16 Feb Praying for Peace through Persecutions
Russell works within Integral Missions and Church Relations with LEADS, a community development organization that is passionate and purposeful about reaching the most vulnerable in Sri Lanka. This quarter, Russell shares an experience of how a persecuted church in Colombo finds friends in times of need.
A church in a small village, situated in the heart of the Kandy district, has been in service for over 35 years. The majority of people in this city strongly believe in the caste system. Rev. T has been the Pastor of the church for the past 6 years and has struggled with many challenges, especially from local extremists from another faith in the village.
On more than one occasion, Rev. T had experienced threats from extremists to stop the Sunday service and leave the city, which he obviously refused to do. One day, these extremists along with some villagers, stormed into the church on a Sunday without warning. They shouted at the congregation to leave the church saying, “this is our city, and we will not allow anyone to start a church.” Subsequently, they placed a statue on the church premises and left.
Rev. T had no choice but to go to the courts to remove the statue from the church premises. After this incident happened, Rev. T had to be constantly vigilant, fearing the worst is yet to come. He was worried for the safety of his congregation and church as a whole, praying constantly for safety.
Shortly thereafter, he was introduced to LEADS by Rev. N (A senior Pastor of the AOG Church Colombo, who is a friend of the organisation) in hopes that he could receive the support his church needs.
Rev. T said it will be a great help if he could fix a few CCTV cameras around the Church premises. In the event of any further undesirable incidents, he felt that it would be particularly useful to have evidence to file a court case.
The team at LEADS stepped in and sourced for additional funding that would help Rev. T with his request to install a CCTV system at his Church. The situation with the local extremists has not changed much and for the most part, everything remains the same at this church, except for a small change. With prayers and the help of LEADS, the church now has a “third eye” watching over the premises round-the-clock and now has the much-needed evidence in case anything negative erupts. They continue to pray for peace despite the persecutions in the city.
- Pray for the churches in Colombo and beyond – and the ongoing tensions with local extremists in the city. Pray for an amicable and peaceful resolution.
- Pray for the Covid-19 situation in Sri Lanka, especially that the 2nd wave of COVID 19 clusters in Colombo will not spread into other parts of the country and will be eradicated soon.
- Pray for Russell, his family, and the entire team at LEADS where he works as they navigate and find innovative ways to keep serving the community despite C-19 hardships.
- Pray for the new government that God will give them the wisdom to take the necessary steps to rebuild the economy of the country.
To know more about Russell and his ministry, please visit his Profile page