Towson missionary injured by grenade in the Philippines

August 14, 1991|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Baltimore County Bureau of The Sun

A 39-year-old Towson man was among 32 people injured during a weekend grenade attack on a Christian missionary group that was touring in the Philippines.

Joseph Parker, who ran a Towson delicatessen before signing on with the missionaries in 1988, received wounds to his arm and shoulder Saturday when he was hit by shrapnel from a grenade that exploded in Zamboanga, Philippines, according to his family.

Mr. Parker was visiting the country as one of 250 church-sponsored crew members aboard a ship on a world tour sponsored by Operation Mobilization, an evangelical Christian group, said Michael Stachura,director of the group's U.S. headquarters in Peachtree City, Ga.

Mr. Parker was taking part in an international cultural performance in a port terminal building in Zamboanga and was one of dozens of people backstage when two grenades were hurled into the dressing area.

One grenade hit the ship's captain and failed to explode. The other exploded, killing a woman from New Zealand and another from Sweden and injuring 32 other people, including Mr. Parker and three other Americans,Mr. Stachura said.

Mr. Parker was traveling with his wife Badeen and their two children, Joshua, 7, and Aileen, 4. Badeen Parker telephoned her father-in-law, Dr. Robert Parker, in Towson Sunday from the Philippines to let them know that Joseph was not seriously hurt, according to the victim's brothers, Craig Parker.

"She said, 'He saw the bomb as it was coming and he just hit the floor,' " Mr. Parker recounted.

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