«Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much» (James 5:16).
When Melissa was small, she moved with her family to Palau. Her parents were missionaries. Her father coordinated all the Adventist work on the island, and her mother taught in the Academy. They were a family much loved by the community, but one night, everything changed.
On the morning of December 22, 2003, when she was ten, a man entered her home and murdered her father, mother, and older brother. He strangled her and threw her down a ravine.
When Melissa regained consciousness, she crawled to a truck, and a couple found her and took her to the police and the hospital. The queen, herself, went to be with her until her grandmother and someone specialized in trauma (Ann Hamel, the author who later shared the full story in the 3600 Mission magazine, if you want to read it) arrived. News of the event spread all over the world.
Her grandparents took her to live with them in the United States, and in 2018, she had the opportunity to return to Palau, as she had always wanted to.
Her grandmother had visited the murderer in prison many years earlier, shared Christian literature with him, and had told him that she, as well as her family, forgave him and hoped to see him in heaven, along with her son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.
A pastor had continued with the prison ministry over there and had studied the Bible with this man who, in time, decided to be baptized. That murderer, who was serving three life sentences, had received divine forgiveness, and in 2018, received Melissa’s forgiveness, as well. With tears in her eyes, she told him that we are all equal in God) s eyes and that we all need His saving grace in our lives, and that she wanted to see him in heaven.
Perhaps you are wondering today how it is possible to forgive in this way. The story of this young woman was one of the most powerful sermons preached in that country and is an example of what we can do with the hand of God.
Forgiveness is not possible from our perspective, but if we allow the Holy Spirit to work, we will be able to forgive one another, pray, and be healed. Are you willing to make room for this gift today?