Sri Lanka (MNN) — With every history-making headline from the last three years, 2019 may seem like a lifetime ago. But for survivors of the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka, 2019 feels like yesterday.
“The Easter Sunday attacks affected the Church in different ways,” The Voice of the Martyrs Canada partner Yamini Ravindran says.
“It was not something the Church expected, so [now there is] a mindset of fear within the churches.”
Wounded survivors received the trauma support they needed thanks to VOM Canada and the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka. Support from global donors provided aid to more than 95 believers.
“We came up with a three-prong strategy to look at their immediate medical and emergency needs, intermediary needs, and long-term needs,” Ravindran says.
“The medical assistance not only supported surgeries, but many were severely injured and needed caregivers; some were permanently impaired.”
Today, these survivors have a deeper faith and new opportunities. Angelica, a mother of two, was leading a Sunday School class when one of the bombs went off. “Her spinal cord and brain were severely damaged, and she lost all speech capabilities,” Ravindran says.
“With our partners’ support, particularly the UN, we supported one of her crucial surgeries. She was severely paralyzed, and after the surgery, she was able to move her fingers.”
The bombings blinded one little girl, but she won’t give up hope. “Debbie lost both parents in the Easter Sunday attack. Today, if you [met] her, you would never be able to [tell] she has been through so much [difficulty]. She is the one person in her family who holds all their faith,” Ravindran says.
“We are looking at sending her to India because there is a small possibility she [can] regain five percent of her eyesight,” she continues.
“Even when the Sri Lankan eye doctor said there is no chance, she said, ‘No, if there is a way, I’m sure God will be able to do this for me.’”
Header image courtesy of VOM Canada.