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The Death -- and Life -- of a 15-Year-Old Missionary

Smiling and upbeat, her blue eyes dancing and her wild curly blonde hair pretty much everywhere, 15-year-old Courtney Faith Miller was looking forward to heading out after school for a 3-hour road trip with her mom to Manhattan, Kansas, where her brother Jacob lives and her sister, Elly, is a sophomore at Kansas State University.

Besides anticipating the trip, February 27, 2015, was a typical Friday morning for Courtney. She ate breakfast and conversed with her dad, Tim, who spends much of his time caring for their 2,000-acre farm. Her mom, Denise, a teacher at Thunder Ridge High School in nearby Kensington, Kansas, was already at school preparing for the day.

As school had a late start that Friday, Courtney was in no particular rush as she jumped into the family's 2001 GMC Sonoma pick-up* and headed down the rural road towards school.

Courtney, known for her ability to brighten any room with her smile, may have already been thinking about taking the road trip, visiting her sister and brother, and how she would be telling her mom, as she did on a regular basis (and meant it), that "Today was the best day of my life!"Three minutes later, time stopped. Courtney Faith Miller, a young woman blessed with seemingly unending cheerfulness and a bubbling personality, was dead.

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