Local group survives blasts in Uganda

By Melanie Posey

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A group of Birmingham missionaries are safe tonight after living through one of three bombings that shook Uganda Sunday afternoon.

The young people were part of group from Asbury United Methodist Church.

They had gone to the Ethiopian Village in Kabalagala to watch the championship game of the World Cup.  "They ended up eating at a different restaurant and so they got there late," Asbury youth director Suzanne Owens said Monday after talking to some of the members.  "So they weren't able to sit outdoors where they normally sat to see the big screen.

Instead, they sat behind this L-shaped wall that may have saved their lives.

In a blog, Allen Nunnelly, one of the group members, told how he had just returned from the restroom when all of a sudden, "Boom! An eruption louder than a thunder crack burst in our ears."  Someone had bombed the place where they sat. And just feet away, bodies lay.

"There was one little boy who's leg looked like it wasn't going to stay on.  Another woman was missing an eye," Owens said.  Pam Clark's son, Jay, and daughter, Christie, were in the bombings.

She got a text message alerting her to the situation. But it wasn't until she saw news report about the devastation and death toll that reality began to set in. "Then I was scared," Clark recalled.  "But at the same time, I was trusting in God and He obviously had a bigger plan here."

After all, she had had peace when her son and his friend first went overseas and started an orphanage, Sozo International.  She and Owens knew they had instilled a faith in their children.  "Their faith has been strengthened through this. They are in awe of God that they would have only a few nicks and just a few feet away people lost their lives."

The group will be return to the states Wednesday and Thursday.

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