In January of 1999, Gladys Staines' husband was burned alive along with two of her sons as they slept in their jeep while attending a camp in the remote tribal village of Manoharpur in India.
Last September, 13 people people were convicted for the gruesome murder. The case gained much national and international attention not because the man who died was a missionary in India, but rather because his wife publicly forgave the killers and continued her husband's ministry, caring for lepers in the Mayurbhanj Leper Colony in Orissa.
"Wherever I go people recognize me and ask me why I [forgave], yet I feel they are inspired by the idea of forgiveness," she said.
"If I have something against you and I forgive you, the bitterness leaves me. Forgiveness liberates both the forgiver and the forgive," she said. "The Bible teaches you to forgive. Has not Jesus set the example?"
Recently, Ms. Staines, whose husband was Australian, decided to take a furlough to enroll her daughter in college there. In addition, she is going to Australia for other personal reasons. Though she will be living there, she will continue to run the recently inagurated Graham Staines Hospital in Baripada, Orissa. She plans to manage the leprosy mission by making periodic trips to there.
She added, "Even if I do not come back to live in India, I will always come back to visit and keep the work going."
The Times of India