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Thursday, 15 July 2010

Bwaise pentecostal pastor perishes in Kampala bomb attacks

Bwaise pastor perishes in bomb attacks

Wednesday, 14th July, 2010

By Vision Reporter

BWAISE Pentecostal Church lost its senior pastor, Peter Mutabazi, and a lead vocalist, Becky Tendo Nakitende, in the blast at the Ethiopian Village in Kabalagala.

Nakitende, the mother of a four-year-old child, was buried in Sisa sub-county, Wakiso district, while Mutabazi was buried in Kanoni sub-county, also in Wakiso district.

Mutabazi is survived by a widow, Alice, and five children.

Prayers at Bwaise Pentecostal Church on Tuesday were led by Pastor David Kiganda of Christian Focus Centre. Present was the Vice-President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya.

According to a statement from Vice-President’s office, Bukenya said the Government would hunt down those responsible for the blasts.

He urged the public to be on the lookout for strangers and suspicious luggage.
Bukenya commended US President Barack Obama for condemning the attacks by the al-Shabaab militants.

Hosting American pastors at his Katoomi Kingdom Resort Hotel in Wakiso district, Bukenya called for calm as the Government intensifies the search for perpetrators of the crime.

American Died Living His Dream in Uganda

(July 12) -- Nate Henn was realizing a long-held dream of living in Uganda as an aid worker, writing on his Facebook page recently that he was living the best days of his life in the African country, where he helped educate former child soldiers.

Henn's work was cut short Sunday, when he was among the scores killed in the Uganda bombings while watching the World Cup final. He was 25. The three-pronged terrorist attack at a rugby club, an Ethiopian restaurant and a bar popular with tourists injured dozens, including six Methodist missionaries from a Pennsylvania church.

Henn, a Wilmington, Del., native and former college rugby player at the University of Delaware, had traveled to the capital city of Kampala as an aid worker with the California-based nonprofit Invisible Children.

"It is with deep sadness that we write to tell you that one of our dear friends has been lost in the terrorist attack," Invisible Children said on its website. "Nate was not a glory-seeker and never sought the spotlight. He asked not to be made a hero of. But the life he lived inspires reflection and imitation."

Invisible Children said Henn's students nicknamed him "Oteka," meaning "The Strong One." He died with at least 48 others at the rugby field when one of the three synchronized bombs struck.

Henn had worked with Invisible Children for a year and a half. Before going to Uganda, Henn traveled around the United States without pay, "advocating for the freedom of abducted child soldiers," the group said. Henn had raised thousands of dollars for war-affected Ugandan children.

According to Invisible Children, Henn recently wrote a message to his Facebook friends saying, "thank you for helping me achieve my dream of getting to Uganda."

"Nate's life ended while living out this dream, a selfless dream of putting others first, seeking peace and living a life of integrity," the group said. "He will be forever missed, forever remembered, and his legacy will live on in our love and deeds."

Former Washington Post journalist Dave Weigel, a high school friend of Henn's, mourned the aid worker's death with a post at The Atlantic's website today, saying he is "devastated."

"It didn't surprise me that he devoted his life to charity work," Weigel wrote. "A lot of people loved Nate and depended on him, and it hurts to watch them post on his Facebook wall promises to 'see you soon.'"

Henn played rugby for almost two semesters at the University of Delaware, where he attended from September 2003 to December 2008 but did not earn a degree, The Associated Press reported.

"He was a really, really nice guy," Jason Vanterpool, a rugby teammate, told the AP.

Members of Christ Community United Methodist Church in Selinsgrove, Pa., were in Kampala as part of a two-week mission when the suicide bombing tore through the Ethiopian restaurant where they dined and watched the World Cup.

Their families in the U.S. now wait for word on their condition, many of them praying at the church in Selinsgrove, Gerald Wolgemuth, director of communications for the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church, told AOL News.

"The uncertainty is devastating. Folks have not talked to their families," Wolgemuth said. "We are led to believe the injuries are not life threatening, but at this point we're not really sure."

Relatives are relying on news reports and updates to the mission group's blog, he said. Some members of the group await airlifting to a trauma center in Johannesburg, South Africa, to better treat their injuries, which include shrapnel wounds and broken limbs.

Among those who expect to be transported to Johannesburg is Christ Community parishioner Kris Sledge, 18, of Selinsgrove. According to the mission's blog, Sledge suffered a broken right leg with a "very deep blast wound" and also sustained blast wounds to his face.

"I remember blacking out, hearing people screaming and running," Sledge told the AP from the hospital in Kampala. "I love the place here but I'm wondering why this happened and who did this. ... At this point we're just glad to be alive."

According to the Pennsylvania mission's blog, Joanne Kerstetter and her granddaughter, Emily Kerstetter, 16, both of Selinsgrove, will be airlifted to Johannesburg, where Emily will require surgery on her leg.

Lori Ssebulime, the team leader of the Christ Community mission, who was "shaken" but not seriously injured, cared for Emily after the attack.

"Emily was rolling around in a pool of blood screaming," Ssebulime told the AP. "Five minutes before it went off, Emily said she was going to cry so hard because she didn't want to leave. She wanted to stay the rest of the summer here."

Pam Kramer, 46, of Winfield, Pa., suffered a broken leg, and her 14-year-old son, Thomas, will undergo "immediate" surgery on his leg in Johannesburg.

Kramer's husband, Scott, said he received a comforting phone call from his wife, a supervisor of special education for a school, on Sunday night.

"I was worried until I got a call from my wife," Kramer, 49, told The Wall Street Journal. "Just hearing her voice is much better because we didn't know anything."

Nine members of the Christ Community mission returned to the U.S. last week, and the remaining six were scheduled to return to the U.S. on Tuesday. The group spent more than two weeks in the country, listing their mission as evangelism and the construction of a wall around the school and church property of Bwaise Pentecostal Church in Kampala.

The Pennsylvania group said it was awaiting word on the condition of Bwaise's pastor, Peter Mutabazi, who was missing in the aftermath of the attacks.

Members of the Christ Community church planned to gather for prayer tonight, including the family of Kris Sledge.

"I would say they're fine considering the circumstances," Wolgemuth told AOL News. "But they are emotionally distraught at this point, waiting for better information."
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