Extremists killed her mother, but hearing this young girl read Psalm 23 inspires hope

December 9, 2019 by Open Doors in Stories of Persecution

On Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, Dukashini’s life changed forever.  The 12-year-old Sri Lankan girl lost her mother, Girija, to the Easter Sunday Bombings in Batticaloa.


Girija attended Zion Church, one of the places attacked in the terrorist attacks that Sunday. Three churches and three hotels were attacked that day. Since then, dozens of people have been arrested around Sri Lanka. The terrorists belonged to militant radical Islamic groups, and many had ties to ISIS. In all, the attacks killed more than 350 people.

For Dukashini, everything changed that day. Her mother was gone, and her father was left to care for her and her three siblings. Her father, Prashant, is a Sri Lankan day laborer who works as hard as he can to take care of his four children. But often—especially in the rainy season—there is no one who will hire him for construction work.

Prashant is illiterate, so Girija would read the Bible to him every evening. Now, since her mother’s death, Dukashini has taken over that role. Every night, she reads God’s Word to her father.

“I like the book of Daniel especially,” she tells us. But when asked if she can read a small portion to us, she chooses Psalm 23. 

Listen to Dukashini as she reads from the Psalm: 

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
     he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord

Open Doors stands with the Zion Church victims in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka by encouraging them and praying with them. We currently have a team on the ground who is looking into the best ways to give Dukashini’s family extra help. If you’d like to help Open Doors assist children and believers like Dukashini all over the world, click here

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