Texas IMB worker killed in Jordan

RICHMOND, Va.— Jordanian authorities are investigating the death of Southern Baptist representative Cheryll Harvey, whose body was discovered in her apartment in Irbid, Jordan, Tuesday, Sept. 4. Foul play has been confirmed in the death of the 55-year-old, single woman from Texas.         
 
Harvey, who graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1984 with a Master of Arts in Christian Education, served the Jordanian people for 24 years, demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ through teaching English and other subjects in connection with the Jordan Baptist Society.
 
“Cheryll was greatly loved by both our personnel in North Africa and the Middle East and by her many students,” said IMB President Tom Elliff. “We are faced once again with a sobering reminder of the brevity of life and the importance of faithfully serving the Lord to the very end of our time on earth. Cheryll has left for us a great example that we should follow.
 
“She … will always be remembered for her quiet and unassuming spirit, as well as her passion for sharing the Good News.”
 
Harvey was a member of College Heights Baptist Church in Plainview, and grew up attending First Baptist Church in Sudan. Harvey is survived by two brothers who reside in Texas. 
 
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary set aside its chapel prayer time Wednesday to pray for Harvey’s family and the other missionaries serving around the world.
 
“She has served the Lord wonderfully,” Patterson told students and faculty, “and last night she lost her life.
 
“As I say to you often, you must understand that you are here (at seminary) with a possible sacrifice in your future. You must study that way; you must prepare that way. You cannot have too much preparation. And when I say preparation, I’m not talking about the classroom only. I’m talking about the preparation of the heart.
 
“We thank God for her magnificent witness and that she served the Lord right until the end, and we pray for her family.” “
 
Elliff, too, has asked Southern Baptists to remember Harvey’s family in prayer.
 
“As with any event such as this, it is imperative that we remember Cheryll’s surviving family members and friends, and that we lift them up in prayer during these days,” Elliff said. “We best honor her by giving honor to the Lord Whom she so faithfully served.”
 
Robert Roecker, pastor of First Baptist Sudan, said the church is in a “state of shock.” Harvey had visited her childhood church several times since Roecker became pastor, offering slideshows of her work in the Middle East.
 
A friend of Harvey’s relayed to him that “Cheryll  talked about how when she retired she might just stay in Jordan. She just really loved it there and loved the people.”
 
“The thing that always astounded us was when you heard her speak she was just a meek and mild person with just a soft voice,” Roecker recalled. “It’s not the picture you have in your mind of someone who is on the front lines in Jordan. To have that courage and faith was amazing to us. The folks who knew her here were always saying how surprised they were at what was God was able to do through her.”
 
—With additional reporting from the Southern Baptist TEXAN and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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