SRI LANKA TRIP 07 - 12 AUGUST 2017
It’s been 15 years since we started Church Planting training (CPI) in Sri Lanka. The pace was slow in the beginning. Questions such as ‘is ICM Singapore going to be here long-term?’ and “Is this just another programme?” were constantly on the minds of our Sri Lankan friends.
When graduands of the 8 months course returned to their churches, it was evident that they were bolder in their witness for Christ and their lives were changed inside out. Soon, pastors began to send their members for the training and not surprisingly, branch churches sprouted out in the villages. Today, our ‘Timothys’ as the graduands are called, have planted more than 250 churches country-wide. CPI training is now conducted in two centres – one in Colombo and the other in Chitwal.
On this trip, we handed out 68 certificates to those who have completed the course. This is the 16th batch of Timothys from Colombo, and the 2nd batch from Chitwal. In their colourful saris and men in their neck-ties, they marched up proudly to receive their certificates amidst cheers and claps from friends and relatives. It was a glorious day on 10 August as more than 200 people filled the hall and sang praises to the Lord!
We invited about 25 past graduates for a day seminar specifically for pastors. There were some pastors who had sad but nonetheless victorious stories from them. I shall recite two of these heartbreaking stories which you and I in affluent Singapore hardly face.
Testimony of Swarna
Swarna ost her husband at a young age. With 6 children to feed, she began to learn how to brew illicit liquor affordable to poor men looking for a quick fix. Men would get drunk and frequent brawls between them would break out. These drunks would then molest her and in her struggles to ward off their advances, her whole set of teeth were completely knocked out. The village women would curse and boycott her for bringing misery to their homes. One day she met a Christian lady who told her that it was a crime to sell illicit liquor which is also detrimental to the health of all. Convinced of the truth and convicted of her sin, she accepted the Lord, came to our CPI classes and graduated to start a church. Today, her members support her in her outreach witness for Christ. She is happy and continues to give praise to the Lord – with a full new set of dentures!
Testimony of Sajeema
Sajeema was abandoned by her family at a young age and went to a middle eastern country to work as a maid. She was abused and raped several times before she managed to escape back to Sri Lanka. Life was difficult as she had no place to go, and she began to develop a deep hatred for men. Thankfully, a Christian family adopted her and showed her the love of Christ. She came to attend our CPI training, and today she is pastoring a church of 35 members. She proudly showed us a picture of her modest church built of wood and zinc roof. She is single in her early 40s, and hoping to be married one day.
The Book of Acts continues. The same Holy Spirit of the Bible is hovering over the nations, and many are being ushered into the Kingdom of God.
Would you join us in expanding the work in Sri Lanka for Christ? It costs about S$400 to enable a trainee to complete a 8-month CPI course. If you are able to go, drop us a line and we’ll contact you for the next trip, usually in the month of April or August every year.
Cheques or bank transfers to :
Bank : DBS
Account No.: 033-017373-3