When a bomb exploded right next to Samiha Tawfiq at St. Peter’s Church in Cairo on December 11, 2016, everyone thought she was dead. But church bombing survivor Samiha miraculously survived the explosion that claimed 27 lives and injured 49.
The explosion also took away one side of Samiha’s face.
Since the attack, it has been an uphill climb for 55-year-old Samiha and her husband Koleny Farag, 79. She can neither hear, smell, nor see on the right side of her face and can barely lift her badly damaged hand.
‘A Miracle From God’
After 18 months of back-and-forth struggle and frustration, last week the Egyptian government approved a grant of $106,000 to fund Samiha’s treatment in a German hospital. (Following the attack, Samiha had a series of operations in Hungary at the invitation of the Hungarian government, but they did not achieve the expected results.)
“I struggled with the Health Ministry of Egypt for one year and a half to get approval for our request for Samiha’s treatment in Germany, at the State’s expense,” Koleny told World Watch Monitor.
At the ministry’s request, Koleny provided a medical report from a local hospital, stating that there was no appropriate treatment available for Samiha in Egypt.
This was followed by many visits to the ministry to chase them on any progress but without success. According to Koleny, the government only approved the funding after the leader of Egypt’s Members of an ethnic religious group from North Africa but primarily Egypt, where they are the largest Christian denomination in the country. Church, Pope Tawadros II, intervened and asked the ministry to finish the process quickly because Samiha’s health was deteriorating.
“It’s a miracle from God,” Koleny said. “God has answered our prayers and the prayers of many people and intervened at the right time. Samiha has been suffering from bad pains in the last period. I was desperate and nearly lost hope for her treatment in Germany at the State’s expense because one year and six months passed without any response from them.”
‘God’s Great Love for Me’
Transparently, Samiha shares she is worried about these next steps. She is due to spend 90 days in the university hospital in Aachen in western Germany, where she will undergo a total of six operations to restore the right side of her face, as well as her right hand.
“I ask all people inside and outside Egypt to pray for the success of the surgery because I know that it’s a hard one requiring high accuracy. I’m afraid and worried about going through it.”
However, Samiha is also relieved that the treatment is finally going ahead.
“When I heard the news of the government’s approval of my travel to Germany for treatment, my spirit was lifted very high,” Samiha said, “and I thanked God so much for His great love for me.”
Prayers for Samiha and Koleny
The dates of Samiha’s surgeries are yet to be confirmed by the hospital. Please be praying with her and Koleny…
- Pray that Samiha’s surgeries will be scheduled soon. Ask God to ease her physical pain as she waits for treatment and relief.
- Pray for safe travels for the couple as they travel to Germany.
- Pray for wisdom and compassion from doctors and nurses during Samiha’s 90-day hospital stay.
- Pray for the six surgeries Samiha will undergo, that they will go smoothly. Pray that doctors will be amazed by how well she gets through each surgery.
- Pray for Koleny as he walks with Samiha through this comprehensive treatment. Pray that he would sense the peace that passes all understanding and ask God to place the words in his mouth to encourage and comfort his wife.
- Pray for Samiha’s recovery from each surgery. Ask God to heal her physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally as He uses the time to knit muscles and tissues back together.
- Pray that Samiha and Koleny would pray and look for opportunities to share their miraculous story with those who may not know their Savior. Ask God to give them courage and passion to testify of His healing and mercy.