Alfred was an established missionary on the small Pacific island of Beru when the Second World War spread into East Asia. He chose to stay and continue his Christian witness even as the war was coming closer to his door.
Alfred had started his missionary work in Suva on the island of Fiji in 1933. After mastering the language, for which he had a natural flair, he moved on to Beru, which is part of the Gilbert Islands. He became minister to the new Christians of Beru, established a surgery, began teaching the local people and started to translate the Bible into their dialect.
In 1942, the Japanese began to occupy the Gilbert Islands. In August of that year the Japanese army reached Beru where they found Alfred and the other Christians on the island huddled inside their church. They captured him and the other Europeans present and took them to the island of Tarawa, where they were beheaded.
We pray thee, Lord, for all who minister in thy name.
Strengthen them in time of weakness and trial, and direct them in all their work.
Give unto them the spirit of power, and of love, and of sound mind, that in all their work they may set forth thy glory, and set forward the salvation of souls;
that so the nations may become thine inheritance,
and the uttermost part of the earth thy possession; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayers of the Worldwide Church
Originally published in Heroes of Our Faith by Patrick Sookhdeo, Isaac Publishing