Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Legacy of Amy Biehl

The Los Angeles Times ran a beautiful article written by Scott Kraft on the Amy Biehl story. For those of you who do not know the story it is about Amy Biehl who at the time was a graduate student from Stanford University living in Cape Town, South Africa in 1993. Amy had been in South Africa for nearly a year researching constitutions and bills of rights around the world for ANC leaders. It was her last day in South Africa and she was taking a colleague home in Guguletu when an angry mob spotted her, started throwing rocks at her car, and as she was trying to escape was murdered.

What is amazing about this story was what Amy represented and how her parents Linda and Peter Biehl dealt with their daughters death which was not only to forgive the mruderers but to also found the Amy Biehl Foundation in 1994 which to this day runs after-school programs for youth in the area where Amy was killed. Two of the men who murdered Amy now work for the Foundation whose purpose is to help stop violence by giving youth something positive to participate in.

Linda and Peter Biehl were able to transcend their anger and hatred through the process of forgiveness and in so doing were able to transform themselves and those around them whose anger and pain drove them to this unthinkable murder. This speaks to the power of forgiveness which enables us to open our hearts to healing instead of hatred.


Charla McAbier said...

I recently returned from a stewardship with the Amy Biehl Foundation in South Africa. I went there thinking it would be a great experience to work with children and teachers and try to make a difference as well as learn about a different culture. I am a teacher and also a lifelong learner. In this experience I did have the opportunity to meet Easy as well as others who live in the townships, particularly in Guguletu. I also had the great experience to see the children in their environments to prepare for teaching them in their schools. This opportunity was all because of Amy Biehl. The Amy Biehl Foundation has opened doors for many to not only learn, but to experience some of what she did. I learned so much about the impact she had on the distressed culture that she fought for. Reconciliation has a new meaning to me...I have never seen such forgiveness. In our daily lives we deal with it and nothing compares to the true reconciliation that Amy's family had for the murderers of their loved one. I had the great fortune to meet Linda Biehl, Amy's mom - a fabulous woman! And to also see Linda and Easy stand together and demonstrate a relationship that most would never understand. The inspiration that Linda and Easy brings to this story is amazing and I am sharing it with everyone I can. It has been a spiritual movement for me. I have new eyes to the true meaning of forgiveness. Thank you, Amy, for all you did in your life to force change in the lives of others. You have touched many and your family continues burning the light of your passion. You live on! Charla McAbier (Christian and Teacher)

Chris said...

Charla, I created the following website to help bring awareness to the Amy Biehl foundation. Would you care to share this story with the site?