A British woman killed in a bomb blast in Israel was an evangelical Christian on a six-month course in the country.
According to reports in the Guardian, Mary Gardner, aged 55, was studying Hebrew before returning to Togo, where she had been a missionary for 20 years. Thirty others were wounded when a device weighing up to 2kg exploded near a bus station.
The eldest of five children, Gardner was born in Nairobi, Kenya, but moved to Aberdeenshire when she was 15. Her parents Jean, 81, and Tony, 82, who live there, told the Guardian that they were ‘devastated by the sudden loss of our daughter in this tragic and unexpected way’.
Mary Gardner had been working for Wycliffe Bible Translators in Togo, living among the Ifé people for the past 20 years, learning the language, translating the Bible, and teaching literacy and maths.
Eddie Arthur, Wycliffe executive director, said, ‘I cannot tell you how highly regarded she was. She was an extremely gutsy person, highly intelligent, with huge drive and the ability to stick with the project for 20 years in far from comfortable conditions.
‘It must have been incredibly isolating at times. But she was completely dedicated to her work and to the Ifé people’.