God Reports
10/17/13 at 02:15 PM 0 Comments

Wife of Amish school shooter found strength in the Lord

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Marie Monville

When her husband Charlie called to tell her he wasn’t coming home she knew something wasn’t right. At the time of the call he had already taken 10 girls hostage inside a one-room Amish school in Nickel Mines, a village in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Charlie Roberts, a milk truck driver and family man with three kids, proceeded to shoot each girl execution-style in the back of the head before he turned the gun on himself, committing suicide. His wife, Marie, was blindsided. She had no clue this was coming.

“It was overwhelming to know what happened that day and the man who walked with me and our children to the bus stop that morning, who kissed them and said he loved them, could even be capable of something like this,” says Marie Monville, the author with Cindy Lambert of One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting (Zondervan).

Immediately after Marie hung up the phone, Charlie committed his horrible crime, killing five Amish girls aged 6-13, including two sisters. The youngest victim to survive, Rosanna King, suffered brain damage and is still unable to eat, sit or talk.

“His voice on the phone sounded so different, so flat, so lifeless,” she recalls. “It was unlike anything I had ever heard in our 10 years together. So many things he said didn’t make sense, even saying it related to the loss of our first daughter.”

In 1997, Marie and Charlie lost their first daughter after 26 weeks of pregnancy, a loss that seemed to hit Charlie harder in the ensuing years than Marie.

Born prematurely, she lived for only 20 heartbreaking minutes. “It was the first time in my life to face such a crisis moment,” Marie says. “You don’t think when you’re pregnant that you’re not going to come home from the hospital without your daughter.”

Charlie and Marie – both committed Christians who met in church – responded differently. “That day rocked me but I found the Lord in such tremendous ways,” she says. “I knew that His healing was the only thing that would bring me through.”


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