Context: After The Horror (Ep. 359)
It was a July evening, and Canadian missionaries John and Eloise Bergen were just getting ready to settle down for the night at their Kenyan home – when they found themselves fighting for their lives.
Brutally assaulted, John and Eloise are fortunate to be alive. But in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, they spoke a message of love and forgiveness for their attackers. It was a move that would earn them admiration from some; disbelief and scorn from others.
Eloise and John Bergen have spent a life time caring for their family. They’ve worked as pastor’s, carpenters, and caregivers in a wide variety of ways. But as Eloise turned 65, and John became 70 – they embarked on the fulfillment of a dream; to go where they could serve the poorest of the poor.
They began by working in a Kitale refugee camp in Kenya, then devoted themselves to the problem of food security. They established a farm, and taught local children and villagers gardening techniques.
Life was good. And they were making a difference.
It was a crime that sent shockwaves around the world. In July, 2008, two Canadian missionaries—working with Kenyan orphans—were attacked in their home. Six men jumped John Bergen, beat him with clubs and machetes and left him for dead, tossing his body into bushes. Then they went after his wife, Eloise.
Raped by three of the men, beaten and bound, she was left naked and bleeding.
Eloise managed to free herself. Once free, her first thoughts were for her husband.