JERUSALEM — An elderly Christian woman in Israel is crediting her survival to calling on the name of Jesus during an Islamic terror attack in Jerusalem last week.
For the past 32 years, Marike Veldman, 78, has operated a foster home for Arab children in Jerusalem, raising 20 and adopting a number of the children that she raised. Prior to coming to Israel, Veldman lived in her homeland of Holland until deciding to volunteer in the Holy Land.
Last Tuesday, while riding a bus in East Talpiot, she noticed two suspicious men sitting in front.
“I thought to myself, ‘What were they doing on a bus at this hour? They should be at work,'” Veldman told YNet News.
Moments later, the men, one of which carried a gun and the other a knife, began yelling, “Allah is the greatest” and proceeded to attack passengers.
“They began to cry ‘Allahu Akbar,’” she recalled. “The man in front of me began with a knife stabbing into me. The other man started shooting. People screamed very loudly. It was awful.”
But even as Veldman was being stabbed, she called out to Jesus Christ.
“I cried constantly in Dutch, ‘Lord Jesus! Lord Jesus! Help me! Help me!,” she recalled.
At that moment, her attacker stopped and ran to the back of the bus. Veldman moved close to the door, which was now shot up with bullet holes, and it suddenly opened. She ran out, bleeding as she went.
“I started walking up the hill there and I was bleeding terribly and I was alone,” Veldman explained.
Minutes later, a Jewish man drove by and gave her a ride after Veldman told him her story. She was then taken to Hadassah Medical Center for treatment, where she is recovering from stab wounds and punctured lungs.
Veldman says that she doesn’t hate her attacker, but pities him for committing evil. She would like to see the man who stopped to help her as she credits both him and God for saving her life.
“He and God saved me,” Veldman said. “… I want to thank him.”
Two people died in the attack, and sixteen others were injured.