Photo: Praba is the mother of 7-year old Peter who died in the Easter attack
Praba lost her 8-year-old son, Anaya Peter, in the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka that left more than 200 dead and many more injured. Field worker Liyoni* shares about her most recent visit to the family and how much God has been working, healing them and helping them rebuild their lives.
“YOU GAVE US JOY, NOW GIVE US PEACE”
The family was building a new room for their daughter. Peter’s father takes one of our local partners around to the back and points out the changes they are making to their home. One look at the bathroom and he breaks down in tears. “We chose these tiles for Peter,” he says, pointing to the colorful tiles with fish that lined their bathroom wall.
“Peter brought so much happiness to everyone in this house,” his mother says, still grappling with the loss of her young son. She could not accept what had happened. “I don’t feel any anger towards God, but I have so many questions.” And the question that kept resonating within her was: “Why?” No one could offer her any answers to her questions. “Lord, you gave us that joy. Now please give us peace,” she prayed.
HELD IN JESUS’ HANDS
Three days after she lost her son, Praba had been praying, pouring out her heart with its questions and frustration before God when He gave her a vision. In it, she saw Peter in Jesus’ hands. Jesus is holding Peter in His hands. Two months later, God confirmed this vision through a lady who visited the family. “She prayed for me, and afterwards she told me that, while she was praying, she saw a vision of Peter being held in Jesus’ hands.”
Yet Praba was still not comforted. One day, as she sat on her bed praying, the Lord spoke to her and reminded her that He had sent His Son into the world to suffer on our behalf. “Why did Jesus have to suffer that much? When He was on that cross, He had nothing. But God allowed it for us.” Praba heaves a sigh. “After that day, I did not ask God any more questions. Peter is in Jesus’ hands.”
Photo: “Though I have some questions in my mind, I’m trying to cope with the situation. Sometimes I ask God why he has taken our joy away from us, but I know He has a plan. I cannot undo the memories but I will not turn from the Lord.” – Praba, Peter’s mom
“MY FAITH IN JESUS DOUBLED”
As she navigates through this difficult time, Praba is holding on to the hope that she will see her son again when she meets God in heaven face to face.
“It is very difficult, but I am happy Jesus chose my son.”
I couldn’t help but marvel at her strength. Sitting before us sharing her story was a remarkable woman. She was still hurting, still grieving, still broken. But her faith was rock strong.
“I had known God since I was little,” she said. “But after Peter died, my faith in Jesus doubled.”
Despite how devastatingly painful losing Peter has been, Praba and her husband have not allowed it to shake their faith. They are not without questions, but they are holding on to their faith in Christ because it is only through Him that they find comfort.
And God has been faithful. Compared to our team’s previous visits to their home, they could speak a little easier and their smiles came more often. They had even begun to complete the work on their home again. God has been showing them His love day by day and has been working in their hearts, healing them, mending them, and helping them find joy in little things.
Photo: “When I saw you, I had real joy! I was happy when I saw you because when the incident happened, you were among the people who spent a lot of time with us. I’m so happy that I can see you again to say thank you.”-Praba
THEY ARE NOT ALONE
Peter’s family have not forgotten the prayers of their church family around the world, and they are very grateful for the love and support they have received. Praba asks for your continued prayers. “Pray for our ministry. I only have one life, so I have to serve God through it. I have been involved in children’s ministry and prayer ministry at church. But I still don’t know exactly what He wants me to do. Pray that I will be able to find out what His will is for me.”
*Name changed for security reasons
Following the Easter Sunday attacks, Open Doors teams are working to provide long-term trauma care and counseling, and help families who have lost their main breadwinner to survive.
Continue to pray for Peter’s family and for many others who like them have been victims of the Easter Sunday attacks.
Pray for Open Doors and partners and supporters as they continue to reach families affected by the attacks.