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Debbi Has Hope

(Source: The November 2020 The Voice of the Martyrs magazine. Photo: Zion Church continued to gather for worship after the attack.)

Verlini, a Sunday school teacher in Sri Lanka, got up at 3:30 every morning for Bible study and prayer. She had read the entire Bible 14 times, and her favorite verse was, “Commit your way to the Lord” (Psalm 37:5). She and her husband, Sebamalai, often reminded their family to stay close to God. Verlini wrote notes of encouragement and inspiration to each of her children in their Bibles.

She also encouraged her Sunday school students to follow Jesus. On Easter morning in 2019, children in the class confessed their sins and dedicated themselves to God. Later, during church, a Muslim attacker exploded a bomb at the church. Many church members were injured, and sadly, some died of their injuries.

Verlini and Sebamalai were among those who died. Debbi, their daughter, was wounded, and now she is blind.

But Debbi has hope for the future. “Why cry?” she said to her relatives. “My parents are with Jesus. One day, we will also go to be with Jesus.”

And Debbi has hope for herself and for the eye surgery she will have in Canada in the future. She tells people that Jesus has prepared new eyes for her.

Debbi now lives with her aunt and uncle. When talking about the time since the bombing, Debbi’s uncle said, “We learned so many things about faith and how to walk with God more.”

Debbi’s aunt hopes the surgery will allow Debbi to read the note Verlini left in her Bible that begins, “Debbi Darling.”

Read a story about Jasmine, another girl who was injured in the bombing here.