Friday, October 06, 2006

Forgiveness in the Midst of Grief

The way the Amish of Pennsylvania have responded to their recent tragedy is a testimony to the world:

...Mr Zook was among the many Amish villagers who also rallied behind Mrs Roberts and her three children. Within hours of the shootings, it emerged yesterday that a neighbour knocked on the Roberts family's door to pray for them and extend forgiveness.

Another neighbour, Daniel Esh, a 57-year-old Amish artist and woodworker whose three grandnephews were inside the school during the attack, said: `I hope they stay around here. They'll have a lot of friends and a lot of support.'

Community leaders said that Mrs Roberts and her children may even receive money from a fund established to help victims and their families.

Although the Amish do not usually accept help from outside their community, even shunning social security payments, Kevin King, executive director of Mennonite Disaster Services, an agency managing the hundreds of thousands of dollars already sent in, quoted an Amish bishop: "We are not asking for funds. In fact, it's wrong for us to ask. But we will accept them with humility."
Funds have been established for those who would like to donate to assist those who are affected by the tragedy at Nickel Mines School, including the family of the shooter, Charles Roberts. Send donations to the Nickel Mines Children's Fund and the Roberts Family Fund to Coatsville Savings Bank.

Grant, O Lord, to all who are bereaved the spirit of faith and courage, that they may have strength to meet the days to come with steadfastness and patience; not sorrowing as those without hope, but in thankful remembrance of your great goodness, and in the joyful expectation of eternal life with those they love. And this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

UPDATE: In the comments, Mumcat has pointed us to an article regarding Episcopal Relief and Development's response to this tragedy.

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