Genessa Wells: A Life So Short, But Lived So Significantly
At ETBU, we talk a lot about “A World of Opportunity in a Community of Faith,” about integrating faith and learning, and about the value of a quality education tempered by service to the Kingdom of God. These are values we not only hold dearly, but are those to which we are wholeheartedly dedicated. ETBU is about getting a great education, and then going into the world, and whether it be in business or education, sciences or ministry, to make a Kingdom impact on the world in which we live. For some that is service within the local church and local ministries. For others, it is service in missions to peoples around the world.
For Genessa Wells, it was about a Bedouin people in the arid Egyptian desert.
Genessa, a Houston native and graduate of ETBU, moved to the Middle East in 1999 and had planned to attend seminary to study music when she returned in 2001. But that move changed her life forever. She fell in love with the people and with sharing the Gospel.
She wrote, “I could give up (on overseas service) and get married and become a music teacher. All of this is very noble and to be quite honest, sounds good to me! But in my heart, I want to change my world — more than I want a husband and more than I want comfort. I need this opportunity to grow and to tell others about Jesus. One of my favorite praise songs says, ‘I will never be the same again, I can never return, I’ve closed the door.'”
Two years later, in her last email home, she quoted another praise song:
“‘Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, open the eyes of my heart, I want to see you … shining in the light of your glory …’ It seems that everything we do comes down to one thing: His glory,” she said. “I pray that all our lives reflect that. … It seems like a floodgate has been opened in my heart [to share God’s love]. I have a passion for it I never knew God had given me. He’s given it to me for His glory.”
On September 10, 2001, mere hours from an event that would change the world, a bus accident in the Egyptian desert claimed her life. And in the aftermath of such a horrible event that was 9/11, it seems a bus crash on an Egyptian desert road doesn’t really compare – that the loss of Genessa seemed so insignificant when compared to the thousands that were dying half way around the world. But to those with whom she shared Christ, to those who may have opened their hearts to Jesus in the dark, dusty corner of a Bedouin tent, it meant a great deal. For she had shown them the way to the only thing that really matters, a relationship with Jesus. To those of us who have been honored to learn of her story, her loss meant the world. For she had shown, and continues, even after her passing, to show what real love is. Whether near or far, at the market down the street or a thousand miles away, that real love is sharing the love of Jesus Christ with a lost and dying world.
For Genessa, the Great Commission wasn’t merely a suggestion, but a lifestyle. And for that short, yet significant life, we as a Tiger Family, and as a part of the Family of God, are monumentally proud.
You can read the story about Genessa from the Baptist Press here.