Wounded Pastor to Attacker: "You Apologized, You're Forgiven"

Wounded Pastor to Attacker: "You Apologized, You're Forgiven"

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - Back in February, Pastor Donny Kyker of Jesus House in Odessa was attacked. A man staying in their transitional home stabbed him.

Kyker is now back and serving his community. He's now speaking out for the first time since the attack to NewsWest 9.

This attack was the first incident of its kind since Jesus House opened their doors in 2002. Since the incident back in February, Pastor Kyker wants the community to know that his facility is still a safe place to be.

"One incident in 13 years? I think that's a pretty good ratio," Kyker said.

It's not too often you hear of a stabbing victim up on his feet at work the next day.

"I came to work the next day. You're not gonna kick me out of the saddle!" Kyker said.

The night of February 2, Kyker asked Victor Avila to leave their men's transitional home because Avila was under the influence.

"When the incident happened, I shouldn't have been alone. That was my fault. Defending myself was my responsibility," Kyker said.

Kyker says Avila wouldn't cooperate. That's when the suspect pulled out a knife. Kyker reached to grab a chair to defend himself, but during the split second he turned around, that's when Avila struck him in his thumb and his back.

"Even though they look safe, they look harmless - It was a 60-year-old man half my size - but under the influence of alcohol and drugs, he was really strong," Kyker said.

Avila took off running. Police caught him a couple of blocks away shortly after.

Kyker was taken to the hospital.

"I did get a letter from [Avila]. He wrote me a letter from jail. He apologized and he's forgiven," Kyker said.

NewsWest 9 asked Pastor Kyker what his reaction would be should Victor Avila come back to Jesus House.

"If he walked into this door today, we'd feed him. We'd love him but we'd watch him," Kyker said.

Pastor Kyker also says the effect of the incident has led to lower numbers at their church service. He wants to stress that anyone and everyone is welcome to worship in their safe environment. For a list of service times, click here.