Nearly 4 months have passed since the church bombing in Samarinda, Indonesia on Nov. 13, 2016 that killed a little girl, Intan, and wounded three other children: Alvaro (4½ years old), Trinity (3), and Anita (2). Trinity and Anita were finally able to go home after lengthy hospital stays. However, Trinity must continue to visit the outpatient clinic for doctors to monitor the healing of the scars on her face and other parts of her body.
Of the three children, Alvaro was the most severely injured; half of his head and right hand suffered severe burns. He has already undergone surgery 17 times, which included three major skin patch operations on his scalp, and multiple surgeries that often last an hour or two to clean the wounds under only general anesthesia.
The traumatized young boy does not want to continue this process any longer, but has become increasingly resigned. He initially cried after each operation; but, after the seventh time, he stopped crying. “I always try to encourage him by saying it is important to regain his health and will pray with him before the operation,” says Alvaro’s mother, Novita Sagala (40).
Thank God, Alvaro remains a joyful kid despite all of the hardships he is suffering. “Seeing him happy is my source of strength and joy as well,” says Novita. In addition to the physical pain, Alvaro’s difficult emotional recovery process has included tending to shy away from new people. He said, “I am ashamed because there are wounds [on my body].”
Remember this little boy, Alvaro, in your prayers that God may heal him physically, emotionally, and mentally. Pray also for his parents’ health and strength as they struggle to balance their work obligations and care for Alvaro every day. His mother, Novita, works as a finance officer in the local police office and she has to bring work to the hospital twice or three times a week. His father, Hotdiman Sinaga had to step down from his job outside of town. Pray that he will be able to find a new job nearby so that he can continue to take care on his son and help provide for his family.