A couple of recent Montana Tech graduates, while sightseeing in New Zealand, were victims of a “vicious attack,” according to The New Zealand Herald. And now, in an inspiring follow up story, the father of one of the victims writes an open letter thanking the people of New Zealand for their kindness, and offers forgiveness to his son’s attacker (all with a Lord of the Rings quote thrown in at the end)
Here’s an excerpt from the original story: Montana Tourists victims of ‘vicious’ attack in New Zealand
Less than 48 hours into their holiday, two American tourists were the victims of a “vicious and unprovoked” attack in Northland – and one will need reconstructive surgery.
While the pair were discharged from the Bay of Islands Hospital later, the 22-year-old will undergo reconstructive surgery at Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland in the next few days, Mr Le Comte said.
It is not the first time tourists have become victims of crime in the popular seaside town.
The New Zealand Herald now has this follow up posted, with a letter from the father of one of the victims- who happens to be Brad Ulgenes, the pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Helena, Montana: Bash victim’s dad forgives attacker
Jacob (Ulgenes) and Scott (Kelleher), room-mates at Montana Tech at the University of Montana, had travelled to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate their graduation. They had been in New Zealand less than 48 hours when the attack occurred.
“I feel sorry for the young man or men that attacked him and wonder what kind of ‘home’ they have experienced or what personal problems led to their violent outburst. I have forgiven him and will pray for him and hope that someday he will experience love that can transform his life,” he said.
“In The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies, which we have just seen, Thorin says: ‘Farewell, Master Burglar. Go back to your books, your fireplace. Plant your trees, watch them grow. If more of us valued home above gold, it would be a merrier world.’ I pray they find the ‘home’ they are looking for. We are grateful for the ‘home’ Jake has experienced while in your area.”