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Missionary who survived Peru plane shooting speaks at alma mater

Posted: Friday, May 11, 2001

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) -- New volunteers should take up the work of a missionary who died with her daughter when Peruvian officials mistakenly shot down their plane, the woman's husband said.

Veronica ''Roni'' Bowers, 35, and her 7-month-old daughter Charity were killed April 20 when a Peruvian jet opened fire on their single-engine Cessna after mistaking it for a drug-smuggling flight.

Pilot Kevin Donaldson was badly wounded but Mrs. Bower's husband, Jim Bowers and their 6-year-old son, Cory, survived unhurt. Bowers addressed students graduating from Piedmont Baptist College, where both he and his late wife went to school.

''In Roni's death, her whole purpose for living is being multiplied,'' Bowers said. ''No matter how long she lived, she couldn't touch as many as she did in her death.''

''I can't say Roni's death was worth it. I can't say those words. Many people could, and I hope I will one day.''

Since Mrs. Bowers' death, 140 students at the college have said they are willing to become missionaries, college president Howard Wilburn told the Winston-Salem Journal.

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