The wife of an American missionary who was shot dead in Cameroon last month has said that she does not hold any bitterness against her husband’s killer. Charles Wesco, 44, was killed on October 30 after being struck with gunfire as he traveled in his car outside the Cameroonian city of Bamenda.
Stephanie has since vowed to forgive the killer and said she “has no bitterness in her soul against anyone,” according to CBN. Wesco leaves behind his wife and eight children. The circumstances of his death remain quite sketchy, with government officials blaming the shooting on Engish-speaking separatists, who are seeking to establish their own state in the north of the central African nation.
Others, however, have pointed the finger at French-speaking government troops. However, regardless of the killer’s identity, Stephanie has decided to demonstrate the grace of Jesus Christ. During a sermon delivered by Pastor Randy King delivered at Wesco’s memorial service Monday, the minister said that “Sister Stephanie (Wesco’s wife)” had “accessed the grace of God” in her forgiving of the killer. “She has totally forgiven Charles’ killer,” he added. “She has no bitterness in her soul against anyone.”
“She, her children and her extended family have been praying diligently for the man that took Charles’ life,” the pastor added. “We do not know the name of that man. But I pray as a missionary to Cameroon that I or her brother Ben Sinclair might one day have the opportunity to meet Charles’ killer to express our forgiveness to him and in love, seek to lead him to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior that he might also receive God’s forgiveness for what he did.”
King also revealed that following Wesco’s death, a Cameroonian Christian doctor “bowed and thanked Stephanie for her and her husband’s willingness to come to Cameroon to die for his people.” The couple and their children had been in the country just a couple weeks when Wesco was gunned down, supposedly caught up in crossfire between separatists and government authorities.
Wesco and his family had been sent out to the African country on mission by Believers Baptist Church in Warsaw, Indiana, and were living in a suburb of Bamenda, which has become a hotbed for violent armed clashes between the Anglophone community and the central government. Though the country is bilingual, segments of the English-speaking population insist that they are being discriminated against, particularly when it comes to representation in government. While security forces were able to suppress protests that erupted in 2016, an armed separatist group has since emerged. Around 400 civilians have been killed since the conflict began.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Stephanie and her children cope with the financial difficulties they are likely to face in the days ahead. So far, over $112,000 has been raised.