Jerusalem: Dutch Christian Survives Terror Attack, Forgives Attacker
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2016 Dec 02
A Dutch woman who came to Jerusalem to open a home for Arabic foster children was injured in a terrorist attack, but chose to forgive her attacker.
CBN News reports that Marike Veldman came to Jerusalem nearly 40 years ago. She had no money, but she was relying on God and following His calling to minister to Arab children in the city.
"And this is how I started my home – in faith. I just rented a house and I decorated it and then after that all the children came. This was over a time of 32 years,” she recalls.
But last year Veldman was a victim of a terrorist attack. Two Palestinian men boarded a bus she was riding and began shooting and stabbing passengers. Veldman was stabbed six times before she miraculously escaped.
She was taken to the hospital and treated for her wounds, including a collapsed lung.
"But while he was stabbing me I was saying in my own (Dutch) language the whole time, over and over again, 'oh, Lord Jesus,'" Veldman said of the attack.
Veldman chose to follow Jesus’ example and forgive her attacker--a choice which confused her foster children.
"One of the first questions my children asked me was, 'Momma, do you hate us now, and do you hate Arabs?'" she recalled.
Veldman was shocked that the children would ask her such a thing.
“No children, how can you ask me these kinds of questions? I'm called for the Arabs and of course I don't hate them,” she told them.
“I want to make the choice to forgive. And once you make the choice, then God comes to help you. That is His grace. So if you make a choice to forgive, then God comes in and He gives you the grace to do it. So this is what I explained to my children. And the whole experience, the whole horrible thing, has brought me closer to the Lord. He has proven himself a wonderful God. We are serving a wonderful God and He is so good. That's what I have to say,” she concluded.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: December 2, 2016