Curt Peterson, executive minister of the Covenant's Department of World Mission, and Dr Roger Thorpe, retired Covenant medical missionary, were in the wrong place at the wrong time yesterday. They were in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo, when fighting broke out.
Their plane was not allowed to leave the airport and they ended up seeking refuge in a compound in the city. Somewhere in all of their movement Roger's wallet was apparently stolen. But they are safe and have gotten a message to the American Embassy regarding their situation. The latest word is that UN peacekeeping troops will be dispatched to pick them up once the fighting dies down.
Two other Covenant leaders, Harvey Drake, pastor of the Emerald City Bible Fellowship in Seattle, and missionary Keith Gustafson were still in Karawa when the fighting broke out. Instead of flying to Kinshasa to catch a plane out of the country they are now en route to Bangui in the Central African Republic, a 12-hour drive over rutted roads.
The four Americans were in Congo to participate in a pastors' conference.
Updates will be posted on the Covenant website, CovChurch.org.
UPDATE: Don Johnson has a little more info.
UPDATE #2: Everyone appears safe. At last report Curt and Roger were getting onto an Air France plane. Keith and Harvey had made it to Bangui.