Missionaries Rebekah Bouma and Austin Wesson were killed in a car crash one day after their wedding

Lake Highlands United Methodist Church members are grieving after learning a missionary affiliated with their Camp in the City program was killed in a car accident with his new wife Aug. 5, one day after their wedding.

Austin Wesson, a native of South Africa, came to Lake Highlands July 29th with other counselors from Pine Cove Christian Camps, which teams up with LHUMC one week each summer to provide daily activities at the church. Austin was assigned to bunk with Larry and Gayla Engel, volunteer hosts and longtime church members.

Before the week was over, Austin’s fiancé, Rebekah Bouma, arrived with her parents, and they returned to her home in Kansas. The couple was married Aug. 4th.

The next evening, the couple lost control of the truck they were driving and hit a tree. Austin was killed instantly, and Rebekah died hours later at the hospital.

Though Gayla knew Austin just a short time, she is heartbroken.

“Austin exhibited such joy, unashamed love for God and enthusiasm for life,” said Gayla. “I am grateful that this young couple was able to spend a week together and to marry. I will always remember his sweet spirit.”