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06/07/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)In April 2019, Hashini sat around a table with her family. She was five years old and soon about to turn six. This morning was special — it was Easter Sunday. The joyous story of Jesus’ resurrection was fresh in many people’s minds after attending Sunday school, which she had attended with her brother Ayaan. Now, having returned to her parents, the two ate breakfast with their mother and father, all together in the church bookstore connected to the main building. Likely becoming restless as young boys do, Hashini’s brother left the table and ran back into the main church building. A moment later, in a vicious and hateful act of evil aimed at defacing this day of Easter celebration, an Islamic militant triggered a suicide bomb near the bookstore where Hashini sat with her parents.

In a flash of light, heat, and metal, the three were thrown from their chairs. The blast killed Hashini’s mother instantly. Hashini’s father, suffering serious injuries, was rushed to the hospital only to die a few days later. Her brother Ayaan, fortunately, shielded by the walls of the church, managed to escape the attack. Hashini herself was badly wounded. Fighting for her life, Hashini was hospitalized for seven days before being transferred to a larger hospital in Sri Lanka’s capital of Colombo where she received critical operations that removed shrapnel from her leg, stomach, and head. The shrapnel to her head severely damaged both eyes, leaving her blind. Hashini’s situation became even direr, however, when tests revealed that fluid was building up in her head, requiring immediate surgery to save her life. Hashini needed an intervention.

By the grace of God, one of International Christian Concern’s (ICC) local partners could provide financial assistance that allowed Hashini to obtain the life-saving surgeries she needed. ICC was even able to organize and fund a program that transported Hashini abroad to give her access to surgery on one of her eyes, which doctors suggested had a chance of being saved. While treatments, unfortunately, could not recover her vision, attempts to address the clots in her head were successful. Due to persistent, ongoing treatment and therapy, Hashini slowly began to recover. Cared for by her aunt and others, she became more and more physically capable and active. Eventually, she regained the ability to do things on her own. She even resumed her education, attending private classes and learning braille.

Through the strength of the Holy Spirit and the continued support from ICC and its partners, Hashini, now almost nine, has flourished. She wakes up and prays early in the morning. She spends hours listening to and singing Christian songs. She has learned to play again, building with LEGOs, playing cricket as well as hide and seek. With a positive attitude, she does chores around the house — cleaning rooms, washing dishes, and keeping things in order. Out of death and tragedy, this little girl has emerged as a testimony to the grace and faithfulness of God.

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