Missionary Couple Forgives Their Attackers


John and Eloise Bergen, Canadian missionaries to Kenya, began testifying in court yesterday at the trial of the nine men who brutally attacked them last July. The Bergens had been living in Kenya for four months, helping to care for widows, orphans, and refugees. John, age 70, was bludgeoned by clubs and machetes until his skull, jaw, arms, and legs were broken, and then left for dead in the bushes. Eloise, age 66, was gang-raped, then punched, choked with a cord, and sliced by machetes.

The couple has been waiting for months to physically heal so they can share one very specific message with their attackers:

“We forgive you.” 

You can read their extremely powerful story here. I will warn you however: the specific and graphic description of the attack might be hard to take in.

I am not quite sure what to do with the Bergens. For someone like me who lives in the suburbs and has a hard time watching fictional fistfights on TV, what they have been through is impossible for me to categorize.

I do know this: I want my faith to look more like theirs. Theirs is the kind of walk with God that has been so consistent for so many years, there is simply not very much left of themselves; they are completely full of Jesus. Because only Jesus can love and forgive like that.

May God be glorified through the criminal trial. May Kenyans turn to Jesus as they experience His love through the Bergens. And may the Bergens find healing, not only for their bodies but for their souls, as they continue to walk with Him.

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