Churches honor memory of sisters killed in Texas car wreck
Just hours before she was to begin a missions apprenticeship…
A Wednesday night collision in rural West Texas claimed the lives of two teenage sisters, both members of a Church of Christ.
Eighteen-year-old Wendy Ella Payne and her 16-year-old sister, Aranza, died in a three-car collision around 11 p.m. on Texas Highway 84 near Anton, Texas. Another sister, Sarah, was taken to a hospital with multiple injuries, according to members of the Sunset Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas. Five additional people were injured.
Police said that Jasmine Nicole Burman, 28, of San Angelo, Texas, was driving an SUV in the wrong lane and struck the car Ella Payne was driving. Another car, driven by John Howard Aasen, 72, of Richmond, Texas, then rear-ended Payne’s car, KLBK reports.
The Paynes were members of the Amherst Church of Christ, about 50 miles northwest of Lubbock. Just hours after the wreck, Ella Payne was scheduled to begin her first day in Adventures in Missions, a ministry training and apprenticeship program sponsored by Sunset International Bible Institute.
The Institute and the Sunset Church of Christ youth group will host a 9 p.m. vigil to pray for the Payne family, the others involved in the wreck and the Amherst congregation, said Timothy A. Burow, who will be inaugurated as Sunset International Bible Institute’s third president on Aug. 12.
“We are also going to have counselors standing by to help people process this event, emotionally and intellectually,” Burow told The Christian Chronicle. “It has been the focus of thoughts and prayers through the day as we continually hurt over lives cut short and family torn apart.
“We know that God’s grace is sufficient even in a horrendous event like this, but it is hard to see and feel it in the midst of the fog that darkens our way. We pray that the light of Christ will soon lift it and bring healing to the many who are bewildered and confused by their aching hearts.”
UPDATE: A GoFundMe account to help the family has expired. Those wishing to donate can send their donations to:
c/o Amherst Church of Christ
1533 CR 248
Amherst, TX 79312
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