An American missionary was killed by an isolated tribe on a remote Indian island.
“You guys might think I’m crazy”, John Chau wrote in his diary, “but I think it’s worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people.”
John Chau was killed days later.
Fishermen reportedly told police he was hit by an arrow, then buried by the islanders.
“God, I don’t want to die” the 26-year-old from Vancouver, Washington wrote, according to journal entries published in the Washington Post.
John James,John Chau’s friend: “His cheerfulness, his joy, we will never be able to get that back. It’s really hard”.
Chau was a graduate of Oral Roberts University. Friends say he was always devoted to God.
John James: “…put his life on the line for Christ, that is really what his call was”.
East of India, in the Andaman Sea, the people of Sentinel Island have been isolated for centuries.
Indian government regulations forbid interaction with the Sentinelese, who are known to shoot arrows at outsiders. P.C. Joshi, an anthropology professor at Delhi University who has studied the islands, said the isolated tribe has little resistance to diseases and could die from contact with outsiders, USA Today reports.
Chau posted his international travels on Instagram, calling himself an explorer and snake bite survivor. He wrote of an earlier attempt to the reach the island. “I hollered, my name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you” then an arrow pierced his waterproof bible.
In a statement shared on his Instagram account, Chau’s family wrote: “Words cannot express the sadness we have experienced about this report. He had nothing but love for the Sentinelese people. We forgive those reportedly responsible for his death.”
“Why does this beautiful place have to have so much death here?” Chau asked before his fateful trip to Sentinel.
“I hope this isn’t one of my last notes but if it is to God be the glory.”
John Chau’s family believe he could still be alive, according to their statement. They have asked, though, that locals not be prosecuted. The law is there to protect, not just people who potentially might want to try and visit this island, but also the tribe who live there from.