Clarissa was at church in Indonesia with her mother, father, and grandfather when bombs exploded in a black minivan outside the church. The van belonged to Muslim terrorists. Flames from the blast spread across the front of the church.
“I was not near the fire, but when I was walking it hurt so bad,” said Clarissa, who was 8 years old at the time. “I felt the heat on my skin…. My grandma splashed water on my face. I was feeling so scared, so worried about my mom.”
Clarissa’s mom, Fenny, received serious burns from the blast. Clarissa had burns on her forehead, stomach, and hands. Thankfully, she is nearly pain free today. She wants to be a doctor someday to help people who suffer.
More than a year after the attack, Fenny is having a more difficult recovery. The worst part, Fenny says, is that she can no longer hug Clarissa because of her fragile skin. But when people ask her about her burns, she eagerly tells them about Jesus. She wants Him to use her story for the advancement of His kingdom.
Their pastor, Pastor Yonathan, encouraged his congregation to continue gathering for worship. More than 1,000 people attended church the Sunday after the attack. “We wanted to show that we love God, and when we love God, the less afraid we are of persecution.”
Pastor Yonathan continued, “Our Muslim neighbors said, ‘When Christians have problems like this, they are not afraid; they are still faithful to God.’
“I am sure that God is still good,” said Pastor Yonathan. “The main point is that we forgive the people who did what happened. We pray for others like them, that God can give them grace to repent.”
(Source: The November 2019 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Edited for length, clarity, and age-appropriateness.)