Four Baptist Americans dead in Iraq drive-by shooting, fifth in critical condition
FiveSouthern Baptist aid workers from North Carolina, California, and Texas were in Mosul, Iraq, to provide clean water to the city. One of them, Larry Elliott, of Cary, North Carolina, had reportedly designed a water purification system that has been used elsewhere in the country.

While driving on the east side of the city yesterday afternoon, the Baptists' car came under attack by automatic weapons fire and rocket-propelled grenades. When an off-duty Iraqi policeman found the car moments later, three of the missionaries, including Elliott and his wife, Jean, were already dead. The two wounded— another husband-and-wife team, David and Carrie McDonnall of the Dallas suburb of Rowlett—were taken to a nearby hospital. There, David McDonnall died of his wounds. His wife remains in critical condition with four gunshot wounds.

The Elliotts were new to the mission field. David had just graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2002, Carrie was still officially a student there.

In contrast, the Elliotts were longtime missionary veterans, having worked most of the last 25 years in Honduras. They were scheduled to leave Iraq later this month to close their Honduran headquarters and permanently relocate to Iraq.

Larry Kingsley, a church deacon at the Elliotts' stateside church, told the Associated Press that the Iraq mission was more about ministering to physical needs than proclamation evangelism.

"They knew going into Iraq, they couldn't really share their Christian faith unless somebody asked them," he said. "They were there in a humanitarian situation. … They were people who just had a great heart for helping people out."

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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