3rd Oct, 2009

Grieving Olivia Ray’s Death

I am an external processor. I also am very much a positive person, so I sometimes find it hard to experience grief. I am grieving today.

Olivia Ray, nine years old, died today, October 3, 2009. She was a friend to my children, the youngest of four sisters, a fourth grader, a missionary and pastor’s kid, and her parents helped disciple us as we transitioned from “normal” life to working full-time as YWAM missionaries.

I have cried more today than I normally do in a year. I don’t know what to say. I can’t even begin to process what Olivia’s parents are feeling. John and Jane Ray, who have served in YWAM for over 20 years, met in YWAM, married, had all four children while serving as missionaries, and continue to serve the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Their oldest daughter, Hope, is in Norway beginning her training in YWAM, and will soon be flying home to be with her family.

This is a slap in the face to those who would worry that international travel with children might be unsafe. This family has traveled the world, but it was in their “hometown” their daughter met an automobile face to face.

Tragedy. Oh, tragedy. God, give the Rays the grace to turn to You and You alone in the midst of this sorrow. Father, comfort the young man who was driving the car that brought this early death. Daddy, please hold the Ray family closely in your arms and sing your comforting songs of mercy and love over them. May their ears be open to your voice.

I know that the Rays need your support in prayer. They likely will need your financial support, too, as they face medical bills, an airline ticket, a funeral, and tremendous pain.

If you want to make donations to assist the Ray family in their time of need, please make checks payable to Grace Church NWA. Mailing address: PO Box 8519, Fayetteville, AR 72703.


Hey Tara…this is Cindy Watson from Children’s Therapy TEAM. I was googling to get info on Olivia Ray and this blog popped up. I am praying for the family. Such a terrible tragedy. When I got to your site is I found that my pastor from my church where I grew up in Broken Arrow is linked to your blog (Bro. Paul Burleson). How wonderful that God showed me this tonight…I have often wondered where he was and how his family was doing. They were such a blessing to my family when my mother was ill and fighting cancer. We were that family in tragedy then…when my mother passed at a young age…and with young children. It is my turn to pray and minister this this family.

Thank you…

Wow.. .Cindy, amazing how God can connect people in all sorts of ways. Thank you for letting us know.


BTW, Paul Burleson is amazing and has blessed me repeatedly with his wisdom and encouragement. Please reconnect with him. He will be encouraged!

I grew up with John-my entire family is praying for him and his family during this devastating time. What a witness they all are and will be. Thank you for your words for this family too.


We saw the article in the paper yesterday about a young girl who was struck by a car and died, but it was not until today that we learned her name. I went to your blog to see if you had any comments because it sounded like this could be John Ray’s daughter, but we were not sure. Our family grieves with you and the Ray’s. Your prayer is echoed here.


Hi Bryan and Tara,
I am so saddened to hear about John and Jane’s little girl. I remember them well from our UBC days.
We will keep them in our prayers.
Patty Hackler

My heart goes out beyond measure to the Ray family. My wife and I knew the Rays by seeing them at PTO meetings and through attending events together. I talked with Olivia many many times and she was a very sweet and pleasant little girl. As others have already said, this is a deep tragedy. I will continue to pray that God’s grace will shine on the Ray family.


I just learned of this tragedy from Ila Campbell this morning. Our hearts are so heavy for the Rays. We are praying for this precious family that have been so faithful serving our Lord.


Thank you for this. I so agree with what you said about “safety”. The irony is strong, of all the places we have been, she is killed less than a mile from home, while going to an event to promote health put on by an organization we love and trust.

We love y’all. Someday we will be able to get back to Kona and swim in those waters and cry for Olivia

Thank you to everyone who commented. It is good to know that we can share one another’s burdens and grief.


We love you, too. And we look forward to many days of ministry together, to others and to each other.

Bryan: Any words I might say seem so inadequate at this time. I am sincerely praying for you, your wife and children, and Olivia’s family in this time of unspeakable grief. I read and I too am grieving with you.
.-= Debbie Kaufman´s last blog ..President Obama Wins The Nobel Peace Prize. The Hate Crime Bill Passes =-.

Dear Beloved in Christ,
Greetings to you in His name,

I am Rachael 40 years old. I am blessed with two children and my
husband is Tracy he is a preacher and he preach in villages and we
live in town. We are in Andhra Pradesh, and most of Andhra know the
love of God and many of the Christians where from abroad are still
giving and sharing their love to Andhra. Love is nothing but giving
and because of the only many of the orphans are loved by the children
of God. Each of us has to do what we can, I can give my love by giving
my service but I am not financially fit. I trainee some women in
sewing and sometimes cocking and feeding for widows and orphans. We
have society named SEEDS registered we are needed help to more service

We have orphans and poor in three villages we can even send you the
details, up to about 40 children all that we need is your cooperation.
And also we stick to the word of God and we obey. So we ask you to
uplift the needed like us and also please pray for us and our needs.
And also we are inviting your ministry to share the word of God with

And please write back.

Thanking you.

In His Masters service,


Our Web site:


thank you so much i have been meaning to do this for a while but haven’t gotten around for it… Olivia was my best friend sometimes i wished she was my sister… we went to kindergarten 1st and 2nd grade together i even have some pictures that my mom took of us… Thank you

thank you so much i have been meaning to do this for a while but haven’t gotten around for it… Olivia was my best friend sometimes i wished she was my sister… we went to kindergarten 1st and 2nd grade together i even have some pictures that my mom took of us… Thank you

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