But Jesus faithfully forgives us, by Dick Grady, President of Global Church Planting Network

1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to Jesus, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

One of our GCPN partners recently shared this story:

Solomon and his team are training new believers in a region where Christians were martyred just three years ago. Apparently, one of the training participants (we will call him Mark) had a brother among those martyrs. Mark had become a follower of Jesus like his brother, so he fled to a neighboring country, fearing for his safety.

In fact, Mark had traveled back to his home region just to attend Solomon’s training, but he didn’t know two of the men who killed his brother were also attending the training.

The intense time began when he entered the room and the two men acknowledged him, Solomon said. Tears broke out from the two men as Mark fumed with anger and urgency of wanting revenge. The training was put on hold to sort out this hot issue. Mark, a man Solomon knew as peaceful, honest, and strong in faith, confessed he was filled with anger and strong will to make these men suffer just like his brother.

Solomon said it took all night to calm the group. The killers begged for forgiveness from Mark. One of the murderers made this confession:

I understand what I did was wrong. I have no excuse. I have nothing to pay equal to the loss, pain, and sufferings you have passed through. But after your brother’s death, God touched my soul as he did with you and your late brother. I believe in Jesus Christ now; I am a new man!

The killers offered Mark their own lives. After some time, Mark decided to leave the training. It was impossible to convince him to stay, one of the trainers said. He left around 3 a.m. Then at 6 a.m. he showed up again. Mark testified how God spoke to him to learn the power of the cross. Mark said Holy Jesus spoke to him and forgave him.

Solomon continued, He said he had no choice but to forgive these men and learn how to treat them as brothers.

Solomon told me that Mark sat with the men who had killed his brother and joined in the training. They all shared testimonies about difficulties they had encountered since choosing to follow Jesus.

We prepared a lot for the training, Solomon said. But we are now facilitating something we had not planned. We are allowing the Spirit to lead.

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