“By the Grace of God…”
Submitted by: Gordon Gooderham
1 Corinthians 15:10.
If you Google the name Peter Frumusa you will find reports of his arrest, conviction and life sentence for a double murder in 1988. At his girlfriend’s request Peter went to her mother’s house, because she wasn’t answering the daughter’s phone calls. Peter could not get a response at the door, had the police called, and they discovered the savage murders. Peter was shortly after arrested and charged.
Now the fact that he was a cocaine user and dealer, about which he lied, did not help his case. Nor that a jailhouse informant, street name ‘Snake’, testified falsely that Peter confessed the killings to him. But there was no physical evidence to implicate him, yet he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
After a second police informant told the truth, the case was reopened and in 1996 the charges were dropped and the judge apologized to Peter for the terrible injustice he had experienced.
Most of that you can read online. What you won’t read are the gracious workings of God in Peter’s life. A Fort Erie lady of great faith and hope visited the Thorold Detention Centre weekly, to speak about Jesus to the prisoners. She was “a mother in Israel” to many of those men. Through her love and witness Peter came to faith in Jesus Christ, and went to Kingston Penitentiary trusting in the Lord.
At the time of his release his daughter was part of the youth group I was pastoring. Peter began attending our church, struggling socially, emotionally and
financially. Society isn’t kind to ex-prisoners, but experiencing God’s love and grace he began to renew his life.
But in 2005 his house was torched, destroying it. Peter was thrown by the explosion into a neighbour’s yard, severely burned, near death. When I was permitted to visit him in ICU, I nervously entered the room. His arms and head were totally wrapped in bandages, with openings for his mouth and nostrils.
I could not tell if he was conscious, but quietly spoke his name. To my surprise and delight, recognizing my voice, he huskily replied, “Pastor”. We enjoyed a few minutes of Scripture and prayer.
From the threshold of death, Peter recovered without a burn scar, but a strengthened testimony of God’s Grace.
“How great the Father’s love for us …”