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Missionary family escapes deadly ambush by gunmen

KAABONG, Uganda (BP)–Missionaries Bruce and Martha Schmidt and two of their children narrowly escaped when unidentified gunmen fired on their double-cab pick-up truck Feb. 14 near Kaabong, Uganda.
The Schmidts, Southern Baptist International Mission Board missionaries in Uganda, were traveling from Kampala, Uganda’s capital, to their home in Kaabong when assailants shot three bullets into their truck, said IMB missionary Mark Pierce, a friend and co-worker of the couple.
The first bullet blew a front tire and the brake line, Pierce said. The second entered the cab at the left rear, passed over Michael, the couple’s 8-year-old son, then went through Schmidt’s headrest and blew out his window. Schmidt drove as fast as he could on three wheels and a tire rim as the truck took a third bullet which entered low between the front and back seats.
Schmidt, his son and 13-year-old daughter, Stephanie, suffered only minor injuries from flying glass and fragmenting bullets.
The gunmen, who shot unseen from the left, have not been found.
The Valentine’s Day attack occurred in a region that’s home to the Karamojong, a tribe the Schmidts have worked with for four years.
“The Jie, which is a Karamojong subtribe to the south of us, have a history of occasionally killing for no reason,” said Pierce, from Wayne City, Ill. “Only God’s love can change that.”
Meanwhile, the incident has been a positive witness to the Karamojong, Pierce said. “Many of them came to see the truck and were amazed that no one was killed and God protected them.”
While they are stepping up safety precautions, Pierce said he and the Schmidts are not leaving the area. “We don’t intend to be scared away and feel that God must be up to something in Karamoja for all this opposition from Satan to be happening,” he said. The Schmidts were appointed as IMB missionaries in 1987. They worked among the Maasai tribe in Kenya before transferring to Uganda in 1994.

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  • Jenny Rogers