“I have forgiven the killers and have no bitterness because forgiveness brings healing and our land needs healing from hatred and violence.” – Gladys
Death is something that has an irrevocable effect on the ones who have lost their dear ones. Have you experienced the pain of this kind of separation that hits you so
hard that you wonder if you could ever live through it? Helplessness while watching our loved ones battling between life and death. The big realization that they are no longer with us. Hurting memories where we could have done better to keep them happy. How could someone stand, when the entire world before them collapses?
January 23, 1999, Gladys Staines woke up with a terrifying news. Her husband Graham Staines and sons Philip (aged 10) and Timothy (aged 7) were burnt to death by a gang while sleeping in his station wagon at Manoharpur village in Odisha. They were working among the tribal poor, especially with leprosy patients since 1965.
Who could fathom the shock, hopelessness and grief of this sudden void? Mrs. Staines, however, was a picture of poise as she stood yards away from the verandah where three coffins had been lined up. She had found solace in the promises of God through the Bible. She was assured that the God who had called her to be his
child even before she met her husband will continue to give her meaning and hope to live even after they were no more. Women mourners seeking to console her broke into sobs every now and then. “I’ve no hatred for anyone,” she responded, “I’ve no anger.”
17 years have passed by, this Australian missionary can still be found working among poor tribals and the sick. All the contributions that came by, including the Padma Shri and other recognition, helped Staines to transform the leper house she served at into a full hospital. She says, “I thank God for his help in enabling me to carry out the work in caring for people with leprosy, even after my husband was killed.”
Lets be reminded of God’s promise in our tough times:
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. – Bible
BY: ICPF BANGALORE