Two of three United Methodist missionaries who had been detained in the Philippines have left the country, and one, Adam Shaw, has been reunited with his family in Ohio.
Tawanda Chandiwana is on the way to his home country of Zimbabwe, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries reported on July 5.
A third missionary, Miracle Osman of Malawi, is working with Filipino attorneys on paperwork, and Global Ministries officials are hopeful she’ll be allowed to leave, said Dan Curran, a spokesman for the church agency.
All three faced accusations of anti-government activities. Chandiwana had been held by authorities for weeks, while the other two had not been allowed to leave the country.
Thomas Kemper, top executive of Global Ministries, said his heart had been “full of sorrow” when he met with Chandiwana at a detention center on July 1.
“Now it is full of joy because I’ve just said goodbye to him,” Kemper said from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.
Manila Area Bishop Ciriaco Q. Francisco posted on Facebook: “Another round of thanks to God and to all who supported the release of Tawanda.”
In a video released by Global Ministries, Francisco added a special thanks for the life of Chandiwana, who he said had “lived with the people.”
“That is the real essence of service. He lived with the Lumads and he served the people,” Francisco said, referring to an indigenous people of the Philippines.