The Christian Chronicle
January 21, 2007
Uganda wreck claims missionary Adam Langford, church leader Moses Kimezi
Comforting a grieving woman who lost her sister to AIDS, Adam Langford could
only say "nga kitalo," a phrase in the Lusoga language that roughly translates
as "oh, itís terrible." Itís an expression of deep sympathy used only at a time
"My illusions of solving the problems of this country have long ago left me,"
Langford wrote in an account of the funeral. "They have been replaced with the
hope of a risen savior who understands what it means to suffer in this world."
Now, a tragedy has claimed Langford.
The 28-year-old missionary died Jan. 16 when the truck in which he was riding
went over the edge of a mountain road in eastern Uganda.
Another passenger, church leader Moses Kimezi, 36, died in a Mbale hospital
from injuries suffered in the wreck.
The two men and a hired driver were taking coffee from Mount Elgon to Jinja
for The Source Cafe, an Internet cafe and coffee shop in the city of more than
50,000 people, missionary Clint Davis said. Profits from The Source help support
many church-related needs for the 70-plus congregations in the area, including
care for victims of HIV and AIDS. Kimezi served as the cafeís manager.
The brakes on the truck apparently failed as the driver attempted to navigate
the hairpin turns of Mount Elgon, said John Barton, a former missionary to
Uganda. The driver lost control of the truck, which left the road, went airborne
briefly and rolled down an embankment. The driver, who also was taken to the
hospital, is expected to survive.
"Adam and Moses were an amazing pair," said Davis, former director of the
cafe who now heads The Kibo Group ministry in Uganda, "and now weíve had a
one-two leadership loss at a time when they were doing so many good,
kingdom-building projects together."
Langford grew up in Oklahoma City and became interested in missions during a
two-week high school trip to the Central American country of Honduras. While
studying business management at Oklahoma Christian University, he spent two
months in Uganda and met a group of missionaries in Jinja.
"I was amazed at how the team was able to spread the gospel, not only through
preaching and teaching, but also through redemptive business and social
entrepreneurship," Langford said.
After working as a financial adviser in Gresham, Ore., Langford joined the
Jinja team. His brother and sister-in-law, Ben and Kym Langford, also serve on
the team as church planters.
Kimezi, an accomplished carpenter and businessman, left behind a wife, Irene,
and three children. Kimezi and his family helped a young man with a cleft palate
to get reconstructive surgery and nursed him back to health. Kimezi taught him
carpentry. The day of the accident, the young man pledged to take care of
Kimeziís children, Davis said.
Kimezi was buried at his home in Uganda on Jan. 18. Langfordís funeral was
held Jan. 24 at the Memorial Road church in Oklahoma City.
At the teamís Web site, www.jinjamissions.org, Langfordís final report became
a memorial for the missionary. Friends and supporters posted dozens of comments
to the report.