A message from Yolande Korkie

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“WHY?” is the cry in many hearts: in our home, our city Bloemfontein, our country South Africa, our beloved Yemen and to the ends of the earth.

I wish I had the answer.

My heart is breaking not only for my children, family, and myself. But for all of you that travelled this road with us.

Pierre was a hostage of this situation for 558 days. Although we were separated in the flesh after 228 days when I was released, I remained with him in the spirit until the end. On 6 December 2014, my dearest friend and companion and godly daddy was torn from me and the children.

The furnace of 19 months has been relentless and red hot. Thus I had to really think very hard and long for an appropriate approach in the face of this pain. So may I dare to turn around this most difficult question that I started with and ask how can we, with God’s help, respond appropriately to this painful hour?

Will we win anything if we hate and accuse? Will this return Pierre to us? No. People retain the power of choice; God Almighty is not willing to bulldoze that. We were created with a free will, and the choices people make they will be eternally responsible for.

Good or bad choices reverberate for all eternity.

So today we choose to forgive. We choose to love. We choose to rejoice in the memories of Pierre and keep him alive in our hearts. We honour Pierre’s legacy and give Glory to God for his life and death. We resolve to live in the embrace of God…until our time comes to be reunited. Even though this pain is overwhelming us right now, we choose to believe that this too will pass.

Allow me to say the word that I uttered more in one year, than I did in 10 years: Thank you. We value the special people God brought to this table and we give Him Glory for strengthening the hands and minds and hearts of all these people:

• Our children, Peter and Lize….I praise God for you. You are the bravest….

• GotG – Dr Imtiaz Sooliman, Anas al Hamati – I salute you for your passionate commitment and perseverance. No obstacle was too big. You gave me a second chance to be with our children. The tribes of Yemen – we don’t know your names, but your willingness to risk your lives deserves praise. You are one of a kind nation….May God bless you all.

• The South African Gov: I have come to know many angels working in our Gov system. In DIRCO, Consular services, parliament members and all admin staff involved. We can never begin to express our gratitude for your support, advice and constant availability. God has placed you in certain positions for such a time as this.

• South Africa and Yemen and friends across the world. Your prayers made us strong to face the trails of this unforgiving world. Your compassion was a true witness of the essence of South Africans.

• The Yemen Embassy for their constant care and concern; and the USA embassy for repatriating Pierre’s body to us – it is greatly appreciated and a most special gift.

• And the media – once again we are astounded with your sensitivity and respect.

I realize there are so many questions that are unanswered. Please forgive me if I don’t endeavour on them right now. Tomorrow Pierre will be returned to us as he saw in a vision; we will spend time with him saying goodbye and reaching for some sort of closure.

After this a combined press conference will be held; details to follow.

Later in this week a memorial service will be held in Bloemfontein and a private burial service. Details will be passed on.

Thank you

Yolande Korkie and children