The WorldVenture family is grieving the loss of Jennifer Shakal, an appointee headed to Uganda, who died Monday.
After a series of short-term mission trips, Jen decided to dedicate her life to serving the street children of Uganda. She was appointed during the summer of 2014 to serve in a children’s ministry in Uganda through the ministry A Perfect Injustice.
Jen once wrote, “To know that children as young as 5 and 6 are living on the streets, fending for themselves, and have no one to love or care for them broke my heart. To see the impact that we can make on these young children’s lives by pouring ourselves into them is amazing.”
“I was consistently impressed with her genuine sense of calling and passion for serving children.”
Her family members expressed their sorrow on her Facebook page yesterday, saying, “Although we are in shock and grieving, we want to remember the wonderful things about her. She is in heaven now, no longer suffering from the health problems and pressures that plagued her on earth, and for that we are thankful.”
We join them in grieving her loss. WorldVenture is more of a family than an organization at heart, and many of us have made deep connections with Jen during her journey. We shared her dreams of what Christ might do through her in Uganda. Our hearts break with the news of her death.
JJ Harling, the National Mission Director who was involved in her recruiting, reflects, “I was consistently impressed with her genuine sense of calling and passion for serving children.”
Gwen Britton, Pre-Field Supervisor, worked with Jen through her appointee process, sharing how Jen was “passionate about working with the street boys of Uganda.”
“She envisioned them being transformed from ‘diamonds in the rough’ into godly young men through the grace and love of Jesus Christ,” said Gwen.
As believers, we cling to the truth that our only comfort in life and death is that we are not our own, but belong, body and soul, in life and death, to our faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him, we confidently entrust our sister, Jen.