Murdered missionary's widow felt 'empty' after his death
The widow of a German missionary murdered in Turkey by Islamist extremists has described feeling 'empty' after his death.
Susanne Geske, whose husband Tilmann was tortured murdered with two Turkish converts in a Bible publishing house in Malatya in 2007, told The Christian Post what happened after she learned of his death.
'Actually, I couldn't go home,' she said. 'My kids were taken back from France to home. My eldest daughter came by bus and they sent me to the police office.
'So, I sat there for two hours not knowing what I am doing there and have this television on. I asked if they could [shut it down] because they all were just telling lies about us and what horrible people we are. I didn't want to watch that conversation.'
Describing her feelings, she said: 'It was just like empty.'
When she returned home with her children she found their Muslim friends and neigbours had gathered to show their support.
'My house was crowded, filled to the top. ... We have a kitchen, a long hall, a living room for my kids, a big living room and another room, they were all filled with people,' she said. 'Actually, they were all Muslim, all my neighbors, and some people from the church, of course. The Turkish church people, they were so scared, they wouldn't come but other people from other cities would come.'
The following day she found pastors had come to her home.
'In the end, we are sitting all there in my living room with people I have never seen before. I just had nothing in my mind. Then, someone came and said that the media is in front of the door and they want to talk to you. I was like, "No way. What on earth do I say to them?"
'Then one of the pastors said, "You know, we always want the Gospel to go out."
She said she prayed, saying: 'You always promised that when we don't know what to say, you would tell us what to say. It was really like Jesus said, "Father forgive them because they don't know what they are doing."'
She said this to Turkish TV channel ATV and it was reported around the world. It was, she said, an 'act of obedience'.
'There was nothing in my heart, not love, not hate, nothing. Actually, my daughter asked me once, "Mom, are you crazy? You forgive these guys but you still have trouble with your landlord?"
'I can't explain this. I can't. I think it is just the Lord's doing. He wanted this to happen and then he made it happen. That is the only explanation I have.'
After years of delay, five men were convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the crimes last year.