I want to invite the community to hear Mary Johnson’s story of forgiving her son’s murderer at a special worship service this Sunday, Feb. 9, at 10:30 a.m. at Da Vinci Academy, 13001 Central Ave in Blaine.
I first heard Mary’s story when she and Oshea Israel shared it last month at St. Joseph by the Lakes Catholic Church. Mary’s son, Laramiun Byrd was murdered by Oshea in 1993. After visiting Oshea in prison, Johnson began the process of forgiveness. The two eventually reconciled after Israel was released from prison. Mary now identifies Oshea as her “spiritual son” and he refers to her as a “second mom.” The two have lived next door to each other for more than two years.
During worship I will interview Mary. I will particularly ask her how she was able to get the point where she was willing to release the anger she understandably felt towards Oshea. I will also ask her how she was able to forgive him.
Through my work I have learned that many people struggle with the issue of forgiveness. Hopefully by hearing Mary’s story many people can take some steps in releasing the pain that they might experience. After Mary shares her story I will invite people present to ask her questions.
Mary has founded “From Death To Life," a nonprofit that provides healing and reconciliation between families of victims and those who caused harm.
After worship we will enjoy a banquet of Valentine’s delicacies.
Please do come hear the powerful message that Mary will share!