‘The Lord is doing a new thing’—testimonies from Sri Lankan believers in crisis

August 22, 2022 by Noah Cassetto in Asia

Recently, we’ve shared the plight of the Sri Lankan church. The country has found Itself in unprecedented economic and political turmoil, and the Sri Lankan church is caught right in the middle. Even as believers are struggling to attend church during the fuel shortage, churches are stepping up to provide for their communities.  

 

Here are five brief stories we’ve heard from Sri Lanka. The Church is still active, even as the country shuts down. 

  1. Bringing refreshment

A local church in the district of Kegalle, located northeast of Colombo, offered refreshments to the residents in their village. Most of these villagers are unbelievers, but they were happy to receive this simple gesture of kindness. Kids were eagerly waiting for drinks to be served to them. 

These drinks were a treat for many. The U.N. has reported that 60% of Sri Lankans are food-insecure, meaning they are reducing the amount of food they eat and are lacking nutritious meals. As many Sri Lankans cut costs, simple treats like these go a long way.

2. On the front lines

Open Doors partners have been on the front lines of practical relief as the Sri Lanka crisis continues. They have helped pastors, widows and many believers in low-income households.

3. Generosity toward service workers

Public service workers in Sri Lanka continue to work to maintain a few basic services. Like everyone else, however, they are suffering from high inflation and economic turmoil. In Colombo, churches came together to distribute dry rations and other groceries to these workers. Praise the Lord, the police department expressed their gratitude toward the local church and was moved by this act of generosity. The crisis is allowing the Church to take on a visible role as peacemakers. 

4. Sharing Christ’s love through meals

A local church in Nugegoda distributed hot meals to over 50 unbelievers. Most meal recipients were low-income earners and were mainly Buddhists. These meals paved the way for new connections between Christians and Buddhists, laying the foundation for ongoing relationships and understanding. Many recipients are still in touch with the church.  

5. Walking miles to serve her church

Because of the crisis, Pastor Hasika finds herself in a new season of ministry of sorts. She’s having difficulty getting around to the people in her church due to the fuel shortage and lack of transportation. Her husband has resorted to taking their daughter’s small bicycle to work. Nonetheless, Hasika regularly walks miles and miles every day to ensure her congregation is surviving this time of great need. 

“It is hard to come to church in the midst of this crisis, but I sense that the Lord is doing a new thing among us,” Pastor Hasika says. “There is a sacrifice to make, and I am willing to pay the price.” With a believing heart and a confident smile, Pastor Hasika continues to make her way to church every Sunday.