Missionary appointees to Japan in fatal crash on way to pre-field training

WorldVenture missionary appointees Jamison and Kathryne Pals and their three children were killed in a multi-vehicle accident on Sunday, July 31. A semitrailer truck driver struck the rear of their van on Interstate 80 just west of Shelton, Nebraska (USA).

They were traveling from Minnesota to Palmer Lake, Colorado to participate in a five week training course in language acquisition and assimilating into another culture. Their blog, For the Joy of Japan, details their journey, challenges, and anticipation as they prepared to serve the Lord in Japan. 

Terumi Tanaka, staff member of JEMA member mission Japan Baptist Fellowship (JBF), spent four hours on Friday, July 28, submitting the Certificate of Eligibility applications for each family member at the Tachikawa Immigration office in Tokyo. News of the crash just days later came as a huge shock.

Tanaka says: “I have never seen them in person . . . but you become so close, because you prepare their personal history as part of the paperwork you must hand in. . . . I still feel like if I send email, Jamison will reply to me.”

In a news segment by TV station WCCO (Minneapolis) Rick Pals, Jamison’s father, battled through his emotions and said (at 2:02), “Ultimately he’s where he belongs—and the kids, they didn’t get to make their trip to Japan but they got a better trip.”

After language study, the Pals had planned to serve at Christ Bible Institute (CBI) in Nagoya.

Pray for all who will miss the Pals, especially the many with both JBF and CBI who were preparing for their arrival in October.

A live stream of the memorial worship service for the Pals family will be available Saturday, August 6, 11:30 a.m. CST (Sunday, August 7, 1:30 a.m. Japan time).

(Photo from WorldVenture web page)