September 7, 2011 Tragedy in Malawi: Honoring the life of one of our precious Iris missionaries, Daryl Martin

We mourn the loss of Daryl Dean Martin, who died tragically on September 7, 2011, from injuries sustained when elephants unexpectedly charged Daryl and his wife Rebekah while visiting a wildlife reserve in Malawi. Daryl, together with his wife Rebekah and sons Jonathan (age 16) and Caleb (age 11), have served as missionaries at the Iris Africa ministry base in Malawi since September 2009.

Rebekah & Daryl Martin - August 29, 2011

The funeral and burial service took place in Bangula, Malawi, at the Iris Africa ministry base on Thursday, September 8, 2011. We had hundreds of people come and show their support for and pay their respects to the life that Daryl had, and for the generous way that he poured out his life among the poorest of the poor here in Malawi. We had ten village chiefs with us, as well as the senior chief of chiefs. Civil servants, police officers, game park officials, social welfare officers, church pastors and many people from the surrounding villages were in attendance. Daryl was buried in Bangula on the Iris Africa property. So many people were touched by this tragic event—many tears were shed and there are more tears that still need to flow.

Daryl was born on August 30, 1967, and died at 44 years of age. He is survived by his wife Rebekah; children Averi, Joshua, Jonathan and Caleb; sisters Deborah, Stacey and Heidi; brothers Roger and Colt.

Information about the upcoming memorial service in Arizona can be found by going to Rebekah, Jonathan and Caleb will arrive in Phoenix, Arizona, on Thursday, September 15, 2011.

Daryl was a man who loved adventure and had childlike energy and enthusiasm. He was determined, no matter what the cost, to accomplish God’s will. He had courage—courage imparted to him from the Kingdom of Heaven.

Daryl was a missionary marked by dedication and commitment to help Malawians achieve a healthier way of life and sustainability. Above all else Daryl accepted God’s call to preach the Gospel so that the people would understand life from God’s perspective and come to know the great saving grace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ. He preached in village churches and taught at the Bible school. He led Bible studies with young men as well as older men, spurring them on in their relationship with Jesus Christ.

Daryl put his faith into action. He was involved in restoring boreholes in the villages so that people would have clean water. He hosted medical teams, particularly eye medical teams, so that the people of southern Malawi would have healthier eyes. He himself became an experienced “lay” physician with the ability to diagnose patients with trachoma, so that by appropriate treatment, blindness would be prevented. Also very importantly, Daryl trained Malawians in trades such as chicken and crop farming so that families would have greater sustainability.

If we were to count how many Malawian people were impacted by Daryl’s life, it would run in the thousands. Daryl’s obedience to the Lord has brought forth great Kingdom fruit.

Daryl will be remembered as a good friend to many, not only fellow missionaries, but also Malawians who became true brothers in the Lord. He was an “uncle” to our Iris children, a mentor to our own three, very playful, fun to be around, and a great role model of what it means to love and raise children in the ways of the Lord.

We cannot begin to understand why this tragic event has happened. It seems so untimely, disturbing and purposeless. We have so many questions…so much emotion. We hardly know what to do or say. So come Holy Spirit and take the groaning of our broken hearts and intercede for us all according to our deepest needs. Where can we go? To whom can we turn? You are all we have and You are all we will ever have. Somehow you enter into our loss as you tell us, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints” (Psalm 116:15).

I invite the extended Iris family around the world to participate with us in caring for Rebekah and her family. Let us together as the body of Christ, as Daryl demonstrated so well, put our faith into action and generously commit our love and financial support to Rebekah and the family at this very hour.

If you would like to support this family, donations can be mailed to Iris Ministries Canada, 10 - 1425 Abbeywood Drive, Oakville, Ontario L6M 3R3 Canada. Online donations on the IMC 'Contact & Support' page will be accepted as well.  Please ensure you designate your gifts for "Rebekah Martin" on the memo line.


David Morrison “Mo”
Director of Iris Africa, Malawi.

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