Nov. 22, 2004
By Elliott Wright*
YORK (UMNS) — The news reports simply called him an “American aid
worker” — the lone civilian killed Nov. 5 when fighter planes of the
government of Cote d’Ivoire bombed a French military peacekeeping post
in the West African nation. Nine French soldiers also died.
following Sunday, Nov. 7, the Rev. Edith Gleaves, an executive with the
United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, worshipped at the Galilee
United Methodist Church in Englewood, N.J. The congregation was in
shock. The son-in-law of a member, the husband of a woman the people
knew, had been killed in Cote d’Ivoire. He was an aid worker.
He had a name. He had a wife and three children. The family had close ties, on the wife’s side, to the Galilee congregation.
Carsky had been employed for six months in Cote d’Ivoire by the Africa
Rice Development Agency, an international agricultural program. He
previously had worked for another organization in Benin. He had been
back in Cote d’Ivoire for three days after spending three weeks with his
family. His wife, Rebecca, and their three children, ages 7, 16 and 17,
were due to join him in December.
Carsky was raised a United Methodist, and her mother, Ruth Khelseau,
continues to be a member at Galilee church. Carsky joined her husband in
the Roman Catholic Church when she married. She calls herself an
by the outpouring of love for the Carskys and Khelseau in the Galilee
Church, Gleaves decided to find out more about the Carsky family. With
the help of the Rev. Edmund E. Martin, the church’s pastor, she located
Rebecca Carsky at her home in Rockville, Md.
Carsky, his widow told Gleaves, had given no indication of impending
danger when she talked with him the day before the bombing. He and his
fellow workers for the Africa Rice Development Agency had been gathered
in a guesthouse. As the only American present in an area of rising
tensions, he was to be evacuated the next day with other Americans.
U.S. citizens were to meet at a mission school. On the way to the
school, Carsky made a stop, perhaps to help someone, at the French
military barracks. And there the bombs hit.
Rev. R. Randy Day, chief executive of the Board of Global Ministries,
has conveyed the denomination’s prayers and condolences to Mrs. Carsky
and her children, to the parents of Robert Carsky, and to Khelseau, his
*Wright is the information officer of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.