Southeastern Seminary student beaten robbed in Kenya

Family says not attacked because of Christianity, but it's the reason they're going back.

NAIROBI, Kenya (BP)—A Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary student was viciously beaten and his family terrorized January 1 along a dark highway in East Africa during an ambush by men wielding spears and swords. Rob Kopesky, a master of divinity in international church planting student at the Wake Forest, North Carolina, seminary, suffered three fractures on the left side of his face, including a broken jaw. Kopesky is scheduled to undergo five hours of reconstructive surgery January 6 at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi. Doctors plan to implant titanium plates to reposition the broken bones in his cheek and under his left eye and wire his jaw shut. During a phone interview January 5 from his hospital bed in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, Kopesky said he had been attempting to change a flat tire about 7:30 p.m. New Year's Day off the Nairobi-Mombasa Highway, when about 10 men emerged from a cornfield bordering the road."The ringleader held a flashlight to my face, and I instantly knew we were in big trouble," Kopesky recounted. "The next thing I knew I woke up to the screams of my wife and children, and the car window breaking. I prayed to God, 'Lord, they can kill me, but don't let them hurt my wife and kids.' At that point, I got angry, I started to fight back. One of them put a knife to my neck and told me, 'Give us all your money or I'll kill you.' "Kopesky said he pushed the knife away from his throat, slicing his thumb, before the gang of men attacked him a second time repeatedly kicking him in the ribs and knocking him unconscious a second time. He said his wife, Cynthia, witnessed the attack with their three children, ages four, 10 and 11, from inside the vehicle. The gang of men, who spoke fluent English, slapped ...

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