Across Pacific Magazine
A Tribute to
Dr. Sam Sasser
In Loving Memory
Dr. Sam Sasser
July 31, 1937 - September 27, 1995
Dr. Sam Sasser was greatly loved by many thousands of Pacific Islanders. Since 1960 he served as a missionary in the Marshall Islands and Samoa, helped establish 26 churches, and pastored in Honolulu, California, and Texas. He taught in conferences and crusades in 63 nations. Sam's health had been failing for several years, but he continued to minister in conferences around the world. He had requested that his heart be buried in the Marshall Islands. The following prayer was offered in Sam's name at his Homegoing Celebration:
Now that I have gone to God,
I ask that you remember these things:
Bury my body, but do not bury my love
Bury my eyes, but not my vision
Bury my feet, but not the path of my life
Bury my hands, but do not bury my efforts
Bury my shoulders, but not the concern I carried
Bury my voice, but not my message
Bury my mind, but do not bury my dreams
Bury me, but do not bury my life
If you must bury something
Bury my sins, my weaknesses
but let my love for each of you
continue on in Jesus.
On December 14, family members -- including his wife Florence, daughter Renee (and her husband, Derek Loux), and son Terry who was born in the Marshall Islands -- boarded a plane for the Marshalls to carry out Sam's request.
In its 16th Constitutional Session the government of the Marshall Islands wrote a Resolution honoring Dr. Sasser's life. The two-page document was given to the Sasser family during a formal presentation while they were there.
Among other things, the Resolution stated, "...the Most Reverend Samuel Sasser dedicated his ...works among the Marshallese people, especially the young; and ... his teachings and guidance and wisdom have touched and greatly enriched the lives of the Marshallese people, and that his devotion to the Marshallese people will be felt for many generations to come...."
Editorial Note - Sam was also the best friend of my brother, Don Hall, founder of Teen Challenge Hawaii. They were "Best Man" at each other's wedding. I was a missionary intern with the Sassers on the atoll of Majuro. They have been wonderful friends over the years. Mrs. Sasser will continue the work of the ministry "...taking the gospel to the unreached and equipping the saints for the work of the ministry in the islands and abroad."
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