Kenyan "Jesus" Film Team Leader Attacked; Three Killed

Tuesday, April 10, 2001

April 10, 2001

The leader of a Kenyan "Jesus" film team ministry supported by churches and individuals through Christian Aid narrowly survived a murder attempt April 3. However, three neighbors who rushed to his aid in the 3 a.m. attack were shot and killed by the attackers.

Justus Okoth, leader of Evangelism Outreach Africa Ministries in Nairobi, and his wife, Janice, were awakened in their home by the attackers. How the assailants gained entrance to the house is not known.

Several neighbors heard the commotion and rushed to help, but the thieves, whom Justus believes were former military personnel from another country, shot and killed three of them, and then fled before the police arrived.

Justus could barely talk after being severely beaten with an iron rod. They tried three times to slit his throat, but, miraculously, it wouldn't cut.

The invaders stole the ministry's film projector, generator, screen, film reels, extension cords, and even took the Okoths' wristwatches and their wedding rings. They ransacked the house, taking all of the couple's clothes and simple furniture. They confiscated all papers, documents and receipts.

The thieves were not satisfied with the small amount of money Justus had and threatened to kill him if he did not give them more. Somehow Justus persuaded his attackers that that was all he had.

"They left nothing," Okoth whispered over the phone, barely able to speak. The Okoths' two children, ages 4 and nine months, were not injured.

Justus said the attackers would have stolen his vehicle, too, but they couldn't unlock the security measures on it. They did take the key, however.

Justus said he thought the attack was the result of many people turning to Christ through his ministry in recent months. He was preparing to go into Sudan for evangelistic outreach.

Justus and his wife were in great physical pain and went to the hospital for emergency treatment, but the hospital refused to treat them unless they could pay in advance for the services.

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