An American missionary couple who have worked in Africa for five years were killed in Uganda last week. After dark on the evening of Thursday, March 18, a group of between five and seven men, dressed in military uniforms, attacked and shot Warren and Donna Pett near their home in the district of Yumbe.

The Petts, originally dairy farmers from Brookfield, Wisconsin, outside Milwaukee, have worked since 1998 in Uganda, Zaire, and Kenya with the Africa Inland Mission (AIM). "They are truly beloved people because they had great hearts," said Mel Lawrenz, senior pastor of Elmbrook Church. "They served the youth ministry here, willing to help anybody, anywhere, anytime, which is why they were willing to go to Uganda."

Selling the farm for missions
Elmbrook annually hosts a Harvest Festival, in which missionaries and other international guests speak to the church on missions. "Warren and Donna heard the stories and saw the faces of people who had gone before them and made these decisions, and I think that had an impact on them," said Scott Arbeiter, Elmbrook's senior associate pastor . In 1997, the Petts sold their 100-year-old family farm and headed to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

They maintained strong contacts with the church, however, and were home as recently as January to visit Donna's ill mother. "I think one of the reasons for the shock in the congregation is because of how wide their connections were," said Lawrenz. "I've been hearing from all the kids in the youth ministry who remember spending time at their farm. They got very personally connected with the young people that they were involved with."

There was no pretence with the Petts, Arbeiter said. When they spoke to the church about their mission ...

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