Five years after the Surabaya bombings: Wenny’s family is still reeling from the loss

Losing loved ones can mean not only grief for persecuted Christians, but also a crisis of faith.

The terrorist attacks in Surabaya in May 2018 left a deep mark on families and communities in the region. Wenny Angelina Hudojo lost her children Nathan (11) and Evan (8) in the attacks and, like many others, is still suffering from the effects of the attacks.

The bombings took place almost simultaneously in the eastern part of the Indonesian island of Java. Suicide bombers attacked three local churches, killing 13 and injuring over 40 people.

“I was surprised when the local partner of Open Doors called and wanted to meet. We met last year and I’m very happy that you still care about me,” says Wenny.

She wanted to tell her story and bring attention to the consequences of terrorism, but she had to consider the well-being of her loved ones. She gave us a warm welcome but insisted that we not meet at her home.

“I don’t want my husband or mother-in-law to know that I met you and discussed the tragedy that happened to us.”

When longing is greatest

Five years have passed since the tragedy and Wenny’s family, especially her husband, is still reeling from the loss of their beloved sons.

“My husband is having a hard time forgiving himself for not being able to take our children to church that morning. After the death of our sons, he lost his will to live and his purpose in life.”

Wenny misses her children and it would be unfair to say otherwise. She especially misses her children on holidays and other special days.

“Every holiday, like Christmas, Easter and Chinese New Year, I am very lonely. And every year on May 18, my sadness is palpable. Even though it’s been five years, I still miss my children.”

Wenny’s battle did not end with the loss of her children. She feels that her challenges have only become more difficult, especially when it comes to family relationships.

“I may seem happy, but in reality I am fighting. I thought losing my children was hard, but in reality, my current struggle is even harder. But I keep praying and I trust in God.

Shared experiences

Currently, Wenny spends most of her time taking care of her family, including her husband, mother-in-law, and a relative who lives with them.

“Despite everything, I hope I can help others who have gone through similar trials.”

“Some time ago, I was contacted by one of my friends who also lost her child. It’s a relief to be able to share things with people who have experienced similar things. I pray that the goodness that God has shown me can encourage others.”

Please continue to pray for Wenny and her family during this time of grief.

Source: Viisi vuotta Surabayan pommituksista: Wennyn perhe toipuu yhä menetyksistään | Open Doors Finland


North Korean man’s new beginning at Open Doors shelter in China

Every year, Open Doors reaches out to many North Korean refugees in China. Many have lost family members .....

I am opening new doors for you

"God says that I will open new doors for you. Don't be afraid to walk through those doors! .....

Sometimes God Just Closes Doors

For the last few years, my body has had a strange relationship with food. By strange, I mean .....

Persecution of Evangelical Protestants in Southern Mexico

In November 2023, I had the privilege of attending and speaking at an evangelical pastor’s conference in Oaxaca, .....

The Voice That Called Ji-Ho: Barbed Wire Won’t Stop Radio in North Korea

Open Doors' radio work also reaches North Korea, which is strictly closed to the Gospel. The story of .....

Support in the darkest places

When Pastor Zachariah came home to find his wife and son dead and his home village destroyed, he .....

First daughter, then mother: this is how God works in the lives of kidnapped women in Nigeria

In Finnish evangelical Lutheran churches, the second day of Christmas was the Open Doors collection day. The day .....

Five countries and their Christians to pray for this Christmas

Open Doors UK & Ireland named five countries where it is most dangerous or difficult to be a .....

From Shaman to Christian: Vietnam’s Philemon Called to be Literacy Educator

It was time to put the plan into action. Philemon* got out of bed and went to buy .....