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4 PEOPLE WHO FORGAVE

By June 20, 2015 2 Comments

forgiveIt wasn’t all that long ago that these four stories occupied headlines around the world.

Reporters were shocked and awed by the responses of families whose loved ones were ripped out of their lives by hatred and found it in their hearts to respond with unmerited forgiveness.

10 Young School Girls Shot

Following the tragic Amish school shooting of 10 young schoolgirls in a one-room Amish school in October 2006, reporters from throughout the world invaded Lancaster County, PA to cover the story.

However, in the hours and days following the shooting a different and unexpected story developed.Amish Slaying - God has forsaken us - DMN - 10-4-06In the midst of their grief over this shocking loss, the Amish community didn’t cast blame, they didn’t point fingers, they didn’t hold a press conference with attorneys at their sides. Instead, they reached out with grace and compassion toward the killer’s family.

The afternoon of the shooting an Amish grandfather of one of the girls who was killed expressed forgiveness toward the killer, Charles Roberts. That same day Amish neighbors visited the Roberts family to comfort them in their sorrow and pain.

A Sunday Afternoon Walk

The final words of a dying Christian father of three, fatally shot during a Sunday May 3rd, 2015 walk with his family on a Wisconsin trail bridge were, “forgive the shooter.”stoffelErin Stoffel, 32, woke from a coma with a breathing tube in her throat just two days after she and her husband of more than a decade, Jonathan, 33, and their 11-year-old daughter, Olivia, were shot during a random attack on the Trestle Trail Bridge in the city of Menasha.

While Erin survived the shooting, Jonathan and Olivia did not, and the first thing that the grieving mom of three did when she awoke in a hospital bed was write down her late-husband’s final words to her.

“The family would like to make it known that Erin said Jon’s last words to her after he was shot were, ‘Forgive the shooter.’ We truly love because Christ first loved us. This was the heart of a man who walked the talk — his dying breath and last wish was only that his wife forgive the gunman.”

Forgiveness From The Nation of the Cross

The brother of two of the 21 Coptic Christians murdered in Libya thanked their killers for including the men’s declaration of faith in the video they made of their beheadings. ISIS characterized the murders as “a message signed with blood to the nation of the cross.”

Speaking in a prayer and worship service, Beshir Kamel said that he was proud of his brothers Bishoy Estafanos Kamel (25) and Samuel Estafanos Kamel (23) because they were “a badge of honour to Christianity”.bashir

The last words of some of those killed were “Lord Jesus Christ.” Kamel thanked ISIS for not editing out the men’s declaration of belief in Christ because he said this had strengthened his own faith.

Beshir when asked if he would forgive the members of ISIS that murdered his brothers said he had asked that same question of his mother, who replied that if she saw one of the murderers, she would invite him into her home “because he was the reason [her sons] entered the kingdom of heaven.”

This only makes us stronger in our faith because the Bible told us to love our enemies and bless those who curse us.”

The General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK has said we must pray for and forgive Islamic State militants. “I think as Christians that’s our mandate, it’s what we do. I don’t see it as being difficult.”

Parents Forgive

November 17, 2014 – The parents of murdered U.S. hostage Abdul-Rahman Kassig said that they would forgive the ISIS terrorist who beheaded their 26-year-old son. Ed and Paula Kassig’s statement: “…our hearts are battered but they will mend.”PeterKassig

The aid worker and former U.S. Army Ranger was captured October 1, 2013, while delivering aid in Syria through a relief organization he founded.

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Bob Jones

Author Bob Jones

Pastor at North Pointe Community Church for 27 years. Happily married to Jocelyn for 38 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three gorgeous daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love being a pastor and inspiring faith in Jesus through communicating, blogging, counseling and coaching. I enjoy running, reading, writing and ball hockey. Fan of the Esks and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Patricia says:

    These stories are so very tragic. The loss of these beautiful people, gone to soon, is very sad. The amazing grace and forgiveness given by the people grieving, shows that God’s love does cover evil. The real battle here is between God and Satan. Satan is responsible for the evil acts. Faith and trust in God and His love will overcome this evil. Forgiveness and love will not allow the evil to continue.

    Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
    Colossians 3:13

  • bob jones says:

    “Love covers evil.” I like that, Patricia. The results of love in action through forgiveness are a testimony to grace.

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