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Missionaries discuss their work in Kenya

John and Eloise Bergen will be at Claresholm Community Centre at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 16. They will talk about their work as missionaries in Kenya, and a brutal attack they survived.

After making international headlines because of a brutal attack during their time as missionaries in Kenya, John and Eloise Bergen still have a heart for the country and the people there — including those involved in the attack.
Now, they are making a cross-country tour with a message of forgiveness and hope for the future and will be stopping in Claresholm.
Their main goal right now is to build an orphanage near Nairobi on a piece of land they have purchased, and would like to see as many people out to the Claresholm Community Centre as possible.
The Willow Creek Ministerial will be bringing the Bergens to the community centre on Saturday, April 16 at 7 p.m. and the following day, April 17, the Claresholm Victory Church will see them attend as a special speaker during their Sunday morning services.
“It’s open to everyone,” said Don Whalen, pastor of the Victory Church, of the presentation the couple will be giving Saturday evening. “They have a pretty powerful story of love and forgiveness.”
In July of 2008, John Bergen was left for dead after a group of men attacked him when he went outside his Kenyan home after dark.
Both of his arms were broken, his jaw was broken in five places, and he was partly scalped.
“Clubs and machetes were coming down on my body so hard and so fast,” Bergen said. “Even though I couldn’t speak it, I could squeak it — I said, ‘Jesus, help me’ and he came to my rescue.”
His wife, Eloise, though she had also been beaten and sexually assaulted, managed to get John into their vehicle after he had fallen unconscious to make the trip into Katali, Kenya where they could find help.
“I woke up a few days later. I was amazed. I was just so glad,” John said of his feelings of being alive and knowing a miracle had happened. “I had my arms, and my legs; I seemed to be coherent. Tremendous joy exploded inside of me.”
Now in a different location in Kenya, the Bergens want to share their story with others.
There will be no fee charged, but a free-will offering will be taken up to support their goal of building the orphanage and septic trenches.
With a child orphaned every 15 seconds somewhere in the world, John said his heart hurts to think of these little ones who need so much help.