News Articles

Missionary facing trial for accidental death

SHINYANGA, Tanzania (BP)–Two years after he ran into a 16-year-old pedestrian in Nairobi, Southern Baptist International Mission Board missionary Terry Bell has been charged with careless and reckless driving and summoned to appear in court.
The teenage girl died within an hour after she darted out into traffic in front of Bell’s vehicle June 10, 1995. Bell, who drove straight to police headquarters to report the accident and avoid vigilante justice, was not charged at the time. Two years later, however, he received a summons to appear in court on the charges, and a civil suit was also filed.
Either Bell or his lawyer has appeared in Nairobi criminal court five times this year: once to enter a “not guilty” plea, once to pay bail (about $800) and three times for trial. The case has been continued three times because prosecution witnesses failed to appear.
The next court appearance is set for 9:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. Eastern) Nov. 24. A civil suit filed by the family begins 15 days later. Bell and his wife, Twylia, both from Texas, are asking Southern Baptists for continued prayer support — the kind of support that has carried them through thus far.
“It seems the prayer support has just increased and increased,” Bell said. “It’s very humbling, because I never felt prayer like this before.”
If found guilty of criminal charges, Bell could spend 10 years in a Kenya prison.
“When you look in the Bible, God allowed innocent people to be in even more difficult situations for his purpose. So, something could happen that we’re not expecting,” said Bell, who is assigned to Tanzania now. “But we feel confident the Lord has got this worked out in accordance with his will.”

    About the Author

  • (BP)