DURHAM, N.C. (BP)–An American who was among 74 people killed in a Uganda terrorist attack was related to Summit Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Durham, N.C.
Nate Henn was a former college rugby player who used his love of rugby to mobilize assistance for children suffering from warfare in Uganda. He died July 11 on a rugby field in Kampala when he was struck by shrapnel from a terrorist bomb. Three bombs exploded in coordinated attacks on a garden restaurant and the rugby field while hundreds of people had gathered to watch a World Cup soccer game between Spain and the Netherlands, according to news reports. A Somali terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Henn, 25, had gone to Uganda to meet children he had raised money to help through Invisible Children, a San Diego group that helps “forgotten children.” The children called Henn “Oteka” — “the strong one” — and loved “Nate’s wit, strength, character and steadfast friendship,” the group said on its website.
Henn was the son of Bob and Julie Henn, members of Summit’s North Raleigh campus, Summit pastor J.D. Greear reported in a July 13 article on his website. The grief of losing Henn was compounded for the family when a brother, who was flying home to be with his family, was involved in a plane crash, Greear noted. While the brother was not critically injured, a second passenger was critically injured and the pilot died, the Associated Press reported.
The article Greear posted, titled “A Pretty Devastating Day,” also noted that the same day Henn died, Summit Church also lost Helen Young, “a matriarch” of the young congregation, and Chai Atwood, son of Summit’s college pastor, Trevor Atwood and his wife, Keva, who had been born 14 weeks premature.
“Death and pain put the joy of salvation in sharp relief,” Greear wrote to the congregation.
“Our sufferings are real, our cries of pain are real. But we weigh our present pain against the glory that God is working through that pain; a glory that will outweigh (though it is hard to believe sometimes) all the suffering that we endure in the present,” Greear said. “Paul says that we now ‘groan in anguish’ like a woman in childbirth. Our groaning is real, but it is not a groan of despair.”
Greear pointed out that in Romans 8, the Apostle Paul likens the pain people experience in this life to the pain of childbirth. “Yes, we genuinely hurt, but the glory God is bringing forth in us and through us, for the age to come, makes ours a light and momentary affliction,” Greear said. “Summit, let us not forget that it is in our pain that we have one of the clearest opportunities to put the glory of God on display. It is in our pain that we are able to show that God is better to us than even life itself, and that our inheritance in God is something not even death can take away.”
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Mark Kelly.