Forgiveness News

“I Knew I Was Going to Live:” NYPD Officer on Forgiving His Assailant

New York Daily News – Steven McDonald, a New York City Police Officer, addressed a group of students in a Staten Island elementary school yesterday with a message to forgive those who offend. McDonald was shot three times in Central Park in 1986 and now is confined to a wheelchair. He explained to the students that he not only forgave but also became friends with his assailant. His forgiveness, he says, saved his life.


An NYPD hero left quadriplegic after being shot by a teenager now fights bullying in city schools with his incredible story of forgiveness.


Det. Steven McDonald, who breathes through a tube and is paralyzed from the neck down, told rapt Staten Island elementary students Tuesday to forgive their tormentors.


“The boy that shot me, he and I became friends,” he told more than 100 astonished kids who crowded the gym of St. John’s Lutheran School.


“As soon as I forgave him the pain went away and I knew I was going to live.”

Full story here.

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Restorative Justice Program Helps Mother of Deceased to See Killer’s Humanity

The Mirror newspaper of London – Grace Idowu lost her son to a knife-attacker in South London and as part of a restorative justice program, she recently visited in prison the teenage boy who took her son’s life. Mrs. Idowu reported that she was surprised to see a remorseful, sobbing boy in front of her. She was able to see his deep regret and when he asked her to forgive him, she did.

She imagined he would be a monster. Most parents would never want to take a second look at the person who took their precious child away from them. But Grace, 52, made the bold decision to go and visit Elijah Dayoni in prison after he brutally knifed her 14-year-old son David to death.

And today she insists she has totally forgiven Dayoni for what he did… and wants to help him become a better person.

Full story here.

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Forgiveness as Freedom

Black Hills Pioneer newspaper, Spearfish, South Dakota – Holocaust survivor, Eva Mozes Kor, addressed a beyond-capacity crowd at Black Hills State University this week. Her message was forgiveness of the Nazi doctor, Josef Mengele, who experimented on her twin sister and her at Auschwitz. She told the audience that she thought, as a young child, everyone lived as she did—without parents, in horrid conditions. Despite the atrocity, she has found it in her heart to forgive him. A central message to the audience was this: Everything we do in daily life touches other people, she said. Do not forget that.

Kor was 10 years old when she and her family were brought to Auschwitz by train in a cattle car in 1944. She and her twin sister Miriam were separated from the rest of their family by a Nazi guard searching for twins for the infamous Dr. Josef Mengele to experiment on. Mengele performed many horrific experiments on inmates at Auschwitz, but he was particularly interested in twins. Kor feels that being selected for Mengele’s twin experimentations contributed greatly to her and Miriam’s survival.

Full story here.

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Forgive and Strive for Justice

Detroit Free Press.?? An 86-year-old man, Aaron Brantley, in Detroit was hit from behind and his car stolen. In the attack, his leg was broken.?? The man accused of these actions wrote to to Mr. Brantley from prison and asked for forgiveness.????Brantley forgave the imprisoned man, saying that he still wants to see him serve some time.?? In other words, one can forgive and seek justice at the same time.

The suspect, Paris Gomillion, 20, of Detroit never looked at Aaron Brantley as the elderly man testified from his wheelchair today in 36th District Court in Detroit. Brantley said he was hit from behind before the keys were snatched out of his hand. He then crawled with a broken leg into the gas station when no one came to his aid.

Brantley said he received a letter from Gomillion sent from jail after the Feb. 22 carjacking at the BP on West McNichols at Fairfield.

???The dude wanted me to forgive him,??? Brantley said today. ???The letter said he wanted me to pray for him, and he was sorry for what he had done. But I did pray for him and so forth and forgive him for what he had done.???

Full article here.

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