Kept by the power of God
The civil war continues here in Sri Lanka. Amidst fighting between Tamil Tigers and government forces we are being kept by the power of God. Indiscriminate searches and arrests are the order of the day, along with exploding land mines, claymore mines, grenades (yesterday, two were killed in Trincomalee), bombs, and direct fighting. There is no sign of reconciliation in our nation.
Life is cheap in Sri Lanka. It is only by the grace of God that we have been able to continue our ministry. Travelling to other parts of the country has become tedious and precarious. People are being displaced, especially in the north.
For instance, the church in Jaffna has now been scattered for the third time, but the Lord is sovereign and gracious, and in the midst of man’s transgression, he will triumph. He has his elect people in Sri Lanka and he will save them unfailingly. Let me report on the situation in some of the Reformed Baptist churches.
The Trincomalee church has been having its ups and downs. Last month the Lord added three to the church who were baptised. One (a lady graduate) is from a Roman Catholic background and the other two are teenagers from Hindu backgrounds. We explore the Book of Hosea every Wednesday at 6.00 p.m., when up to 25 people attend.
Many sincere believers are unable to attend the Bible study at present, due to difficulties with public transport. We have had to reduce a number of other meetings. I have completed preaching a series of sermons on the theme of Revival. The Lord stirred up some, while Satan challenged me with opposite results!
There is a need for our people to be less dependent upon pastors. They should be made to look to Christ alone for everything, and become mature Christians. We are encouraging mature brothers and sisters to be involved in visiting believers and non-believers.
The situation in the Batticaloa church is encouraging, with nearly 30 of us gathering on the Lord’s Day and up to 15 children attending Sunday school. It is a joyful experience to see the hand of the Lord saving sinners.
One man, who worked in the Arrack Bar for fifteen years as its manager, resigned his job as soon as he was convicted of sin and converted. Though the owner pleaded with him to continue, he refused. He is attending the service with his children, and soon his saved wife will join us. This brother introduced another Hindu family to the church. They are worshipping with us regularly.
We are exploring the Gospel of John on Fridays. Approximately 15 attend, including three campus students. We keep visiting people to invite them to the Bible study and Sunday service.
No church in Sri Lanka has suffered from the war so much as the one in Jaffna. Since it began in 1990, it has been scattered three times. Recently, because of the advance of Tiger troops to capture the town of Jaffna, and heavy resistance by government troops, many of our members have settled in different parts of the Jaffna peninsula.
Vimalan, who is overseeing the work there, has again undergone laser treatment for stones in his bladder. He has returned to Jaffna from Colombo. There are now only 15 gathering in Jaffna church, including two campus students.
Thank you very much for reading this article. May the Lord God shower his blessings on you!