Friday, April 16, 2010


The following account is from Randy Alcorn's book "If God is Good" p. 436-437:

"Graham Staines left his home in Australia to minister to lepers in India for 34 years. He and his wife, Gladys, served Christ by serving the poorest of poor.

At midnight on January 23, 1999 a mob of militant Hindus murdered Graham and his two sons, Phillip, age 11, and Timothy, age 6. The killers invaded a Christian camp in the jungle, were Graham had ministered, and set fire to the Jeep in which Graham and his sons slept. When the fire finally cooled, believers found the charred body of Graham Stines with his arms wrapped around the bodies of his sons.

In the most appalling way, Gladys and Esther (their only remaining child) found themselves alone. Their response to the tragedy appeared on the front page of every newspaper in India. "I have only one message for the people of India," Gladys said, "I'm not bitter. Neither am I angry. But I have one great desire: That each citizen of this country should establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ who gave his life for their sins...Let us burn hatred and spread the flame of Christ's love."

When asked about how she felt about the murder of her dad, 13 year old Esther said, "I praise the Lord that He found my father worthy to die for Him."

Gladys then stunned the nation by saying that God had called her and Esther to stay in India for that season. "My husband and my children have sacrificed their lives for this nation; India is my home. I hope to be here and continue to serve the needy."

At the funeral, masses of people filled the streets--Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. They came to show respect for the Staines family and demonstrate solidarity against the killers."

What a great example of forgiveness! God only knows how far reaching were the effects of Glady's forgiving response.

Pastor Jerry

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