Visiting orphans and widows in their distress…
We thought we would begin teaching at the Bible college today, but as we said yesterday, everything had to change because of the elections and uncertainties. So we are open to whatever the Lord has for us and the people here.
In the morning we went to one of Pastor Christie’s three churches here in Kilinochi.
Upon arrival Pastor Roy shared with us that the entire church was made up of women and children who had been widowed and left fatherless because of the war. This not only broke our hearts but it also set the tone for what was shared with the sweet women and children.
We shared words of encouragement and messages of comfort with them. God is so good to his people; His Word is full of comfort for those who hurt no matter what the cause is. I believe they were truly strengthened and encouraged. And we too were so encouraged to see their love, faith and joy. Also most of the children and the younger women had bibles in front of them, they were following along and one little girl in particular was even taking notes. She was maybe twelve years old. It was a joy to see her truly following along with the word of God and receiving the comforting message from Him.
Most of the homes in the villages here are spread apart and they live on larger pieces of land. They have much more space here than in India, so they don’t struggle with the need to buy land for a church building. Usually what happens is that one of the believers will usually give part of their land to build a simple structure for the church to meet in.
This particular church was built from a pre-existing house which was added onto. When they did that, it left part of the roof very unstable and dangerous. Tony noticed this so we spent the next half hour or so hoisting up the roof. We used old wood, used nails, an ax, a knife and a hammer to get the job done. When it was done it looked like the old rugged cross…how appropriate. The family then shared refreshments with us and we spent a few minutes in fellowship with the women. They work very hard to make ends meet but they still are very giving and loving. What a joy to be with them. Please pray that the Lord would continue to heal their hearts and to be their perfect provider.
Notes about Kilinochi…
As we drove through the village and town I had mentioned to Pastor Christie about how sparse and spread out everything was. It’s such a stark contrast to India and Chennai where people are everywhere. It is true that it’s much more sparse than India but unfortunately it is even more so because of all of the war-related deaths. It was also remarkable that within the last two years they have covered up all evidence of the war other than a couple of memorials reminding the people not to repeat the destruction. There is also a heavy military presence here compared to the southern part of the country. The people know that to even speak out against the government could mean prison and death. However, now that the president has changed there does seem to be hope that there will be more peace and maybe even less of a military presence. I would say their main struggle now is the extreme poverty. Unfortunately when various countries and organizations sent money to rebuild after the war, most of it was kept in the south, where there was no war, to build it up. So the south is much more modern while the people of the north still struggle. Again, we pray the government change will help the people of the north…it is currently a very split country and there seems to be a lot of misconceptions about the northern people in the south. It is just another form of racism that the enemy uses to cause destruction and pain. Only in Christ do we become one family…one people despite our language, nationality or skin color.
In the evening we visited another church that Pastor Christie started but that is now pastored by his brother. This is the church where the GHBC extension program meets and where we will be teaching during the week. They were having a meeting of those who serve in the church, so we just brought greetings and some words of encouragement for them. Again it was very encouraging for us to see the growth that has taken place in this church since the team visited two years ago. Not only has the building been added onto but the believers have truly grown in the Lord.
Pray that the believers would continue to be that city on a hill and draw others to salvation in Jesus.