Church stab victim ‘loves and understands’ his attacker
A PASTOR says a man hospitalised as a result of a shocking Gold Coast prayer group stabbing "loves and understands" his alleged attacker.
Police allege Tham Bronson Chi Siong was stabbed multiple times in the back and had his hand badly slashed by Jiun Hsiung Loh, 28, before a meeting at the Hope Christian Church at Southport on Sunday last week.
The Malaysian national was rushed to the Gold Coast University Hospital where he underwent surgery on his back, kidney and hand and has remained in hospital since.
Loh is in custory charged with acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm and is due to appear in court again on July 17. He made a brief appearance at the Southport Magistrates Court last week and is yet to enter a plea.
Church pastors Belle and Lance Wolter would not speculate about what motivated the alleged stabbing yesterday before their regular service began, but they said Siong did not have any bad blood towards Loh.
"What we've found as the biggest miracle is the victim has been completely able to understand and love - there's no sense of wrath in him," Mr Wolter said.
Mr Wolter said Loh had not been to the church for about a year but he said the pair could have bumped into each other Siong outside of church.
"But to our knowledge they hadn't seen each other face-to-face for a long time," Mr Wolter said.
He said churchgoers had conflicting emotions about last week's bloodshed.
"It's like you love both people, imagine if it was your family and it was your brother and another brother, you're visiting hospital while praying for your other brother, who is also still in jail," he said.
"It's a strange, mixed emotion. The normal human emotion is to get upset and ask 'how could you do this to someone I love?
"But at the same time I love you also, it's a crazy emotion for some people because we love both."
A crowd funding page raised more than $16,000 for Siong in just six days and Ms Wolter said members of the church had been praying for him daily.
"It's been miraculous, he's said when he's prayed he actually felt healing," she said.
Mr Wolter added: "He's had people come in with him every day and pray, and several times he's gone 'oh, my hands are working now'."
"A lot of people have been praying for him and he's been able to sit up so I guess that's a testimony to prayer."
As Siong makes a steady recovery in hospital, Mr Wolter said the church was working to get in touch to offer Loh counselling while he is in custody.
"We're hoping we can get access to help him with healing, to walk side-by-side with professionals to work out what's happening inside that mind," Mr Wolter said.
"We don't want him in jail inside feeling that no one gets him so my wife and I will, when we get access, sit down with him, and talk it out.
"But that's up to lawyers, that's up to him, but by today we'll find out. To our knowledge he's never been to jail before."
Mr Wolter praised the work of police who responded to emergency calls last week.