John Allen Chau, the American missionary who was killed by an isolated tribe on a remote Indian island, reportedly wrote in his journal hours before his death, “God, I don’t want to die.”
Chau, 26, of Vancouver, Wash., chronicled his last days while traveling to the Andaman Islands. He was intent on making contact with the Sentinelese tribe on North Sentinel Island, according to his journals shared by his mother with the Washington Post.
“You guys might think I’m crazy in all this but I think it’s worthwhile to declare Jesus to these people,” he wrote in a last note to his family on Nov. 16, shortly before he left the safety of the fishing boat to meet the tribesmen on the island. “God, I don’t want to die.”
The tribesmen, who stood about 5-feet -5 inches tall with yellow paste on their faces, reacted angrily to Chau’s presence, he wrote, as he attempted to speak their language and sing worship songs.
“I hollered, ‘My name is John, I love you and Jesus loves you,’” Chau wrote, adding that a child shot at him with an arrow that missed and pierced his waterproof Bible.
Chau was illegally ferried by to the island by fishermen before taking a kayak alone to shore.
In an email to Chau’s mother, Lynda Adams-Chau, a fellow missionary wrote that the fishermen saw the tribe burying the adventurer on the beach the next day. Several of the fishermen involved in helping Chau travel to the island, as well as a friend who helped organize the boat trip, have been arrested.
“They were very well aware of the situation, but they still arranged for a boat and everything,” said police official Deepak Yadav, a move he described as “pushing [Chau] in the mouth of death.”
Chau’s family have pleaded for their release, saying he acted “on his own free will.”
He often posted photographs of his worldwide travels online.
In Instagram posts and journals, Chau wrote that he found the remote Sentinel Island inspiring but frightening.
“Why does this beautiful place have to be have so much death here?” he wrote. “I hope this isn’t one of my last notes but if it is ‘to God be the Glory.’”