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Two Men on a Mission

Unknown to each other, two Vero Beachers headed to Africa as missionaries. It was a decision that charged their lives.

On a climb up Mount Elgon, Mark bonds with two of his best friends, Tom Ngobi (seated behind him), and Richard Bazononoona, minister of the Jinja Church of Christ, along with their crew.

On a climb up Mount Elgon, Mark bonds with two of his best friends, Tom Ngobi (seated behind him), and Richard Bazononoona, minister of the Jinja Church of Christ, along with their crew.

What is it about growing up in Indian River County that spurred two Vero Beach High School varsity soccer players – one from the class of 1993, the other from the class of 2001 – to pull up stakes with their families and head to Uganda as missionaries?

The men, Mark Manry, 34, and Chris Vogt, 27, have never met. And yet, together with their wives and children, they live and minister within a hundred miles of each other in a country that has endured one of the bloodiest histories in Africa.

Two hours east of Uganda’s capital, Kampala, Mark serves as a preacher, mentor and non-profit business manager with the Church of Christ in Jinja, a city of 100,000 on Lake Victoria at the source of the Nile. Two hours north of the capital, in an area once known as the “killing fields,” Chris teaches biblical family values to missionaries-in-training at New Hope, a center devoted to nurturing and educating children orphaned by AIDS and political conflict.

Read the entire article in the December 2009 issue