Kenya Gunmen Kill American Christian Missionaries; Funeral Friday

Thursday, February 1, 2007

By BosNewsLife News Center

NAIROBI, KENYA (BosNewsLife) -- Kenyan police on Thursday, February 1, continued an investigation into the murders of two American missionaries who were shot and killed last weekend in a carjacking, BosNewsLife established.

Lois Anderson, 79, a retired missionary of the Presbyterian Church United States of America, the PC(USA), and her daughter, Zelda White, 52, were shot Saturday, January 27, while driving through a village just a few kilometers (miles) outside the capital city of Nairobi, police investigators said.

Another daughter, Sylvia Moller and her husband, Alexander, were reportedly in the back seat but survived. Anderson’s husband, the Rev. Bill Anderson, was apparently in the car or walking toward it.

Lois Anderson, who had retired with her missionary husband to South Carolina after four decades working in east Africa, was in Kenya for a family re-union when the slayings occurred,
co-workers said.

White, who was driving the SUV, was a seminary student and wife of Craig White, an employee
of the US Embassy in Nairobi. PC(USA) officials said the hijackers apparently thought the women were slow in exiting the embassy’s car and began to shoot.


The attackers escaped with the vehicle, but soon abandoned it, according to PC(USA) and police officials. Two of the suspects were reportedly killed by police, but on Thursday, February 1, security forces were still hunting for others involved in the carjacking, Kenya's Daily Nation
newspaper reported.

Both women were to be buried in Kenya on Friday, February 2, news reports said. The case underscored concerns over the lack of safety on east African roads and came shortly after six foreign missionaries -- an American couple, a Dutch couple and two Kenyans -- died and 13 people were injured in neighboring Uganda in a head-on collision between their bus and a truck.

On Tuesday, January 23, police said the minibus packed with 21 people was returning to Kenya from a Jehovah's Witnesses religious service in eastern Uganda.” There was a fatal accident involving a lot of vehicles and a Tata truck," police spokesman Edward Ochom told Reuters news agency.


"It was a head-on collision and six died on the spot." Two Americans, two Canadians, three Swedes and six Kenyans were seriously injured in the crash, he said. The death of the missionaries in Kenya came as a major setback for the PC(USA) and other organizations.

“The Andersons are known across east Africa for their decades of service to the church, especially in the area of theological education," added PC(USA) Coordinator for Africa Doug Welch in comments seen by BosNewsLife. "They are known through for their unending commitment to God's mission and their selfless presentation of the work that God called them to."

Welsch said that the "mission community is an extended family and the family shares deep grief over this tragic news." (With reports from Kenya and Uganda.

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