Brazilian missionary Francisco Antônio Chagas Barbosa, 39, was shot dead and then had his car set on fire in Mwihoko area, Nairobi. Francisco disappeared on Wednesday June 7, according to information from the World Christian Mission, the organization that he was serving.
He was reported missing at Mihango police station in Kayole on June 7 at about 10 pm by his wife Franciane De Oliveira Barbosa. She told police she could not trace her husband and it was strange because he never stayed out for long without communication.
The Brazilian national, who was a missionary at Corner Stone Intercommunity Church Utawala, left to go to the supermarket but didn’t return. His car was seen around 9 p.m. being driven at high speed, apparently by a group of youths.
Francisco had already escaped two attacks carried out by people who supposedly ‘didn’t want missionaries in the area’.
It is not clear if the missionary was killed because of his work or if there was any other motive. Nairobi police boss Adamson Bungei said the team found the body of Barbosa burnt beyond recognition on the right side of the car boot.
On Saturday morning, June 10, the World Christian Mission confirmed that Barbosa was found dead. “The police are investigating. In the images, it appears that Francisco was in the car. Two men took him, put him inside the car; he tried to get out, and, at that moment, he was executed. Not knowing what to do, they set the car on fire. The car we found with Francisco’s body inside”, said Pastor Franciane, wife of Barbosa, in a released video.
Francisco has lived in Kenya with his wife since 2017, where he has worked with children, widows, refugees, and local churches. “He leaves a unique legacy in missions. His work reached children, widows, people who struggled with hunger and thirst. There are countless seeds left, Bibles distributed, and lives saved by the Lord because of his dedication to the work”, World Christian Mission said.
Interestingly, Francisco’s last sermon that was posted on the church’s YouTube channel is titled ‘When You Meet with Jesus Christ’.
“In our Christian walk, storms come, and sometimes they look too strong. But we must be reminded that we are going to pass through,” he encouraged the church.
He preached how God sometimes doesn’t tell us the process, like in the life of Joseph, but his purpose remains the same.
Francisco urged the church to prioritize their personal time with God (devotion) in order to understand their purpose in God and grow in their faith.
“Do you want to understand the purpose of God in your life? Have an appointment with him. He did not call for you to be seated there. He called you with a purpose. He will show you the purpose, but remember, he might not tell you the process. But he will be with you!”