American war hero dies saving drowning boy during missionary work in Indonesia

A Rohingya child plays with balloons at a temporary shelter in Kuala Cangkoi, Indonesia. Tim Adams died doing missionary work in the country after serving in the US military in the Middle East.Reuters

A Christian from Ohio who survived explosions during combat in Afghanistan and Iraq died saving the life of a young boy while doing missionary work in Indonesia. 

Tim Adams, from Warren, was described as 'very humble, very caring, and loving' by his brother Lenny, WKBN reported.

Adams enlisted in the Army, serving in the Middle East and surviving three explosions. 'He was a combat engineer. His main duty was to disarm explosives and clear ways for infantry to come in,' Lenny Adams said.

In January, Adams signed on to be a missionary intern through Grace Fellowship Church in Niles and Liberty University, at the age of 35.

On March 5 in Indonesia, he was swimming off a beach with some children when the water quickly rose above their heads. 'He stayed out to get the kids in and he sacrificed himself for a six-year-old,' Lenny said.

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Roy Mack, the pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Niles, the church Adams attended, said Adams felt guilty for killing people in the line of service: 'He said, "You know, I want to spend the rest of my life not carrying bullets to other parts of the world, but I want to carry the word of God and live out my life serving Christ this way."'

The boy saved by Adams is named Daniel and is the son of one of the missionaries. 'In fact, Daniel still had Tim's hat in his hand. He had put him up on his shoulders to keep him from going under and I mean, literally, just gave his life to make sure that little boy had a life to go to,' Pastor Mack said.

Lenny said he was not surprised his brother died saving a life.

The funeral service for Tim Adams was held on Saturday at Grace Fellowship Church, with full military honours.

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