What led up to the attack?
I was on my seventh week [teaching at the school] when the incident happened. I already knew the students, I knew all their names. On this fateful day this child planned to attack me on the Wednesday. I wasn’t in school, so he planned it again for the Thursday.
After you were stabbed in the classroom, you ran down the corridor shouting ‘blood of Jesus’. What do you remember about those moments?
As a human bring I was really frightened. I thought I was going to die. I started to feel cold and thought I was entering the process of dying. I was remembering my children and wife and not saying goodbye.
I was really frightened and started shouting ‘blood of Jesus, blood of Jesus’, asking God not to die. Alongside that, I was thinking in my mind, 'God I didn’t plan to die this way. God don’t let me die now'. In the back of my mind I still believed I have something to accomplish for God.
Why did he stab you?
In court, I realised he attacked me just because of my skin colour. Because I’m black. I eventually realised it was racially motivated. He had used the ‘n’ word and said ‘I’m going to attack this man’.
How have you made sense of his behaviour?
In court I understood clearly the boy’s background. He has had a series of convictions. Actually at the moment he still has a Magistrates' court case pending for burglary. He’s had cases for assault and had convictions before. Bearing that in mind, I felt what he has learned about life is probably violence. That is the only way he sees life. When he meets someone he doesn’t like, he uses violence to express himself.
How have you been able to forgive him?
The priority of our lives is to glorify God. That’s what made me forgive this boy. If Jesus Christ was in this situation what would he do? I mentioned on ITV yesterday - he was able to forgive all our sins and forgive those who crucified him. When he was praying he said ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’. So what I do is reflect the instructions Christ has given to us. I make sure I live my life to those instructions.
Did you have any idea this attack was going to happen?
That was the surprising thing. There was no vision or dream. God knew this would happen and he kept it to himself. He didn’t bother revealing it to me. That means he has plans for me. God has a plan and a purpose for this, otherwise he wouldn’t let it happen at all.
You believed that if God didn’t reveal it, there must be a plan. Were you able to accept that immediately?
Yes, God knows everything. I did not question him, because I know he loves me. He loves me beyond my own understanding.
After the surgical operation when I woke up I saw all the cuts on my tummy, I started praising God that I’m alive. Every plan of God will definitely bring glory to his name. When I saw all this I thanked God for allowing this to happen and I asked God ‘let the purpose for this be clearly revealed to me’. I also started having this feeling in my mind that it’s for his name to be glorified.
We often hear preaching God’s name is under attack in this nation. But you’ve had the opportunity to go to all kinds of media houses, newspapers, television etc. How has your Christian faith been received?
I know Christians are regularly under attack. Sometimes I see what happened to me as one of those attacks. You never know what Satan planned. He probably planned I would die on that spot. But God being ever knowing, turned it around for good.
I can be honest and truthful and say this is what I believe. This faith is what has kept me going. This faith is what has kept me alive. There’s no point shying away from it. This is an opportunity to let people know how my life has been in Christ and how God has helped me, and what God wants us to do. I know some people might feel shy or not feel comfortable to talk about their faith, because of fear of what others might think or say. I’m not really bothered.
What sort of support have you had?
I’ve received loads and loads of support. Christian brethren have gathered around me and prayed for me. Some gave gifts. Some Christian sisters cooked food for me. I’ve received loads of support and prayers from Christians.
How has this impacted your family?
Brother, it has really made me revalue most of my actions. To revalue things I do, prioritise things. I try and give maximum time to my wife and children. Get closer to them.
What is the number one thing you want to tell people who may walk through a similar valley of the shadow of death in the future?
God has our life in his hand. So live for God.