CAEN, FRANCE – Karen Attar graduated from the Johnson University Florida campus in 2014 with a degree in Christian Ministry for the purpose of serving as a missionary in the Middle East.
She is from France, and upon her graduation returned back to her home country while she prepared for her eventual move to the Middle East.
Attar was out with some friends on the recent historical night in France, and this is her story of the attacks.
“It was around 10:30p.m. when I was at a get-together with coworkers that we started getting alerts on our phones of what was going on in Paris. Two bombs had exploded near the Stade de France. There had been multiple shootings in front of cafes, and hundreds of people had been taken hostage in another area of Paris.
“We turned the news on and as the minutes went by, the number of victims went up. I felt a mixture of amazement, shock, and anger at what was going on. I think we got a taste of what 9/11 must have felt like for Americans.
“But amongst those feelings, there’s an incredible wave of love and courage that flooded the streets of Paris and France. We can hear testimonies of fathers, brothers, or others who have lost a loved one and who do not show any hate, but more sadness for the people of Daesh who did this,” Attar said.
“Daesh” is a term used to describe ISIS used by Arab states, and has been recently adopted by many European governments to refer to the terrorist group.
Attar said, “I have seen a lot of comments on whether or not we should take in any more refugees because of the fear of this happening again, but most of the terrorists of these attacks were French citizens!”
She concluded by sharing a call to love as Christ.
Attar said, “As a missionary in training to go to the Middle East, I want to encourage us as Christians to not let fear overtake us, but to let Christ’s love and compassion overflow even in the midst of darkness and chaos.”