Today I received an e mail from someone working with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He wrote me to tell me of the death of a fellow servant. Former Missionary Wade Watts has passed through that portal called "death." He has moved on from his terrestial tent to a celestial dwelling place. This is significant to me for any number of reasons.
Wade, his wife Nancy, and their two boys were critically injured in a head-on collision in the mountains of Peru. They were returning from a ministry assignment and driving on roads that could only be described back then as treacherous. Before they knew it, they were in the direct path of another truck. All the family suffered very debilitating injuries. Wade was injured far worse than the others. The doctors honestly gave him up as beyond hope. Someone forgot to tell God that and Wade survived. After treating Wade as best they could, stabilizing his injuries and doing all they knew to do in the moment, Wade and the Watts family were airlifted to Memphis, TN for more surgeries and more rehab. He was comatose for months, but one Spring day Wade woke up in his room in the Memphis, TN area.
Wade never fully recovered; he was confined to a wheel chair for the remainder of his life. But he managed to find ways to communicate, especially through the modern technology of computers. It was humorous to us that Wade's Spanish seemed to remain in the most lucid part of his brain, allowing him to speak with near fluidity, while we suffered to understand his English at times.
To my great delight and surprise, Wade and his family were present as I was awarded my doctorate at the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, near Memphis. There were two families present at that service who were in the doctoral program that were close to the Watts family. It was a joyful reunion for all 14 of us (including our children).
Wade continued to serve as he could. His dream was to one day return to Peru to the people and country he loved so much. Perhaps in the new earth God will let Wade serve with Peruvians in his kingdom. In the meantime, I envision Wade walking hand in hand with the Lord Jesus Christ. Walking. Running. Jumping. Things Wade could only dream of until today. I pray for Nancy and the boys. I pray for those who have been touched by Wade's prayers and ministries. Yes, Wade Watts was a good man.