By Steven and Peggy Beverly
Recently we traveled to meet with several of our pastors across Sri Lanka. We had planned on a five-day trip, but due to the monsoon season and warnings about landslides, our trip was shortened to three days. During those three days, we were able to spend time with pastors in their homes and at their churches. We listened to their stories, prayed with them, and dreamed with them. At every turn, we continue to see God actively at work in the lives of our pastors and church leaders here.
Pastor Begin has poured his life into his ministry, and through God’s help has developed a self-sustaining ministry that trains and develops church leaders. Pastor Begin’s experience will be a valuable resource to help other pastors become self-sustaining and begin producing more church leaders.
Pastor Antony lives in a primarily Hindu community, where most are employed on the local tea plantation. The community has accepted Pastor Antony and the church has even helped build roads in the village. When we walked with him to the church, people from the community followed us, hoping there would be a service or that someone would pray for their children. Helping other pastors become integral in their communities like Pastor Antony is one of our goals in Sri Lanka.
Pastor Clemont’s church was recently rebuilt after some in the community burned it down last December. He and his congregation are determined to make a stand for Christ. They have land. We will be working with them to develop resources to plant crops that they can sell. According to Pastor Clemont, the community has planted land mines in the field behind the church, hoping the death of one of the children will cause the church to leave. Pray for the safety of the children and the commitment of this church.
Pastor Subramani wants to make a difference in his community. Training and income-generating projects that will help him achieve sustainability are needed. In his community are a series of empty, structurally sound homes that were built after the 2004 tsunami. He is dreaming of developing a Christian housing community.
The stories go on and on. There is so much potential. There is so much hope. And there is so much work to do. God is using us to help Sri Lankan church leaders develop national resources that will develop strong churches that are involved in their communities, that provide self-sustaining ministries, and that create a Church of God in Sri Lanka that will one day send its own missionaries. Through your active and continued support, you are a vital part of what God is doing in Sri Lanka.
Steven and Peggy Beverly serve as missionaries for Global Strategy to Sri Lanka. To learn more about your Church of God missionaries, and to learn about opportunities for support, visit www.chogglobal.org.