Twenty years ago, Jan. 23, 1999, Graham Staines, an Australian missionary to India, was burned to death along with his two sons, Philip, age 10, and Timothy, age 6. Staines was 57. For 35 years, Graham had ministered to lepers in a remote tribal village in India where he established the Mayurbanj Leprosy Home in 1982. In 1983, he married his wife, Gladys, who joined him in the work.

The mob that killed Graham Staines and his sons was apparently a hard-line Hindu organization intent on retribution for the missionary’s effectiveness in converting members of the lower caste to faith in Jesus Christ. After the attack, Gladys Staines forgave those who murdered her husband and sons. She remained in India with their daughter, Esther, and continued their ministry among the lepers. She stated, “I cannot just leave those people who love and trust us. I have high regard for the people of India and their tolerance.”

Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. Visit www.tinsleycenter.com. Email bill@tinsleycenter.com.

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