My sister-in-law’s husband was killed; God guided her through

From inside their home in Bogota, Colombia, Becky Hood heard the gunshot outside in the street.

Although there were occasional bombings and she knew of at least one kidnapping of a fellow missionary by the Colombian Cartel, gunfire in the neighborhood was not common.

A sixth sense told him that this shot was personal. Panic seizes her. Her daughter was in school and her son was in college in the United States. But her missionary husband, Charley, had gone to the bank and had to come back.

She rushed to the door of the house, then had to go through two exterior portals. Her husband’s truck was in the street. Charley was slumped in the front seat. She rushed over, but he was sprawled with a gunshot wound to his chest.

The neighbors gathered. She didn’t know any of them but one, because the Hoods had just moved into this house. That didn’t stop Becky – she feels God was leading her. She asked one of the neighbors in Spanish if he would drive the truck to the hospital. Becky asked another neighbor if she could sit in the back and help hold her husband. The neighbors agreed.

Someone must have called the police because they were coming on a motorbike. After a brief discussion, they gave Becky a police escort to the hospital. Her husband was pronounced dead and all items on him were removed so they wouldn’t be stolen.

Becky was numb. She wanted to tell someone, like their other missionary associates. There were no cell phones in Bogota in 1998, and being a third world country of course the phone lines were dead. A Spanish woman appeared out of nowhere and began to pray with and for Becky and her deceased husband.

Becky was finally able to reach her close missionary friends on the phone. They came to his aid. Becky turned to thank the woman who had prayed with her, but was gone. Becky thinks the woman was like a guardian angel.

Becky and Charley met at Southwest Baptist College (now University) in Bolivar, Missouri. Charley was the eldest of five boys and a determined young man. He insisted that his name be spelled “Charley”.

From an early age, Becky says, he felt called to ministry and missionary work. Becky, who was the second eldest of seven children and came from a family whose father was a Baptist minister, was very taken with Charley. They got married, and Charley, working 58 hours a week at Ford Motor Co., went to seminary.

They pastored a few churches before entering the mission field. Becky didn’t know if she felt good enough to be a missionary, but she remembered that when she was 16, a very young summer missionary said, “God is more interested in our availability only to our capacities. She knew that God would guide her.

They went to missionary school and language school and chose Bogota, Colombia because of its climate, elevation of nearly 9,000 feet, and beauty.

They were warned of possible insecurities, but that was typical of nearly every mission choice.

They spent 10 good years in Bogota and founded several churches and learned to love the Colombian people. The police never solved Charley’s murder. The bank money he had in his trouser pocket was still there. A person on a motorcycle was seen walking towards Charley’s truck and conversing with Charley, but neighbors were reluctant to testify. Becky will never know why, but thinks it may have been a general dislike of Americans.

Becky’s hardest job was telling her daughter, Dawn, who was a junior in high school, that her father had been killed. She was daddy’s little girl. But like a soldier, Dawn went ahead with a singing role in a play she had coming up. She wanted to sing for her father. Becky is grateful for the kind people who informed her son, Aaron, of his father’s death.

Becky and her family returned to the United States, and the mission board kept her employed for a year. They chose Liberty, Missouri as their home, and Becky earned her ESL certification and fluency. She started teaching English as a second language to elementary school students.

At church, she met a gentleman in the choir. He is a fine pianist and he occasionally accompanied Becky on the flute. They married in 2000. Becky and Ron have been married for 22 years. She’s lived in Liberty longer than anywhere else.

Becky has never forgotten that when faced with a new challenge or a difficult time, availability is more important than capacity. God leads her.

Author’s note: Becky is my wife, Ginnie’s sister. Ginnie recounts that at Charley’s funeral, the speaker said, “God didn’t take Charley, Charley was already His.”

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