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Zimbabwean farmer faces death & forgives

GRAHAMSTOWN, South Africa (BP)–Martin Fick almost died twice while living in Zimbabwe nearly a decade ago. Miraculously, he survived and learned firsthand about the power of grace and forgiveness.

Victims of the political strife that ravaged Zimbabwe in the 1990s, Fick and many other white farmers were beaten and forced off their land. Fick, a husband and father of three, almost lost his life after two severe beatings that culminated with his attackers trying to throw him down a well. Despite the attacks, he felt God leading him to stay on his property.

After police investigated the attacks, Fick had the opportunity to press charges against one of his assailants. But he felt the Lord urging him not to follow through with the charges.

“This was a very difficult thing to do,” he recalled. “But I knew that was what God was telling me to do, and I had to do it.”

Then came the most difficult challenge. Fick felt God leading him to confront the man who nearly took his life and offer him forgiveness. At first Fick resisted.

“God, if I go back to this man he will kill me,” Fick prayed. “I have a wife and a family. I will orphan my children. God, is that what You want?”

Still, Fick knew what he had to do and drove to where the man and a large group had gathered. Again, the man threatened to kill Fick. That’s when Fick told him he forgave him.

“He kept saying, ‘Tonight, you’re a dead man,'” Fick said. “I told him that he could be going to jail, but I refused to press charges and have forgiven him because that’s what God wanted me to do.”

Speechless, the man dropped to his knees, remaining on the ground as Fick drove off.

In 2002, Fick moved his family to South Africa to start a new life. Since then he has started an ostrich farm and a ministry among the poor that has received help from International Mission Board missionary Bob Morris.

Fick doesn’t know what happened to the man who nearly killed him. He hopes his testimony encourages others to be obedient to God.

“We are accountable before God,” he said.
Shawn Hendricks is a writer for the International Mission Board.

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