Sri Lanka bombings
Batticaloa Hospital visits
Yesterday Jeyakanth, Vani and four other pastors visited the hospital in Batticaloa to see Christians and others injured. (Very sadly, Vani found out that her cousin’s son died in the bombing).
They went around the wards to comfort and pray with the people, as well as providing food and drink. Some had lost their hands or legs, others had severe burns and lost their eyes.
Many children are suffering badly so their parents will not be able to return to work for a long time. Most have no savings to fall back on, or money for the long-term medical help required.
It is not clear how much external help they will be given. LEFC will monitor the situation and provide ongoing counselling for the trauma — and offer as much practical help as we can.
We have heard more about the circumstances around the bombing. Originally, the terrorist wanted to blow up the Catholic Church. But its Easter service finished early so he came to Zion church instead.
People are very sad and wondering ‘where is God’ during these events. The Hindus and others are trying to wind up Christians by saying our God is no where and we are cursed. The devil wants to destroy their faith. The believers are questioning why God allows the children to die. Please pray that the Lord will strengthen the Christians’ trust in Him — and they will be firm in their faith, like Job in the Bible.
Memorial service for Santhakumar’s two children
Over 500 hear the gospel at memorial service
Santhakumar asked Jeyakanth to preach this morning at a memorial service for his children. Because of the numbers expected, it was held outdoors. Over 500 people came including government officials, over 100 Hindus and about 50 Charismatic pastors, representing all the mainly Charismatic churches in the Battaciloa district.
The devastating impact of the bombing on Christians runs counter to the ‘health and wealth’ gospel these Charismatic pastors all preach. They are always preaching blessing (“you will be blessed, the children will be blessed, the children will be protected, etc”) … so why is this happening? It is a major challenge to charismatic teaching and many in their churches are questioning their faith.
Jeyakanth preached on Rev 14 v 12-14 (“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord”) and how a loving God allows these things to happen sometimes. He preached that death is a blessing to Christians. Suffering can be used for good. God is concerned about children and Jesus himself issued that call “Let the children come to me”. There is a certain heavenly hope for those children who know the Lord – and their parents will be reunited with them.
Jeyakanth spoke about the love of Christ in laying down his life for sinners. The Bible says wars and famines will come — and God never promised us a comfortable life. Jeyakanth told the unbelievers present that if they came to Jesus, he could bring forgiveness.
Jeyakanth was enabled to preach with great power. A deep silence fell upon the congregation … they were captivated. People have never heard this kind of message. One pastor said: “I’ve worked 15-20 years in this area and this is the first time in the district I have heard a reformed pastor preach.” Previously, they thought reformed pastors do not have the Holy Spirit but Jeyakanth preached about how the Holy Spirit is our comforter. Now these charismatic pastors can see that we believe in the Holy Spirit.
Many pastors came up and spoke to Jeyakanth afterwards saying it was powerful preaching and they had never heard anything like this.
Santhakumar was very touched. He said: “I can really believe I can see now why the Lord allowed this. So many people today have heard the gospel, so many hearts were touched.”
Please continue to uphold Santhakumar and his family and those who are suffering in prayer, that they might know the Lord’s peace and comfort. Also, pray that the seed sown today will bear abundant fruit, with changed pastors and churches – and many conversions in the days ahead.
Also, continue to pray for Jeyakanth and the LEFC pastors and members – and for wisdom how to help meet the great spiritual and financial needs of the many traumatised families.