Evangelical Christian Killed in Jerusalem Bomb Attack
By Joel C. Rosenberg
The woman who was killed in yesterday's horrific terrorist bombing in central Jerusalem was an evangelical Christian tourist from Great Britain. The police identified the 56-year-old woman as Mary-Jane Gardner.
“She was an evangelical Christian tourist [and] a volunteer at the Bible Translators Society at Yad Hashmonah,” a moshav run by believers, said Calev Myers, director of the Jerusalem Institute of Justice, an Israeli civil rights organization that defends the legal rights of Christians and Jewish believers in Jesus. “Please pray for peace and comfort for her family and friends.”
"The British Embassy in Tel Aviv said it has contacted the woman's relatives in the UK," reported Ynet News. "Police had a hard time indentifying the woman because she was not carrying any identification at the time of the attack near the Jerusalem Convention Center, in which 38 people were injured – two of them seriously."
This is the second evangelical Christian tourist to Israel killed in terrorist attacks in recent months. In December, Kristine Luken, an American Christian from Northern Virginia who was also volunteering with a Christian ministry in Israel, was brutally stabbed to death by Palestinian terrorists while hiking with her friend, Kaye Susan Wilson. Wilson, a Jewish Israeli believer in Jesus, was also brutally stabbed in the attack. By God’s grace she survived the attack and continues to recover.
At the moment, there is no evidence to suggest that Mary-Jane Gardner was targeted for attack because she was a Christian. We can thank the Lord that Ms. Gardner is now in heaven with the Lord. Let us continue praying for all those wounded and traumatized in the attack. Let us pray for Israeli military and security services as they hunt for those responsible for the terrorist attack and attack Hamas and Islamic Jihad cells in Gaza and the West Bank. Please also pray for all Israelis and Palestinians caught in the crossfire of the intensifying skirmishes along the Gaza border.
In recent days, I’ve been asked if it’s safe to travel to Israel. Yes, overall, I believe it is. Lord willing, I am personally heading to Israel in May to lead The Joshua Fund’s “Prayer & Vision Tour” and host the 2011 Epicenter Conference in Jerusalem, and I couldn’t be more excited or committed to the trip. While no country is completely safe to travel in (more than 33,000 people are killed each year in accidents on American roads and highways), I have great confidence in the Israeli security services to defend their country. What’s more, I believe Christians should not be frightened off by evil. Indeed, now is precisely the time for followers of Jesus Christ who have been called by the Lord to visit and pray and serve in Israel to obey that calling and truly show the people of Israel unconditional love and unwavering support.
As the Psalmist tell us: “[The Lord] will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.” – Psalm 121:3-5