The wife of a Christian missionary who was tragically tortured and murdered in Malatya, Turkey, back in 2007, is explaining why she chose to publicly forgive her husband’s killers — an act that stunned observers when she did it just days after the horrific killing.
Susanne Geske told The Christian Post that she was devastated in the wake of the death of her husband, Tilmann Geske, a German missionary who was killed in a Bible publishing house, and that her heart was “empty.”
Tilmann Geske, 45, was killed alongside Ugur Yüksel, 32, and Necati Aydin, 36 — two Turkish converts from Islam to Christianity. A group of five Muslim men reportedly bound, mutilated and murdered them with knives inside the Zirve Publishing House after questioning their Christian missions work, according to Christianity Today.
But as Geske recalled sitting in her home in the wake of the murder, surrounded by friends, pastors and others who joined her in mourning, she said something profound happened. Someone came in and told her that media outlets had gathered outside the door and that they wanted to speak with her.
At first, she declined, but then a pastor spoke up and said something that made her think a bit deeper.
“One of the pastors said, ‘You know, we always want the gospel to go out.’ That was like, a switch flipped inside to make me move. I was like, ‘Okay! But what do I say?'” Geske told The Christian Post. “I did a quick prayer and said, ‘You always promised that when we don’t know what to say, you would tell us what to say.'”
And that’s when Geske said she felt as though God gave her an answer. She added, “It was really like, Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.'” That’s the exact message she delivered to Turkish media channel ATV.
Reflecting back on that stunning act of public forgiveness, Geske said she “wasn’t even thinking” when she made the decision to openly forgive her husband’s killers, and that it was an act that was totally orchestrated by God.
“I had no clue what I was doing. I really didn’t,” she said. “I just thought it was a really good thing to do. I was just obedient.”
Read more about Geske’s stunning act of forgiveness here.
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