Facing alleged attackers in Kenya 'awesome': B.C. woman
A Canadian missionary who was sexually assaulted and brutally beaten in Kenya last summer told her relatives in an email Wednesday that it felt "awesome" to testify against her attackers.
Amanda Bergen received an email in Calgary from her parents, Eloise and John Bergen, after her mother's testimony on Tuesday in a courtroom in the town of Kitale.
Eloise Bergen wrote in the email that the trial "was very intense" and the nine accused men were "shouting, pushing and getting out of control."
One of the accused leaned over the railing, grabbed a chair and threw it toward the police and the lawyers.
On July 9, men armed with machetes and clubs invaded the Bergens' compound, first attacking John. He said he was jumped by about four or five armed men who threw him to the ground and started choking him.
The men then moved into the house where they beat and sexually assaulted Eloise before leaving. John was left with a broken jaw, broken arms and badly injured legs. Eloise's face was badly swollen and her jaw broken.
"When I was on the stand, they made me tell everything in detail," she wrote. "I felt no shame, embarrassment or fear. It was awesome!"
The couple's daughter said she couldn't believe they returned to the place where they nearly lost their lives.
"It was surprising that they wanted to stay in the first place, and then I was surprised they wanted to return," Amanda Bergen said. "I just know if I was in the same situation, it would be a lot harder for me to do what they are doing. So I admire them a lot and am very proud of them."
The Bergens, who lived in High River, Alta., for 10 years before moving to Vernon, B.C., in 2005, spent the past several months touring churches around Canada and the United States talking about their ordeal and their work in Kenya.
The couple were in the country to set up a school and perform development work. They will be in Kenya for about a month and are planning on returning in the summer.