan, it seemed the public stance before his execution was a little cold; that he knew the risks when he traveled to Syria and he put himself in harm’s way. But that stance has seemed to melt away quickly after his death as people begin to realize what a selfless man Goto was, reporting on the plight of the Syrian children, shedding light on conflict and genocide in African nations, and the inequality in education for girls in Afghanistan. He was living out in a very dangerous way God’s heart for the poor and oppressed of this world.

Though the death of Goto is a terrible loss, especially for his family: his parents, his wife and three children, we must take heart that they will be reunited one day. And through his tragic death, his life has become a beacon of light to his country, shining the message of the gospel in the darkness for all to see. For all he has done for the people of Syria and other places where people are being oppressed, what he has done for his own people is even greater.

It is an honor to call you brother, Kenji Goto. May you rest peacefully in the arms of your Savior, Jesus Christ. Otsukare sama deshita.

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