A British Columbia couple, Eloise, 66, and John Bergen, 70, sold everything they owned in March and moved to Kenya where they are missionaries for Hope for the Nations.

Eloise says she was taking a bath when suddenly 5 men were standing over her with machetes. They forced her to get out of the tub and they held a machete to her throat as her husband was being beaten outside.

She said while she was going through her ordeal she had all her wits about her. “My mind was very clear, I was very calm, it was just like Jesus Christ was right besides me,” she told CTV newscast Friday. “I wasn’t conscious of overwhelming fear. I was just conscious that I must do what they tell me to do and I must remain calm and have my mind about me so I would know how to cut myself free and so that I could figure out how to save my husband.”

Once her attackers were gone, despite being raped, tied up and beaten, she managed to get herself free and went to look for her husband who had been virtually left for dead by the attackers. She found him in bushes. She got him into their car and drove them both to the Hope for the Nations compound. They were both taken to a hospital and later airlifted to Nairobi.

A total of seven people were arrested for the attack which included five men and two women. Two of the men arrested were guards that were assigned to protect the couple while in Kenya.

The attack left Eloise with a broken jaw and multiple facial lacerations that required 35 stitches total. Her husband who remains in the hospital yesterday is in serious condition suffering with a broken jaw in three places, a deep gash just below one of his knees, a broken wrist, two broken arms, ad a list of cuts and bruises. He is in good spirits and is expected to make a full recovery but he still requires several surgeries before his body will heal completely.

The couple both share wishes to meet the men who tried to kill them so they can tell them they forgive them. Eloise Bergen says she had to forgive them so she can move on and heal. “The hardest part for me to forgive them for what they did to my husband, that is when I started crying,” she said from her hospital room inside the Nairobi hospital. “But I said it anyway. I said ‘I forgive you.’ I let it go.”

Eloise says she bears her attackers no ill will, but justice has to be served and she wants them to be sent to prison for what they did.

For now the couple has no plans to leave Africa. They plan to stay and continue with their missionary work.

My prayers are with the couple while they are healing.

Jan Barrett

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