Inroad Press

American Killed in Benghazi Motivated by Love


The American teacher gunned down last week while jogging in Benghazi, Libya didn’t have to be there. Ronald “Ronnie” Smith had already sent his wife Anita and toddler son Hosea home to Austin, Texas, where he planned to celebrate Christmas with them. Smith stayed on in Libya to see his students through their semester exams before returning to the U.S. himself.

Smith, a chemistry teacher, was known for giving extra help to students in order to meet the demanding curriculum at Benghazi’s International School. According to the school’s Facebook page, “He was a much loved teacher who supported students in their learning and always had time to help when asked.” Classes for the last week of the term as well as exams were cancelled out of respect for Smith.

According to his Austin church’s website (link below in photo credit), Smith went to Libya to teach chemistry and to “be a blessing to the Libyan people.” It reports that his “greatest desire was for peace and prosperity in Libya and for the people of Libya to have the joy of knowing God through Christ.” Smith served on staff at the church before moving to Benghazi in December 2011.

It is not known whether Smith’s faith played a role in the motivation for the attack. It is known, however, that what he did, he did out of love.

Photo: The Austin Stone Community Church