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Uganda wreck claims missionary Adam Langford, church leader Moses Kimezi

Comforting a grieving woman who lost her sister to AIDS, Adam Langford could only say “nga kitalo,” a phrase in the Lusoga language that roughly translates as “oh, it’s terrible.” It’s an expression of deep sympathy used only at a time of death. “My illusions of solving the problems of this country have long ago left me,” Langford wrote in an account of the funeral. “They have been replaced with the hope of a risen savior who understands what it means to suffer in this world.” Now, a tragedy has claimed Langford. The 28-year-old missionary died Jan. 16 when the truck in which he was riding went over the edge of a mountain road in eastern Uganda. Another passenger, church leader Moses Kimezi, 36, died in a Mbale hospital from injuries suffered in the wreck.
The two men and a hired driver were taking coffee from Mount Elgon to Jinja for The Source Cafe, an Internet cafe and coffee shop in the city of more than 50,000 people, missionary Clint Davis said. Profits from The Source help support many church-related needs for the 70-plus congregations in the area, including care for victims of HIV and AIDS. Kimezi served as the cafe’s manager.
The brakes on the truck apparently failed as the driver attempted to navigate the hairpin turns of Mount Elgon, said John Barton, a former missionary to Uganda. The driver lost control of the truck, which left the road, went airborne briefly and rolled down an embankment. The driver, who also was taken to the hospital, is expected to survive.
“Adam and Moses were an amazing pair,” said Davis, former director of the cafe who now heads The Kibo Group ministry in Uganda, “and now we’ve had a one-two leadership loss at a time when they were doing so many good, kingdom-building projects together.”
Langford grew up in Oklahoma City and became interested in missions during a two-week high school trip to the Central American country of Honduras. While studying business management at Oklahoma Christian University, he spent two months in Uganda and met a group of missionaries in Jinja.
“I was amazed at how the team was able to spread the gospel, not only through preaching and teaching, but also through redemptive business and social entrepreneurship,” Langford said.
After working as a financial adviser in Gresham, Ore., Langford joined the Jinja team. His brother and sister-in-law, Ben and Kym Langford, also serve on the team as church planters.
Kimezi, an accomplished carpenter and businessman, left behind a wife, Irene, and three children. Kimezi and his family helped a young man with a cleft palate to get reconstructive surgery and nursed him back to health. Kimezi taught him carpentry. The day of the accident, the young man pledged to take care of Kimezi’s children, Davis said.
Kimezi was buried at his home in Uganda on Jan. 18. Langford’s funeral was held Jan. 24 at the Memorial Road church in Oklahoma City.
Barton, a philosophy professor at Rochester College in Rochester Hills, Mich., and missionary Mark Moore traveled to Uganda to minister to the hurting churches and missionaries. The men visited the site of the wreck and said that many Ugandans expressed sympathy and support.
“Obviously, this is tragic on so many levels, and the time of mourning is really only beginning,” Barton said. “But … we can already see God’s power and provision at work here.
“In good Moses Kimezi style, it often turns out to be the Ugandans who teach us about goodness and faith and hope,” he added. “And, as I can imagine Adam saying to us right now, may we learn these lessons well from our Ugandan teachers.”
At the team’s Web site, www.jinjamissions.org, Langford’s final report became a memorial for the missionary. Friends and supporters posted dozens of comments to the report.
“You made being a real Christian cool for the teens,” church member Cindy Wilson wrote. “Your faith in our Lord showed no boundaries. It was deep, real and crazy.”
Read Adam Langford’s final mission report online at http://www.jinjamissions.org.
Memorial contributions may be made to the following:
Memorials for Adam Langford:
East County Church of Christ
Langford Family Fund
24375 SE Stark
Gresham, OR 97030
Adam Langford Memorial Leadership Scholarship Fund
Via Oklahoma Christian University
Office of Advancement
P.O. Box 11000
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  73136
(405) 425-5094
Memorials for emergency travel for missionaries:
Rochester Church of Christ
250 W. Avon Road
Rochester Hills, MI 48307
attn: Jinja Emergency Fund
Memorials for Moses Kimezi’s wife and children
Kibo Group
Langford / Kimeze Memorial Fund
604 S Redwood Ave
Broken Arrow, OK 74012

Filed under: International

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