New Church in Kallappadu

Everyone helped build a new church

Kallappadu has many orphans and widows, scarred by the tsunami and civil war. The church hopes to open a nutrition centre to feed malnourished childen.

Imagine a coastal village in the north of Sri Lanka whose 750 or so families are completely dependent upon fishing for their daily needs. Yet this is a coastline that is treacherous with deep seas, turbulent storms and regular floods which saturate the land with salt water making it impossible to grow crops. This is a place which has suffered much in the past with the devastation of the Tsunami of 2004 and the ravages of the recent Civil War. This was an area deliberately targeted by Government forces in the Civil War, sustaining indiscriminate attacks from land, sea and air leaving thousands dead or maimed or simply missing. This is the village of Kallappadu, a place of many orphans and widows, many inhabitants with grave disabilities and many still suffering from the mental scars of natural and man-made disasters from the past.

Fear of another tsunami

Today the plight of the villagers is great. The seas are so turbulent that the men often cannot go out and fish and the women similarly lost their livelihood as they are dependent upon the work of sorting the fish when the men arrive back on shore. One regular visitor to the village commented that he visited the village many times when the sea appears rough and has witnessed first-hand the panic on the faces of the young and old. Men sitting around worried because they need to go out to sea but at the same time terrified of what might happen. There is little or no food and everyone in the village lives below the poverty line, surviving on one meal a day if at all. The children of the village are particularly impacted often walking the 3km to school on an empty stomach and return home more in hope than expectation of an evening meal. The plight of the old and the sick in the village is also desperate. The invalided and the elderly are forced to work in order to eat and sadly there is no recourse to Government benefits or help.

Church planted

Our church has functioned in this village for the past two years. It started in a sister’s home but they soon outgrew it. A church believer sold LEFC some land and all the believers worked enthusiastically to build a new church. Br. Yoga recalled how, during the building work of the church, a believer called Sithamparam spent every day from morning till evening, doing whatever work he could. He was ill at that time, but he wanted to be part of the church building project. 

“The church can play a big role in alleviating the suffering of these children.”

Need for a nutrition centre

Today there is a great opportunity to show the love of Christ in this needy village in a very practical way. The Church is seeking to provide all the needy children of the village with at least one meal a day.

What can be done

The church can play a big role in alleviating the suffering of these children and give them a fighting chance of getting a decent education. Bearing in mind the mental trauma faced by these young children, showing them genuine Christian love and providing them with a square meal every day would go a long way towards meeting their physical and psychological needs. Further, attitudes towards our church would change for the better, as our church is seen to be meeting a great need in the village.

In addition, it would give us a tremendous opportunity to share the gospel with these young children who are the future generation of the village. 

Cost of a meal

Our church would like to create a centre with cooking facilities at a cost of £5,000 that would provide a meal each day for between 30 to 50 of the poorest children. The cost of each meal would be 75p.

Kallappadu has may orphans and widows scarred by the tsunami and civil war

Mullaimahal’s story

Children like Mullaimahal would benefit from a Nutrition centre. She attends our church and Sunday school. Her father is blind and suffers from a heart condition. Her mother has left them and is living with another man. The father is unable to prepare breakfast, and the girl goes to school without breakfast. The father struggles to find something for the girl to eat when she gets back. When the father is ill, the girl stays home to look after him.