An elderly Christian woman who was stabbed multiple times during a terrorist attack on a bus in Jerusalem, Israel, that left two people dead and at least 16 others injured on Tuesday says she is convinced she is alive today because she called on Jesus as her attacker plunged his blade into her body.
According to a One for Israel report two terrorists boarded the No. 78 bus in the Armon haNatziv (East Talpiyot) neighborhood of Jerusalem, one armed with a knife, the other with a gun. They then began shooting and stabbing the passengers, including the elderly woman identified as Marike Veldman in a report by Alfred Muller in Reformatorisch Dagblad.
Veldman, who is originally from the Netherlands but has lived in Israel for many years, said when the terrorists boarded the bus one of them sat in front of her until things quickly turned ugly.
"They began to cry 'Allahu Akbar.' The man in front of me began with a knife stabbing into me. The other man started shooting. People screamed very loudly. It was awful. I cried constantly in Dutch: 'Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus! Help me, help me!'" she said from her bed at the Ein Kerem Medical Center in Jerusalem. When she did this, she said her attacker "ran away to the back of the bus."
Muller explained that Veldman, who is also a nurse, is certain her cries to the Lord saved her life. She is now recovering from a collapsed lung and wounds she suffered to her shoulder and hand during the attack.
Nicole Jansezian, director of Christian friends of Shalva, an organization in Jerusalem that cares for children with special needs regardless of race or religion, told The Christian Post Friday that Veldman has cared for many poor and disadvantaged Palestinian and Arad Israeli children during her time in Israel and said Christians have been rallying around her.
"She independently raised Palestinian and Arab Israeli children who came from hard circumstances. They were foster children and this was official through the government. The Christian community has responded by providing meals and praying with her at the hospital," said Jansezian.
While Christians have not been specifically targeted in the ongoing strife between Jews and Muslims in Israel, Jansezian raised concern this week in an op-ed for the Times of Israel that Christians have suffered unfortunate casualties in that war.
"We may not be the targets in this particular conflict, but we have been caught in the crossfire. Kristine Luken, an American Christian, was murdered by Palestinians on Dec. 18, 2010, and her friend Kay Wilson (who is Jewish) was left for dead. Another woman, Mary Jean Gardner, 59, a Scottish Christian, was the only victim of the March 23, 2011, bombing at a bus stop in Jerusalem. And precious Abigail Litle, 14, was one of 17 fatalities after a bombing on a Haifa bus in 2003. She, too, was Christian," wrote Jansezian.
"We as Christians live beside you. Christians live in Jerusalem and we live all over Israel. We live in the West Bank. We live in Gaza. We shop at the same stores, ride the same buses, send our kids to the same schools as you. Whichever side of the 'fence' you live on, we are right there next to you. And we are victims too."