Birmingham area missionaries survive Uganda bombing by al Shabaab rebels

| July 27, 2010

A group of missionaries from Asbury United Methodist Church in north Shelby County were at a Ugandan restaurant Sunday night watching the soccer World Cup when a bomb ripped through the building, killing 13 people.

A second bomb 50 minutes later at Kyadondo Rugby Club claimed more lives. The toll this morning for both bombings stood at 74, according the Associated Press.

The Somali militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the bombings at the rugby club and the Ethiopian Village restaurant in Uganda's capital of Kampala, where Allen Nunnally and six others from here had gathered to watch the game.

The Asbury group –just feet away from others who were killed in the blast–was shaken, but not injured, Nunnally said today in a telephone interview with The Birmingham News.

"There was blood everywhere. There was blood on us," Nunnally said. "At first we didn't know if it was ours. But we were literally untouched. We are so blessed and so in awe of God's protection of us."

Nunnally, a 23-year-old graduate of Oak Mountain High School and Auburn University, and Jay Clark, a 23-year-old graduate of Oak Mountain High School and the University of Alabama, helped to start an orphanage, Sozo Children International, just months ago outside of the capital city.

A group helping with the orphanage returned to the Birmingham area Saturday. Those remaining and at the restaurant Sunday night are Carrie Clarke, 26, a math teacher at Oak Mountain High School, and Oak Mountain graduates Tori Klanberg, Mason Holt, Catherine Wise and Jonathan Lenning. Klanberg, Holt and Wise attend the University of Alabama.

Nunnally said the Ethiopian Restaurant is one of their favorite gathering spots because of its 25-foot projector screen that broadcast all of the soccer games. "We would sit, enjoy a cold Mountain Dew and give high fives when our team scored goals," he wrote on his blog.

He said he told the group earlier in the day they had to get there early to make sure they got a good seat in front of the big screen.

Instead, they were late and seated in a smaller room with a brick wall that separated them from the screen.

It was just before half-time when the bomb exploded. "The boom was deafening," Nunnally said. "We are still having trouble hearing."

The group went back to the orphanage and are booking flights home earlier than expected. Nunnally and Clark said they will return as soon as it's safe.

"We have big plans for this city," he said, "and this organization. Right now, we're giving all glory and honor to God."

 

http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/07/post_578.html

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Category: Mission Trip/Missionary Security

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