With a church still reeling in shock from the death of Kyra Karr, a Southern Baptist international missionary who grew up in Tabernacle Baptist Church in Cartersville, the pastor of the Rome, Italy church where Karr and her husband, Reid, served gave a message via the church’s Facebook page over the weekend.
The Church Breccia di Roma mourns the loss of Kyra Karr, our dear, loving and precious sister in Christ. We stand before God in fear and awe for this tragedy that goes far beyond our ability to take it in, even less to comprehend. We embrace our brother Reid, with love and admiration, standing together in prayer before the Lord with our open questions and feeble faith, but trusting God and His sovereign ways even now as we face the death of his precious wife. We extend our love to Nolyn, Ellie and Livia in this time of unspeakable sorrow for the loss of Mummy, their most important person. We are close to Kyra’s family in their terrible pain which is also our pain.
We have had the privilege of knowing Kyra since her arrival to Rome in 2009. She has been a member of our church since 2011. We were impressed from the very first meeting that Valeria and I had with Reid and Kyra. Nolyn was a new born baby at that time. After introducing one another and after sharing the calling they had received from God to serve Him in Rome by planting Gospel churches in the city, Reid and Kyra told us: “God called us here. We are ready to die here”. We were impressed by their strong and quiet determination. God had called them here and they were ready to give all their life to that call.
God did not take Kyra’s life in Italy, but we have had the privilege of being blessed by Kyra during the six years of her life in Italy. Kyra invested the gentle, meek, and gracious person she was and the gifts God had given her among us. She was truly an “aroma of Christ” in our midst. She was Reid’s fit helper in the work of the gospel in San Paolo and beyond. She was a caring mother, always in control and always positively engaging the little girls, never losing her smile and gracious manners. She was fully part of the life of the church. She led the “First Steps with the Word” in our Sunday services and taught the children to listen to God’s Word and to love Jesus. She encouraged us to open our eyes to the tragedy of so many women who are trafficked and exploited in our streets. She was always ready to help and be at the forefront of things, though remaining humble and kind. Her presence brought peace and grace to all she would meet.
She was always ready to help and be at the forefront of things, though remaining humble and kind. Her presence brought peace and grace to all she would meet.
There is no better Bible verse to describe what is in our hearts: “Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:14-15). Kyra was the aroma of Christ in Rome. We sensed it. We breathed it. We were blessed by it. We don’t know why God allowed this death to occur. It is a tragedy and a painful trauma. Yet we thank God for showing us the aroma of Jesus in and through Kyra. Kyra was a glimpse of what it means to be absorbed in Christ. She was so near to Christ that his aroma transpired through her. Our church and Rome will be worse places without her.
Thank you God for Kyra, for her desire to live among us spreading around us the fragrance of Christ. Because the love of God compels us and being encouraged by her example, we will continue the work that God had called Kyra to do. There will be a time in which a strong community of believers in Jesus Christ will worship the Triune God in San Paolo and elsewhere in Rome. One day they will worship the Lamb together with Kyra and we will join them all. We commit ourselves to carrying on the task that God had given to Kyra. Death does not have the final word. God always does! His plan will prevail, His will shall be done.
August 14th, 2015
Chiesa Evangelica Breccia di Roma
Karr is survived by her husband Reid; her children, Nolyn, Ellie and Livia; her parents, Joseph and Karen Carp; her sisters, Chelsey Carp and Sydney Shadle. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Aug. 19, at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 112 E. Church St., Cartersville under the supervision of Parnick Jennings Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers the family request donations be made to Tabernacle Baptist Church for the Italian church plant Breccia Di Roma and its ministry efforts.