Christian missionary Gary Stevenson and his family
Christian missionary Gary Stevenson thought the pink, gift-wrapped bag he found on his doorstep was a present left for one of his toddler daughters, but when he brought it inside his home, the bomb within the bag exploded.
Stevenson suffered multiple lacerations and burns, deep cuts on his head and chest, and underwent surgery to remove shrapnel from his liver. But he is expected to make a full recovery.
His daughters, age 1 and 3, were away with their grandmother at the time, the Vancouver Province reports about the attack in Langley, British Columbia, but his wife and three others who were helping the family in the process of moving to a new home were in the house. Only Gary was injured in the blast, which scattered pink tissue paper throughout the residence and punched shrapnel holes in the walls.
“What’s really terrifying is who would put a bomb in a gift bag that was in pink?” Miles Forrest, a friend of the Stevensons told the Province.
“Was somebody trying to kill his daughters? He was going to give it to them but … luckily, in a way, he opened it ahead of time,” said Forrest.
Stevenson is a missionary with Power to Change, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ Canada, serving on the campus of Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.
Twenty neighboring units in the Stevenson’s townhome complex were evacuated and searched following the explosion, but police bomb squads and dog teams were unable to find any other explosives.
“At this point in the investigation,” Royal Canadian Mounted Police Const. Holly Marks said in a statement, “police have not yet determined whether this incident was targeted or random.”
Guy Saffold, executive director of ministries at Power for Change told CTV British Columbia that Stevenson is recovering well, asking for chocolate and his Bible to be by his side.
The ordeal, however, has left the Stevenson family shaken, reports Saffold.
“You understandably feel very unsafe when you don’t know why you were targeted or if you were targeted and what may have happened,” Saffold told The Toronto Globe and Mail.
Saffold said Stevenson “was asking people to pray that he gets better soon, [and he is] also asking people to pray that police would find some leads, to know why this was done and have some closure.”