Valpo Native Killed in Indonesia - NBC Chicago

Valpo Native Killed in Indonesia

Ben Uskert drowned while trying to save two teenaged boys, family says



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    Ben and Katie Uskert with their son, Jeremiah.

    A Northwest Indiana man died in Indonesia over the weekend while doing much-loved missionary work in that country.

    Ben Uskert, 30, died Sunday while trying to save a drowning child, his family said.  Uskert was surfing with children from an orphanage when two teenage boys got caught up in powerful waves.

    "From what I heard, they've had lots of storms there that created these big waves," said youth pastor Drue McCollum, according to the Northwest Indiana Times.  "We heard the water was only up to his waist but the waves were just so strong there wasn't anything they could do."

    Uskert drowned and one of the boys is still missing.

    For the last two years, Uskert worked for Mission Aviation Fellowship, an organization which offers support to Christian groups in remote areas of the world.

    "We are profoundly saddened by the loss of our friend and fellow worker in Christ, as well as the young man he was attempting to rescue,"  said John Boyd, president and chief executive officer of MAF

    Uskert's wife, Katie, and 3-year-old son are still in Indonesia.  According to the Gary Post-Tribune, he is also survived by his parents, Tom and Michelle Uskert, and siblings Nathan Uskert and Abby Riba. 

    A memorial service is planned there for later this week.