CHRISTIAN BREAKING NEWS: 11 Key Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Leaders Killed in Tragic Bus Accident in Tanzania, 7 Still in Hospital, 2 in Critical Condition [#ArushaTragedy]
AJALI MBAYA: LORI LAGONGA BASI LA WANAFUNZI ARUSHA, MASHUHUDA WAELEZA KILICHOTOKEA | BAD ACCIDENT: A TRUCK HIT A BUS OF ARUSHA STUDENTS, WITNESSES EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED
Source: Wasafi Media YouTube Account, @Wasafi_Media
Source: Gracelynn Mataia Facebook Account, @gracelynn.mataia
GIVE HERE FOR “Arusha Accident Response Fund”:
A LETTER FROM DARLENE CUNNINGHAM, CO-FOUNDER OF YOUTH WITH A MISSION (ARUSHA TRAGEDY):
Dear YWAM Family,
By now, you have heard of the tragic bus accident in Tanzania on February 24 that took the lives of eleven key YWAM leaders. At this time, eight more are still in the hospital. (You can read the names and all of the background information on ywam.org).
In these days, tears are being poured out across the world by individuals, families and YWAMers worldwide. I am personally reeling from the weight of this news, as I knew and loved many of these individuals personally. But I am leaning into the character of God for what I know to be true about who He is!
The background: Participants in the “Executive Masters in Leadership” course, based at YWAM Arusha, Tanzania, took a field trip in two buses to Maasai land, where they observed our thriving community development program. They had a very good day together. On the return trip to Arusha, a truck that had lost its brakes smashed into our 2nd bus, literally crushing it from top to bottom. Eleven of our beloved friends were killed and eight others are severely wounded, battling for their lives. We have not seen a tragedy of this magnitude in all of YWAM’s history and we are all devastated.
Not only have husbands and wives, friends and co-workers been lost, but also YWAM ministry leaders. The individuals involved in running the Executive Masters were key YWAM leaders in the region – some leading flourishing YWAM bases; others giving leadership in the field of education and other spheres; others ministering in restricted-access locations where no one else would dare to go – and seeing the hand of God upon their ministries in amazing ways. The students attracted to the Executive Masters were the same caliber of people – life-long committed YWAM missionary pioneers. So their deaths create a massive vacuum in this part of the world for YWAM as a missionary movement.
Our brothers and sisters in Tanzania are carrying so much at this time. Those who survived the accident and were first on the scene to render aid are suffering a trauma that will be deep and long lasting. The practical tasks that need to be done by survivors at the base after a tragedy like this are enormous, all the while trying to walk through their own grief (the Arusha base leader and training director were among those who lost their lives).
The base has erected two tents on the property where family members and community members can come, pay their respects and grieve together. The Executive Masters students that are still there are sleeping in rooms where there’s an empty bed and eating meals without their fellow cohorts. And then there are those who have lost a partner, or a father or mother who will need our continual love and support. Ministry teams will need to adjust and fill leadership gaps that were not there before. The void and the needs go on and on….
Local and international YWAM leaders are gathering to support the remaining team members on the ground as they face the many details of repatriation, medical evacuation, family support, funeral arrangements, and many other logistics. (Current expenses are approximately USD $350,000).
In the midst of all of this, let us choose to be stronger than we were before. Wounded? Yes we are wounded. But just as with a natural wound, when treated correctly, the surrounding muscles become even stronger than before. Where you may have easily lost your balance previously, with the right care, you move onto good balance and are able to be stronger than you were before the wounding.
Let us commit – for ourselves personally, and for those most closely impacted by this – to get the right care, to become stronger than ever before. Healing is not going to take place overnight. We will have to work, care deeply for each other, and be ready to go the extra mile. But with God’s help, I know it’s wonderfully possible.
Here are a few reminders I would encourage you to take hold of, as we mourn this profound loss:
Hang onto the fact that, no matter what, we know that God is just and kind in all His ways (Ps 145:17).
Remind yourself of Job 42:2. Job had lost everything and his response was “I know that You can do all things and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” Let’s hang onto that word!
Remind yourself of Isaiah 41:10: “…do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Remind yourself of the word over and over, especially the Psalms, where God promises us that He will protect us with His strong right arm and keep us from falling.
I have found myself in these days lifting my right arm toward heaven, and extending my hand to the Lord saying, “I feel like I’m slipping, but I hang onto Your strong right arm and know that I can be secure in Your loving care!” And then I hang on with all my might!
Let’s increase our prayer, and specifically include every nation and YWAM base around the globe by name.
Let’s ask: How can we support the ministries that have lost their loved ones? May our prayer be, “here am I; send me.”
Dear missionary family, it is at this time we hold onto our God and each other, proving that He is always great enough to see us through every trial that we encounter.
I like to think of Loren being there at the gates of heaven to greet and welcome these eleven beloved YWAMers! Our hearts rejoice knowing that they are rejoicing to be with Jesus, while at the same time, we weep for the loss of their presence among us.
Blessings and love to each one of you!
UPDATES : BUS ACCIDENT IN TANZANIA:
February 25, 2024, 11:30AM HST — Update #6
With the ripples of the difficult news of the death of 11 YWAMers in a terrible traffic accident in Tanzania, our prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased. There are five injured individuals still hospitalized and two more people in critical condition to be rallied around in prayer. We thank the Lord that one of the hospitalized, Isaac B., has been released to return home. (Due to security reasons, we cannot release the full names).
Local and international leaders from YWAM are gathering to support the team on the ground, who are now faced with many details of repatriation, medical evacuation, family support, funeral arrangements, and many other logistics. We invite you to help with these expenses with an opportunity to give on the following link. The estimated cost of all of these arrangements is approximately $350,000. Thank you to those who are already contributing. Feel free to share this link with others.
Thank you for helping to ease the financial burden for those bearing the weight of this significant loss to our family in Africa. Your ongoing prayers and sensitivity are much appreciated.
February 25, 2024, 8:00AM HST — Update #5
Many of you may now have heard of the tragedy that took place on the 24th of February in Arusha. Leaders and students involved in the Executive Masters Program were on a field trip with other local YWAMers. One mini-bus was struck and overrun by a large truck with failing brakes.
It is with great sadness that we confirm friends and coworkers have passed away. Below are the names of those who have gone to be with Jesus, and for security purposes, their full names and nationalities have been kept confidential.
Those who are currently in hospital and in critical condition are:
Those who are in the hospital and in stable condition are:
All others out on the field trip with the Master intensive are safely back at the Arusha YWAM Base. If your friends do not appear on this list, they were not in the accident.
A team of leaders on the ground in Arusha, Tanzania, a crisis response team in Kona, Hawaii, and other key leaders have been working nonstop to respond in a loving, compassionate, and responsible way to this tragedy that impacts so many of us. Thank you for your ongoing prayers and sensitivity during this emotional time.
February 24, 2024, 10:30PM HST — Update #4
It is morning time in Tanzania, and we are deeply saddened to confirm the passing of another three of our dear missionaries as a result of the tragic traffic accident on Saturday, February 24th, near Arusha, Tanzania. Eleven of our friends are now with Jesus. Two are still in critical condition in the hospital.
As a movement, we gather around all those impacted by this tragedy, their families, and their communities. We are working to meet all the pressing practical, financial, and emotional needs that arise. A fund has been set up that can receive donations.
Please feel free to share the giving link freely: https://ywamkona.my.site.com/staff/s/campaigngiving?id=701Pj000008pWsaIAE
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support as we navigate the impact of this tremendous loss.
February 24, 2024, 1:10PM HST — Update #3
It is with great sadness that we are confirming that 8 of our dearly loved friends and honored missionaries have passed away as a result of the tragic traffic accident involving multiple vehicles on Saturday, February 24th, near Arusha, Tanzania. Additionally, several others, including the bus driver, have also passed away. Our hearts go out to all the families, friends, and team members affected by this heartbreaking loss.
For security purposes, their full names and nationalities are kept confidential. Direct family members of those who have passed away and those in critical condition are being contacted as updates on their condition are received by our coordinating team on the ground.
Besides the tragedy of this loss of life, we can confirm that five of our members are in stable condition, with three in critical condition. Our love and prayers continue to go out to them and their families as they continue to fight for their lives.
There are several inaccurate reports circulating around in the news and on social media channels. We encourage everyone to honor the families of those impacted by the tragedy by not generating or spreading unconfirmed reports. Please feel free to repost the updates posted here.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers and sensitivity during this emotional time.
February 24, 2024, 9:10AM HST — Update #2
Here is an update from our friends on the ground as we just received word from our leaders. We are very concerned for those involved in this accident. One of the two buses was unaffected by the crash with the truck and has returned to the YWAM campus in Arusha. The other bus with YWAM leaders and candidates sustained significant damage. Several individuals are in critical condition in Arusha hospitals.
Many details are still unknown as it is too early to confirm the conditions of specific individuals. We are still working on notifying the families. Please continue to pray. This is most urgent. We are directly in touch with the leaders on the ground who are interfacing with us from the hospitals, the YWAM campus, and emergency responders on the scene. Our hearts go out to everyone involved.
February 24, 2024, 6:40AM HST — Update #1
Two hours ago, we learned of a bus accident in Arusha, Tanzania with YWAMers who had gathered there attending a University of the Nations Executive Masters course intensive. Facilitators and candidates of the course were traveling together in two buses, when one was hit by a truck. We will update you once we know more. We are praying for everyone involved. Our hearts go out to these friends of ours and their families. Please check back here for regular updates.
11 YWAM Leaders KILLED IN TRAGIC BUS ACCIDENT in Tanzania | 7 STILL IN HOSPITAL 2 CRITICAL CONDITION | Christian Breaking News!