As I walked among the children’s graves, I realized that God’s grace is always free, but never cheap.

The Central Plateau joins Nigeria’s steamy rain forests to the south with the scorching wind of the approaching Sahara to the north. On the northern edge of the plateau lies the village of Miango. Just to the west of the ruined cone of an extinct volcano, SIM (the new name of the Sudan Interior Mission) runs the Miango Guest House, a place of shelter and relaxation for burned-out church workers.

The guest house shares its grounds with Kirk Chapel, a solid, fieldstone building whose coolness invites the visitor to linger in the presence of God. Sheltered by large trees, a quiet garden behind the chapel sits, protected by a stone wall. In these peaceful surroundings I come across a reminder of what it can cost to serve the Lord. Here is some of what I read:

Ethyl Armold: September 1, 1928–September 2, 1928.

Edith Armold: September 1, 1928–September 4, 1928.

Barbara J. Swanson: 1946–1952.

Douglas Kent Hay: June 28, 1952–June 28, 1952.

Norman Keith Hay: April 12, 1955–August 17, 1955.

Eileen Louise Whitmoyer: May 6, 1952–July 3, 1955.

Cheryl Lynn Purviance: March 23, 1954–May 17, 1955.

Elizabeth Ruth MacLellan: May 24, 1956–February 14, 1957.

Melvin Louis Goossen: May 5, 1945–April 12, 1958.

Arthur Levi Goossen: September 29, 1912–April 12, 1958.

Alan Paul Lavely: August 28, 1958–August 28, 1958.

James Paul Lohrenz: July 8, 1957–November 13, 1958.

Samuel Daniel Morray: September 14, 1989–July 11, 1991.

Most of the graves in this graveyard are little ones. Two-, three-, and four-foot mounds predominate over the standard six-footer. Thirty-three of the 56 graves hold the bodies of small children. Missionary parents brought them to a hostile environment, ...

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