Int'l Day of Prayer: Persecuted Christians Pray for Their Attackers

(Photo: Reuters/Noor Khamis)Kenya Administration policemen stand in front of Garissa University College in Garissa April 4, 2015. The death toll in an assault by Somali militants on Garissa University College is likely to climb above 147, a government source and media said on Friday, as anger grew among local residents over what they say as a government failure to prevent bloodshed.

After learning what happened to her husband, Gladys revealed: "The first thing I did, I remember getting into the living room of my house, kneeling at the coffee table, and crying, 'God forgive them.' That was the first thing I said, and I kept on insisting on that — 'Forgive them, Father, forgive them.'"

She said that praying to God to forgive those who killed her husband "was tough, it was not easy."

"But one thing I had to allow myself to do, I had to allow God to deal with me in pain. The thing that I felt reaching out to me was love. And love these people who had done this. I tried very hard to think about this in my mind, but my heart was leading totally toward love," she added.

Gladys noted that there is a division between Christians and Muslims in Kenya, but said that Christians are encouraged to reach out to others, because "Christ is about love."

"If you keep quiet, people will not hear about this love," she said.

The Kenyan educator said there are many ways for Christians in the West to help during such tragedies — from donating money to causes, to writing letters of encouragement to people who are suffering. She also said some people feel called by God to become missionaries and go to help on the ground, but emphasized that prayer is needed for such a big decision.

"The first thing to do is seek the Lord, ask where He wants you to go."

As for relations between Christians and Muslims, Gladys said, "We don't need to fear Muslims. What's so different between me and a Muslim? The blood I have is the same color as the Muslim."

She added that Christians and Muslims do not believe in the same things, but said that the barrier can be broken down.

"You want a person to come and understand who Jesus is? Start praying. God breaks down those barriers that are making this person not really see. You do not need to fear a Muslim," she asserted.