What a devastating tragedy.
Charles Trumann Wesco was a father of eight and a missionary to Cameroon. Just twelve days ago, he and his wife Stephanie moved the whole family to the city of Bamenda in the Northwest of Cameroon to become missionaries spreading the love of Christ. The Wescos had made several missionary trips to Africa in the past but decided to make Cameroon their permanent home after a missions trip in 2015. After raising enough money to support themselves for two years, they took the plunge. Not even two weeks later, tragedy struck.
Wesco was sitting in the passenger seat of a car being driven by another missionary for a shopping trip in town. He was shot in the head and taken to the local hospital where he was treated by Doctors Without Borders. Wesco died shortly after arrival. No one else in the car was injured.
Dave Halyman, assistant pastor at Believers Baptist Church in Warsaw, Indiana, where Stephanie Wesco’s father, Don Williams, is the senior pastor, said that Williams had spoken by phone with his daughter after the shooting.
Reporting Williams’ account, Halyman said the shooting happened as Charles and Stephanie Wesco were in a car being driven by another missionary to the town of Bamnui from the Bamenda suburb of Bambili, where the family has been living.
He said Charles Wesco was in the front seat, and two shots hit the windshield and struck him in the head. No one else was hurt, Halyman said.
There has been a rise in violent conflict between English-speaking separatists against the perceived oppression by the French-speaking government. In the last year, the conflict has claimed the lives of 420 civilians, 175 members of the security forces and an unknown number of separatists.
‘We’re shocked and grieving at what’s occurred. We’re trying to get over the shock of losing someone as wonderful as Charles was,’ Halyman said. ‘While we don’t like this, we understand that God has a great purpose.’
The missionary’s brother is Indiana state Rep Tim Wesco, who confirmed that his older brother had been killed.
‘He loved the Lord. He loved people. The Lord giveth. The Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord,’ he said.
Source: Daily Mail
Timothy Wesco now says that the attack appears to have been intentional.
“It appears that he was targeted,” Timothy said, adding later it was “quite probable he was targeted because he was a white, English-speaking American.”
Cameroon has seen violence flare in recent months as English-speaking separatists have attacked schools in a revolt against the French-speaking government’s education system and perceived oppression of English speakers. A former French colony, Cameroon is largely French-speaking, except for the two provinces Northwest and Southwest where English is the major language.
The separatist movement has been met with a severe crackdown by government forces, with the violence bringing the country to the brink of “an emerging civil war,” according to Richard Moncrieff, the Central Africa project director at the International Crisis Group. At least 400 civilians have been killed in the last year since separatists declared independence in October 2017, reported ICG.
Local Cameroonian media reported that Wesco was shot by government forces, but his brother could not confirm that.
That is a huge concern with the rest of the family still there.
“We’re very concerned about the safety of the family,” Timothy Wesco said. While Stephanie and the eight children are still in the country right now, the family hopes to get them out soon, he added.
The family was aware of the risks in Cameroon, with Charles and Stephanie writing in a September-October newsletter about a curfew where “English section civilians are not allowed to safely leave their homes or operate their businesses without risking loss or death.”
“Keep praying earnestly for a return of peace to the English and French sections of Cameroon!” they added, noting their humility and excitement for their religious mission.
Source: ABC News
How heartbreaking to lose someone in such a cold, calculating way. The government may have killed a missionary in order to push a political agenda that discriminates against its own people.
Let’s pray that the rest of the Wesco family remains safe until they can come home to Indiana.
It’s stories like this that remind us how good we have it here in America.
While the #Resist peeps shout that President Trump is some sort of totalitarian, worse than an ISIS recruiter, and ‘Literally Hitler’ for his words — they never mention that we don’t see things like this happening in the United States.
Maybe the Media (D) could report on that aspect of the story since they’re likely to ignore the death of a Christian Missionary on principle.
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