Mail & Guardian, Johannesburg, South Africa – The day after South African teacher Pierre Korkie was killed in a botched rescue mission in Yemen, his family said they choose to forgive and rejoice in his memories.
Korkie’s wife, Yolande, said that after hearing the news she asked herself many questions and realized she had a choice to make.
“So today we choose to forgive. We choose to love. We choose to rejoice in the memories of Pierre and keep him alive in our hearts. We honour Pierre’s legacy and give Glory to God for his life and death,” she said in a statement.
“Even though this pain is overwhelming us right now, we choose to believe that this too will pass.” The statement was sent on behalf of Yolande and the Korkie’s two children.
Pierre Korkie and American photographer Luke Somers were killed in the early hours of Saturday, Dec. 6, during a rescue operation carried out by United States Special Forces in Yemen.
Both Pierre and Yolande were kidnapped in Taiz, Yemen, in May of last year. At the time of the kidnapping, Yolande was a teacher in Yemen and she did relief work in hospitals. She was released and returned to South Africa after 228 days in captivity. Pierre had been a hostage for 558 days.
“The furnace of 19 months has been relentless and red hot,” Yolande said. “Thus I had to really think very hard and long for an appropriate approach in the face of this pain.” The approach she chose was forgiveness.
Read the full story: “Yolande Korkie: The family chooses to forgive”
Winnipeg Free Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – A 16-year-old Winnipeg high school student was attacked and beaten so badly last Friday night that her mother couldn’t believe it was her daughter when she first saw her in a hospital intensive care unit.
“I didn’t recognize her,” Julie Harper admitted. “I didn’t think it was Rinelle. But every day, she’s getting a lot better. I believe it is the prayers (from people touched by Rinelle’s attack) which pulled her through.”
Police said Rinelle was out with friends that night but became separated from them. She met two men in the south Broadway area who started talking with her and she walked with them to the riverwalk. That’s where the pair attacked her and tossed her into the river near the Midtown Bridge.
The girl was swept downstream, but when she managed to get out of the frigid water, she was attacked again and left for dead. A passerby discovered the unconscious teenager the next morning and called for help.
On Tuesday, thanks to tips from Winnipeg citizens, a 20-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy were arrested and charged with the teen’s attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault.
“When I first heard there was two arrests, the first thing that came to me was to forgive right away,” Julie Harper said after a news conference Thursday. “If any family members (of the accused) are listening, I forgive them. That’s what I was taught to do by my late grandparents. It’s hard, but I truly forgive them.”
Rinelle was moved from intensive care into a regular hospital ward on Wednesday and her mother said the girl is making steady progress.
Read the full story: “Forgiveness for Rinelle’s attackers: Teen’s mom says it’s what she was raised to do.”
Watch a video of Julie Harper forgiving the two attackers.
Don’t miss this upcoming conference, “Voices for Peace and Justice in the Holy Land” – November 7-8, at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street, Madison, WI.
Hear stories and perspectives of Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and secular writers and activists concerned with peace and justice in Palestine/Israel. Learn ways to work for justice and peace here in the United States, and meet others who share your interest.
Sponsored by Friends of Sabeel North America, this event begins with registration at 12:00 noon on Friday, Nov. 7 and runs through 5pm Saturday. There will be plenaries and workshops throughout each day. On Friday evening enjoy a Palestinian dinner and cultural program of poetry and Debke folk dancing.
The cost of this event is $85 (full conference) or $50 (for one day). Online registration is available here, or print a pdf registration form to mail in. For more information, visit https://fosnamadisonconference2014.wordpress.com.
Friends of Sabeel – North America (FOSNA) is a non-profit, tax-exempt Christian ecumenical organization seeking justice and peace in the Holy Land through non-violence and education. Sabeel, which means “the way” in Arabic, is an international peace movement initiated by Palestinian Christians, who seek a just peace through theological and moral principles and adherence to international law and existing United Nations resolutions. You can learn more about FOSNA and Sabeel at www.fosna.org.
KOCO.com, Oklahoma City, OK – Kathy Sanders has titled her new book “Now You See Me: How I Forgave the Unforgivable.” The book details her relentless pursuit of the truth following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people on April 19, 1995. The blast killed her grandchildren–Chase, 3, and Colton, 2.
“After the bombing I wanted to die,” said Sanders. “I didn’t want to live in a world filled with so much pain. I didn’t know how I was going to cope and if I was going to survive.”
To help her cope with the heartbreak, Sanders launched her own investigation into the bombing. She wanted to know every person who may have known about the bombing and what the government might be hiding. Her questions led to a decades-long journey and ultimately she met face-to-face with Terry Nichols (a convicted accomplice in the Oklahoma City Bombing along with Timothy McVeigh).
Her book reveals letters, phone calls and visits with Nichols and his family. Their exchanges turned to friendship and finally, through her Christian faith, forgiveness.
“I didn’t set out ever intending to forgive Terry Nichols, Timothy McVeigh or anyone else involved in this crime, but learning to forgive was a gift I gave myself,” said Sanders.
She’s aware that forgiving the unforgivable may appall others who lived through April 19, yet insists it is the only way she could move on and focus now on happy memories made with two precious little boys.
“What I have today is peace from learning how to forgive,” said Sanders. “I’ve got a song in my heart and a smile on my face.”
Read the full story: “19 years after Murrah bombing, grandmother shares story of loss, forgiveness.”
WDIO-TV, Duluth, MN – Business owner Colin Mackin said he forgives the two men who shot him in the chest while burglarizing his store, and has moved on.
“The thing about being bitter and holding grudges is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die,” according to Mackin, owner of ILF Smartphone Clinic in Duluth. “It just doesn’t really accomplish anything.”
Read the full story: “Men Sentenced in Duluth Attempted Murder, Victim Offers Forgiveness.”