God’s promise was miraculously and beautifully fulfilled just recently as Rebecca exchanged vows with her groom. Rebecca was one of the survivors of the Sri Lankan Easter Sunday bombings in April 2019 that killed more than 260 people.
The coordinated bombings of three churches and four hotels in Batticaloa, Negombo, Colombo and Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia were one of the most horrific terrorist attacks since September 11, leaving 269 dead and more than 500 wounded.
In those attacks three years ago, Rebecca lost her sister, brother-in-law and nephew. She also suffered third-degree burns on her face and hands, and spent many weeks in an intensive care unit and underwent countless surgeries.
When she returned home, she stepped into a life that had been turned completely upside-down.
In the absence of her sister and brother-in-law, she jumped in to take care of her orphaned niece and nephew, but behind closed doors, Rebecca grieved the loss of so much. Although she remained strong on the outside, inside was still a smoldering fire. She found it hard to celebrate birthdays, and even Christmas, because the pain of her loss was so great.
“I was in the bookshop, and the suicide bomber stood right outside when he detonated the bomb in his backpack. All I remember is fire. Fire everywhere . . . Even though my sari had caught fire, I didn’t dwell on the fact that I was burning.”
Yet, she has continued to fight to reflect the light of Christ for her family.
“Jesus told us that choosing to follow Him means choosing to suffer for Him, too,” Rebecca shares. “But He also promised to sustain us through it. He promised that because of—not despite—our pain, we will experience His love and forgiveness for us and for the world.”