Pray for the Carters

My heart has been heavy all day today after hearing this news:

Icy Missouri roads blamed in 5 traffic deaths

By Kim Bell



Two teenage sisters from Paris, Mo., were among five people to die in the last 24 hours in Missouri traffic crashes. Icy road conditions may be to blame, the Missouri Highway Patrol says.

Alicia G. Carter, 17, was driving on an ice- and slush-covered highway in rural northeast Missouri about 4 p.m. Thursday when she lost control on a curve. The car skidded off Highway 15 in Monroe County, hit a concrete culvert and creek embankment, then overturned. The car landed on its roof.

Alicia Carter died a short time later at a hospital. Her only passenger -- her older sister, Kayla A. Carter, 18 -- died at the scene.

Jim Reinhard, owner of Agnew Funeral Home in Paris, said the Carter sisters from Paris were homeschooled. They were heading to town when they crashed. Reinhard said the girls' father, Mark, works as a music director for the First Baptist Church of Paris. Their mother, Bonnie, teaches Bible study and volunteers with youth at the church. The girls are survived by their parents and their 5-year-old brother, Jeremy.

"They were a couple of the greatest Christian girls I've ever known," said Cathy Gibbs, the First Baptist Church's administrative assistant. "They had a heart of gold."

Paris is a town of about 1,600 people. It is situated about 50 miles northeast of Columbia, Mo.

Reinhard said the fatal crash is the third tragedy in five months for the community. In November, two girls, ages 7 and 15, died in a house fire near the town of Madison, about 12 miles west of Paris. In October, a tornado hit the area, and two people from Paris who had sought shelter in a mobile home were killed. The bodies of Kent Ensor, 44, and Kristy Secrease, 25, were found 400 feet from where the mobile home had been.

I know Mark and Bonnie. He is the Pastor of Music and Youth at First Baptist Church of Paris, Missouri. He brought youth to serve our young plant a couple of years ago. I've worked with Bonnie, and she is a jewel of a Christian woman. Their beautiful young daughters are now with Jesus. But I can't comprehend such a tragedy. As I look at my children tonight sleeping, I must confess I wonder, "Could I hold up through such a tragedy?"

Please pray for Mark and Bonnie and their young boy. Pray that God would minister to them, even sending angels to do so (Mt. 4:11). And pray that the Lord would somehow be glorified through this terrible event.