By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario - After being stabbed 37 times and left for dead, Kevin Ramsby was moved by four simple words - "they still need you."
© Adam Brazeau
Pastor Kevin Ramsby.
Ramsby delivered a powerful lesson in forgiveness to a crowd of 600 at the Children‚Äôs Treatment Centre (CTC) Bike-A-Thon Plus kick-off breakfast last Wednesday.
A strung-out knife-wielding intruder ransacked his family's Detroit home in the summer of 2009. Ramsby suffered wounds to the neck, back, head, abdomen, and hands, but not a single vital organ was struck.
"When I was laying there covered in blood, praying, I heard the words 'they still need you' and it became a life mission for me," said Ramsby.
He said teaching children, especially those being helped by the treatment centre, about forgiveness will allow them to move past their past, and embrace their emotional and spiritual scars.
"How can you forgive a man that stabbed you 37 times? I'll tell you how, every day I look at my children and I know what I don't forgive I pass on," he said. "I want them to know they don't have to choose to become bitter, they can get better."
Ramsby has kept in close contact with the man who nearly killed him by writing to him in jail. The attacker stated in one letter that the terrible relationship he had with his father was the root of his drug addiction.
"The power of community is so instrumental in healing. Abused children and their families being served by the treatment centre need you," he said.
Don Fairweather, CTC Bike-A-Thon Plus chair, said last year's event raised $110,000.
"We need to match or exceed this amount this year in order to ensure we don't dip into our 'rainy day' reserves to support the children who need our help," said Fairweather.
The annual CTC Bike-A-Thon Plus fundraiser takes place on Saturday, May 24. This year's event includes a ceremonial walk, 100K cycling challenge, 5/10K walk, 5/10K run, seniors walk, rock-a-thon, trail ride, and a wheel-a-thon.
For more information, visit www.ctc-sdg.com.