After terrorist attack leaves 11 dead, multiracial church struggles with grief, anger, and forgiveness.
When American missionary Bobby Parks took a seat for the Sunday evening service at his church in Cape Town, South Africa, he chose a different pew than usual. That decision very likely saved his life.
Parks, a veteran Campus Crusade for Christ staff member, normally sat in the left front of the 1,600-seat auditorium. On July 25, though, he needed to make an announcement so he sat at the right front for easier access to the lectern.
Nearly halfway through the service, as a white young woman and a colored (mixed race) young man were singing “More Than Wonderful” at the multiracial Saint James church, the left front door burst open and terrorists sprayed the room with automatic rifle fire, killing some who sat in Parks’s customary section. A grenade landed among 150 Ukrainian and Russian seamen who attended regularly, killing and maiming as it exploded.
Thy Cameron dived under the pew in front of her to find herself face to face with a screaming young girl. “Now listen, stop that!” exclaimed Cameron. “We’re going to pray!” Her loud prayers could be heard several pews away over the continuing AK47 gunfire and explosions.
Gordon Bowers watched as a terrorist lobbed a second grenade. It landed in the aisle, rolled past him and exploded about five feet away. Shrapnel grazed his head and peppered his right side. His wife, Marietjie, sustained a bullet wound in her shoulder as gunfire continued.
When the first grenade exploded, Lorenzo Smith pulled his wife, Myrtle, to the floor and lay on top of her to protect her. The second grenade exploded six feet away, sending a piece of shrapnel into her left side near her heart but missing him ...1
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