Slain Americans were delivering Bibles
February 22nd, 2011
11:15 AM ET

Slain Americans were delivering Bibles

Americans Jean and Scott Adam were on a mission to distribute Bibles around the world when their yacht was hijacked by Somali pirates, friends of the couple said.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Central Command said the Adams, along with Philis Macay and Bob Riggle, had been killed by their captors.

A U.S. Navy ship had been trailing the captured Americans after their yacht, Quest, was overtaken by pirates on Friday.

“As (U.S. forces) responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors," the statement from U.S. Central Command said. "Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds."

While their faith may not have played a role in their death, it was a motivating factor for their sailing adventure around the world.

“They were not proselytizing evangelicals," Scott Stolnitz, a friend of the couple, told CNN. "They were using their Bible mission as a way to break the ice in the Christian community, particularly in the Pacific.”

Stolnitz said the Adams were friendly and open to all. “These are your next-door neighbors in a lot of ways.”

Their pastor, Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson of Saint Monica's Catholic Church in Santa Monica, California, told CNN affiliate KABC the Adams were a retired couple with a heart for sharing their faith.

“They were very heartfelt in their response to this great gospel and they came to know Jesus in a very special way here,” Togerson said.

“Jean actually sang in our 11:30 choir Sunday mornings. Both of them had a great outreach, of course, through this ministry to take the scriptures, the Bibles, to places across the world. And they felt that call to do that, and that’s what they were doing I presume when this happened.”

The Adams' website chronicles their worldwide voyage, which included trips to New Zealand, China, Cambodia and Panama.

They also spoke openly about their faith on the site, saying the goal of the Bible distribution was, "friendship evangelism - that is, finding homes for thousands of Bibles, which have been donated through grants and gifts, as we travel from place to place."

The Adams passed out Catholic Bibles from the American Bible Society and New International Version Bibles from the International Bible Society, according to their website. They said they brought two different versions of the Bible because, “Catholics have a slightly different Bible than Protestants. We carry both Bibles, and at several different reading levels.”

On their website they said many of the teachers and pastors who received the Bibles also used them for teaching English.

The Adams, Macay and Riggle had been traveling with yachts participating in the Blue Water Rally since their departure from Phuket, Thailand, rally organizers said Sunday in a statement on the event's website.

The group, which organizes long-distance group cruises, said the Quest broke off on February 15 after leaving Mumbai, India, to take a different route.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Africa • Belief • California • Catholic Church • Christianity • United States • Violence

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soundoff (406 Responses)
  1. Jeff White

    I always wonder how the faithful rationalize these type of events. I mean you are supposedly doing the work of your God and yet he decides to stop you from distributing bibles, and not just in a way were the books are destroyed but by taking your life in such a violent way. It is also like a suicide bomber that is unsuccessful because the bomb didn't detonate. I mean really you are doing your gods work and he can't even give you a little help. But rational people aren't the ones attracted to religion, so i really shouldn't be that surprised.

    March 23, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
  2. Lee Picton

    In the pacific islands, there are thousands of children going blind. All it would take is FIVE CENTS worth of VItamin A drops to prevent blindness. Yet these idiots (though I'm sure they were very nice people) spent their time distributing a mythology book for believers in the invisible sky fairy. Just think how many children would not have gone blind if these cretins dontated VItamin A drops instead. Phah! Religion is for icretins!

    February 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
  3. myklds

    @Tzigan Pax..It is what He was trying to say in the book of revelations, the apocalypse. And the rest of what is written there will be ultimately fulfilled and carry-out by people like Dwight.

    February 27, 2011 at 4:18 am |
  4. Muneef

    Imam Bukhari
    consciousness of responsibility
    108. A man is the shepherd of his family
    212. Ibn 'Umar reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "All of you are shepherds and each of you is responsible for his flock. A man is the shepherd of the people of his house and he is responsible. A woman is the shepherd of the house of her husband and she is responsible. Each of you is a shepherd and each is responsible for his flock.
    (Bukhari, Nikah, 91)
    In a hadith reported by Abdullah b. Omar Prophet Muhammad said: "We are all shepherds and we are all responsible for those who are under our hands (i.e. in our flocks). An administrator is a shepherd. The man is the shepherd of the family. A woman is the shepherd of her husband's home and children. We are all shepherds and we all are responsible for our duties as such.
    Search for more with googling (Consciousness of Responsibility – Ismail Hakki Unal
    Consciousness of Responsibility ... the importance of the consciousness of responsibility is emphasized; while attributing responsibility to all sane and ...)lastprophet

    February 25, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  5. Muneef

    Realities for all here found to be very interesting and very informative.
    Kindly visit the link;
    [Divisions in our world – Not the Result of Religion-Karen Armstrong talks German journalist, Andrea Bistrich]  .
    Western people have a responsibility for everybody who is suffering in
    the world.
    The divisions in our world are not the result of religion or of
    culture, but are politically based.
    The three religions of Abraham - Judaism, Christianity and Islam -
    can and should be viewed as one religious tradition that went in three
    different directions.  

    February 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  6. myklds

    @David Johnson.. you borrowed HeavenSent's statements that says, "You prove that you don't know this truth written in Jesus' teachings (the Bible) which He wants all to read, comprehend and abide..."


    In your second statement you said and I quote, "The bible god provided, is ambiguous."

    Heaven Sent's premise was the bible is Jesus's teaching but your logic made it that it's from God and jumped into the conclusion that "Christian god doesn't exist. Pretty clever, huh?

    You are referring Jesus as the Christian God who provided the Bible, aren't you?

    February 25, 2011 at 7:46 am |
  7. myklds

    @David Johnson.. you borrowed HeavenSent's statements that says, "You prove that you don't know this truth written in Jesus' teachings (the Bible) which He wants all to read, comprehend and abide..."


    In your second statement you said and I quote, "The bible god provided, is ambiguous."

    Heaven Sent's premise was the bible is Jesus's teaching but your logic made it that it's from God and jumped into the conclusion that "Christian god doesn't exist. Pretty clever, huh?

    Are you referring Jesus as the Christian God who provided the Bible?

    February 25, 2011 at 7:41 am |
  8. Muneef

    Az-Zumar sura 39:
    In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
    Is he whose bosom Allah hath expanded for the surrender (unto Him), so that he followeth a light from his Lord, (as he who disbelieveth)? Then woe unto those whose hearts are hardened against remembrance of Allah. Such are in plain error. (22) Allah hath (now) revealed the fairest of statements, a Scripture consistent, (wherein promises of reward are) paired (with threats of punishment), whereat doth creep the flesh of those who fear their Lord, so that their flesh and their hearts soften to Allah's reminder. Such is Allah's guidance, wherewith He guideth whom He will. And him whom Allah sendeth astray, for him there is no guide. (23).

    Az-Zumar sura 39:
    Lo! We have revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture for mankind with truth. Then whosoever goeth right it is for his soul, and whosoever strayeth, strayeth only to its hurt. And thou art not a warder over them. (41) Allah receiveth (men's) souls at the time of their death, and that (soul) which dieth not (yet) in its sleep. He keepeth that (soul) for which He hath ordained death and dismisseth the rest till an appointed term. Lo! herein verily are portents for people who take thought. (42) Or choose they intercessors other than Allah? Say: What! Even though they have power over nothing and have no intelligence? (43) Say: Unto Allah belongeth all intercession. His is the Sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. And afterward unto Him ye will be brought back. (44) And when Allah alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are repelled, and when those (whom they worship) beside Him are mentioned, behold! they are glad. (45) Say: O Allah! Creator of the heavens and the earth! Knower of the Invisible and the Visible! Thou wilt judge between Thy slaves concerning that wherein they used to differ. (46).

    February 24, 2011 at 5:17 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.