American Missionary killed in Cameroon
Charles Trumann Wesco, a Baptist missionary, has been shot dead in Cameroon, on Tuesdays 30 October, two weeks after he moved to the country to work with the Baptist Church.
The 44-year-old missionary was with his wife, Stephany Wesco, eldest son, another missionary, and their driver, on their way to a Bamnui market in Bamenda, Cameroon’s Northwest Region, when he was reportedly shot twice in the head. Attempts to save his life at the hospital in Bamenda failed, Kingue Thomson Njie, Director of the hospital, told AP that “he died in our hospital after all attempts to save his life.”
Charles had and spent years raising funds in his home city, Mishawaka, northern Indiana, so he could move to Cameroon as a missionary. Pastor Dave Halyaman, Believers Baptist Church, USA, which sent Charles and his family to the mission field in Cameroon told the BBC that Stephanie, described the tragedy as God’s will. “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.”
Tim Wesco, Charles brother who is Indiana state Representative, said Charles “loved the Lord. He loved people. The Lord giveth. The Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord,” Tim said.
The Cameroonian government and the separatist rebel group fighting for the independence of northern English speaking region have blamed one another for the murder of the missionary.
Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo blamed the rebels whom he said were targeting a nearby university. Col. Didier Badjeck, Cameroonian military spokesman, told AP that four of the attackers have been killed and arrests have been made.
Stephany and her eight children have been taken out of the northern region on Thursday morning, 1 November, to Yaoundé, the Cameroon capital, Halyaman said, on their way back to the USA, on Saturday 3 November. The US State Department has said it would to bring the family home to the US “hopefully in a week or less”.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.