Following is a letter received by LCMS leaders on Nov. 22 from the Rev. Cornelio Midence, president of the Lutheran Church in Guatemala, an LCMS partner church body:
“I wish to share about a very sad and unfortunate situation, yesterday [Nov. 21] evening. Pr. Eduardo Bonilla and Brother Francisco Paxtor, members of Castillo Fuerte (A Mighty Fortress) Lutheran Church, Guatemala City, were attacked.
“Pr. Bonilla had been invited to preach at the anniversary worship service at New Jerusalem Lutheran Church, Chajabal, in the west. After the service, [as they were returning] to the capital, [they] were ambushed by two vehicles and attacked with firearms; both were seriously injured. Pr. Bonilla was shot in the chest and the bullet grazed his lung just a few centimeters from his heart. Brother Paxtor was shot twice, once in the chest and once in the head.
“They were taken to Hospital of the West in Quetzaltenango. Pr. Eduardo [Bonilla] was able to be stabilized and was transferred by plane this afternoon to the capital. He is in recovery. Thanks be to God!
“Brother Francisco [Paxtor] could not be moved due to the considerable swelling in his brain and doctors recommended not to move him. Although doctors were fighting all night and the next day to stabilize him, his body could not withstand anymore, and he went to be with the Lord. We give thanks for his Christian life. We ask all of you for your prayers for our pastor, and for strength and comfort for their families.
“Brother Paxtor was the secretary of the Administrative Committee of the National Church in Guatemala and president of Castillo Fuerte (A Mighty Fortress) Lutheran Church.
“We are at this moment very grieved and surprised by this act of violence against our dear brothers in Christ. We trust firmly in the loving care of the Lord for our brother Eduardo [Bonilla], along with his wife, Aracely, children and grandchildren. We ask your prayers for Nury, Brother Paxtor’s wife, and his children.”
Please join in prayer, with the Lutheran Church in Guatemala, for the continued recovery of the Rev. Eduardo Bonilla and for comfort for the family of Francisco Paxtor.
Posted Dec. 3, 2014 / Updated Dec. 4, 2014