“I would give credit to my faith for everything that has happened,” Johnson said, admitting that after he took the gun, he considering turning it on the struggling would-be terrorist, but “it was God who spoke to me and told me to not take his life, to spare his life. And, you know, I’ve never regretted that decision.”
The attacker has since been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the attack.
God’s protection was cited again in Colorado Springs when a church volunteer subdued a gunman who had already attacked another church and a Christian training center.
When the gunman rushed into the New Life Church, he started shooting churchgoers. Church volunteer Jeanne Assam ran to the sound of gunshots and says “God guided me and protected me.”
She told the media how the gunman entered the east entrance of the church firing his gun. “There was chaos,” Assam said, as parishioners ran away. “I saw him coming through the doors” and took cover, Assam said. “I came out of cover and identified myself and engaged him and took him down.” She shot him dead.
Assam had several years of experience in law enforcement and is licensed to carry a weapon. “I give credit to God,” Assam said. “God was with me. I didn’t think for a minute to run away.” Fellow churchgoer, and Vietnam veteran Larry Bourbonnais told the Denver Post it was the bravest thing he’d ever seen.
Bourbonnais was among those shot by the gunman. “She just started walking toward the gunman firing the whole way,” said Bourbonnais, who was shot in the arm. “She was just yelling ‘Surrender,’ walking and shooting the whole time.”
The gunman had already killed four people at another church and then at a missionary training school. New Life Church Pastor Brady Boyd told the media that Assam “probably saved a hundred lives.”
However, at least 81 worshipers and 140 were injured died at All Saints Church in Pakistan two suicide bombers detonated their explosive devices. Around the globe, such attacks are increasingly frequent – particularly in countries where firearms are banned.
Family members receive terrible news after the bombing
No one was armed at the church except for two Muslim security guards who were killed. Also, the suicide bombers gave no warning before detonating the blasts that killed themselves and the Christian worshipers.
“In this time of tragedy, let us pray not only for healing and comfort, but also that God will continue using it to provide peace and turn sympathies toward Pakistani believers who have faced much persecution in the past,” said K. P. Yohannan, founder and director of Gospel for Asia.
Churchgoers there were completing worship and about to share a covered-dish dinner when the bombs exploded. Among the dead were 34 women and seven children. A splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility, saying they “will continue to strike wherever we will find an opportunity against non-Muslims.”
In a country where only 3 percent are Christians, many Muslims expressed sympathy and outrage at the attack on peaceful worshippers. Government officials condemned the attack. “Such cruel acts of terrorism reflect the brutality and inhumane mindset of the terrorists,” said Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Meanwhile, an armed former Royal Marine emerged as a hero when a similar group targeted a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, according to the British newspaper The Daily Mail. The armed, retired Marine was credited with saving up to 100 lives.
Nairobi residents read about the mall attack
Armed with his personal handgun, he moved in and out of the mall many times, each time leading new victims to safety, according to reporter Onan Coca. “The morning of the shooting, the mall massacre hero was sitting in a mall coffee shop enjoying a beverage with some friends. When the shooting began, he escorted his friends from the building, but the brave acts he will be remembered for happened next. The man returned into the besieged building at least a dozen times rescuing somewhere around 100 people. Each reentry into the mall-turned-combat-zone was more dangerous than the previous, as more and more people were led out of harm’s way.”