“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (KJV)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
What a privilege to have the word of God in times filled with tribulation, fear and worries! We know who is in control: Our Lord Jesus Christ. He has overcome the world, and He gives us peace in our hearts.
More than ever we should be constantly praying that God’s will might be done and His kingdom be built whatever happens in this world. We would like to share some information with you that will help you in your prayers.
Emergency situation in Sri Lanka
The worldwide coronavirus crisis has also reached Sri Lanka and has many effects on the life of the people. While the numbers of infected people is growing daily, the government has closed all schools, pre-schools and universities. This weekend a curfew has been imposed for the whole island so that people cannot leave their homes at all. The whole economy is breaking down, and most of our people cannot go to work. As they work for daily wages, they have no income now and they are starving for food. We are distributing food parcels and money although village shops have little food in stock.
90% of our people live in villages and have no income as they are day labourers. There is much fear as most hospitals are poorly equipped so there is little hope of treatment if they fall sick. If you would like to help, you can donate using the button below:
Sri Lankan people are very communicative and like to meet on the roads, in the markets and in public places, but nowadays they have to stay at home. The president has ordered people to ‘work from home’ – but how can a paddy farmer or a fishermen work from home?
The government has also forbidden churches to hold meetings, so our believers can only gather in houses. Our pastors and gospel workers are visiting the homes of the believers to pray with them and encourage them, but the needs are growing daily. Please pray that God might uphold the believers and that they might not lose hope and trust in the Lord. They were already much affected by the loss of the paddy harvest; now they have to face a new disaster.
The political situation remains unsure and the general election which was due to take place in April has been postponed.
So many questions remain unanswered. How will the believers survive? Who will care for the pre-school children and school children while they have to stay at home? How will our ten children in the government homes come through these new difficulties? What greater effects will this crisis have on the country’s political and economic situation?
The international airports are also closed and it is impossible to travel to Sri Lanka. It is a sad fact that no team from abroad can come in April and the Youth Conference cannot take place.
Let us seek and ask for God’s grace and wisdom to see how our light as Christians can shine in this time of darkness and in what way we can help our brothers and sisters.
Br. George has died in jail
Br. George has died in jail in Colombo. He was already sick and needing medical treatment before he was taken in, but eventually he could not survive there. It is a big shock for his only son Wesley who lost his wife and his mother a few years ago. Please pray that the Lord may comfort him and protect him from depression.
Br. George had previously worked for us for more than fifteen years. Originally he had helped us in translation ministry, later he assisted us in office and police matters. In his final years, he was too weak to do any work. But we are thankful for the time when he served with us.
Br. Marriedas remains in jail. Please pray for him that he should be released soon.
Another loss in Br. Subramaniam’s family
Br. Subramaniam, who is one of our senior pastors, has lost another child. His daughter Rebecca died last year, now his son Amos has passed away. Both of them had been disabled from birth and were cared for with love and patience by their parents. They are thankful to all who prayed for them during the last years. Let us continue to uphold this family in our prayers.
Ongoing pressure in Vattavan
In Vattavan, the Christians have been under a lot of pressure again when a girl from a Christian family died recently. The Hindu villagers did not allow them to hold a Christian funeral service and created a protest riot. The believers in this area are feeling more and more weary of these continuing problems whenever a Christian dies. Please pray that the Lord may change the situation and that our believers should not be discouraged.
Personal news and prayer requests
I am thankful that we were able to visit Sri Lanka with a medical team this month. We also held a workers’ conference which was very useful for all our pastors and evangelists. We just were able to return to London before the flights started to be cancelled. Jemima is continuing her university studies – please pray for her as well. My next journey was planned for April but it is impossible to travel. Please pray for the Lord’s guidance.
Thank you for all your prayers and support!
Yours in Christ,