Bergen's Mission

Bergen's Story Page 1


Couple attacked in Kenya wants to remain in Africa 

Missionaries determined to stay in Kenya, despite being brutally attacked by machete-wielding thugs in that country.

John and Eloise Bergen, of Vernon, B.C., both suffered broken jaws and wounds to the head and neck during the attack. John, 70, is also suffering from multiple fractures of the skull, arms, leg and knee. Eloise, 65, required 35 stitches to the face.

They couple says they're looking forward to seeing their son and grandson, who are rushing to Nairobi this weekend and are expected to arrive on Monday. Family members have said they're hoping to convince the pair to return home to Canada. But the Bergens say they want to continue their work in Kenya.

The Bergens were working with the Kelowna, B.C.-based group Hope for the Nations when they were viciously assaulted earlier this week.

Eloise Bergen told CTV Newsnet she was taking a bath when she looked up and saw five men armed with machetes and clubs standing over her.

The home invaders bound Eloise and held a machete to her throat, while John was attacked outside the house.

"When I was going through the ordeal I had all my wits about me. My mind was very clear, I was very calm, it was just like Jesus Christ was right beside me," she said on Friday.

"I wasn't conscious of overwhelming fear I was just conscious that I must do what they told me to do and I must remain calm and have my mind about me so I would know how to cut myself free and so that I could figure out how to save my husband."

Despite being raped, tied up and beaten, she was eventually able to free herself, and begin searching for her husband who had been virtually left for dead by the attackers.

She found him in nearby bushes. Eloise then managed to get him into their car and drive him to the Hope for the Nations compound.

Both were then taken to a hospital and later airlifted to Nairobi.

Eight men broke into the house, Eloise said.

"They were very nervous and jumpy and afraid someone might come and find them doing this so they had the machete at my throat almost all the time making sure that I wouldn't raise my voice and they were all whispering."

All of the suspects have now been arrested, she said. The Bergens say they forgive their attackers.

Lance Bergen spoke to CTV News and said he expected his parents would forgive their attackers.

"It wouldn't surprise me at all if he got out of the hospital went to the prison where the people are being held and gave each one of them a hug and said he loved them," he said of his father. "If I was ever half the man my father is I'd have something to actually tell somebody."

His parents said they'll continue their work, but will improve security conditions.