By The News staff
A pair of Sterling College alumni who have long served as missionaries in Ethiopia were injured last week when armed bandits shot at their vehicle.
According to the Presbyterian Mission Agency, John and Gwen Haspels are recovering after being attacked while traveling to help build a house in Moga, Ethiopia.
Reports indicate John Hapsels drove four hours to the nearest hospital after bandits shot at their car. He suffered injuries to his eye and was grazed by several bullets. Gwen was in surgery for seven hours and has been placed in a medically induced state of sedation to alleviate stress on her body. They have been moved to a facility in South Africa, and both were last reported in good condition.
Hunter Farrell, director of Presbyterian World Mission, said in a report that the attack was a “random act of violence” and the couple was not targeted.
The couple have served in Ethiopia since 1974. John Haspels was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Ethiopia, while Gwen was born and raised in Sudan. Both attended high school in Alexandria, Egypt, before graduating from Sterling College – John in 1969 and Gwen in 1970. Last year, the college honored the Haspelses with the 2013 Distinguished Service Award for their years of missionary work.
The attack comes 31 years after John Haspels was taken hostage by Sudanese guerrillas and held captive for 15 days, according to previous reports in The News.
Cards and letters of support may be sent to: Presbyterian World Mission, John and Gwen Haspels, 100 Witherspoon, Louisville KY 40202.