Investng in the Next Generation of Sri Lankan Christian leaders

Investing in the Next Generation of Sri Lankan Christian leaders

Well I’ve been back from my missions trip to Sri Lanka for a week now. I’m still having trouble adjusting to the 12 hour time change! Check out my previous post for an overview of our mission serving the least of these.

Here’s some final thoughts and take-aways.

1. Intercession. Don’t leave home without it. 

Over the years, I’ve been kind of hit and miss with organizing prayer partners back home to cover my missions trips.

For Sri Lanka, I knew we had to have a strong intercessory prayer team. God brought some trusted friends old and new to come alongside me for this trip.

Intercessors: A Secret Facebook Group

Intercessors: A Secret Facebook Group

I tried out a secret Facebook group for communication with them and that was very effective.

This trip had the potential to be very difficult and even dangerous, but the Lord protected us through it all. I believe it was the prayers of the saints that made all the difference.

Thank you,  prayer warriors!

2.The compelling need for the gospel.

We were ministering in the Up Country tea estate region. Through out Sri Lanka are temples and idols for Hindu or Buddhists “gods”, they are everywhere.  

We ran across these Hindu idols when we visited the plantation next door.

Idol worship is for real here.

Idol worship is for real here.

Idol worship is for real in this part of the world.

3. Sri Lankan food is very spicy.

It’s a good thing I love spicy food, because the food here was the spiciest I’ve ever eaten!

Lots of rice and curry flavored dishes. The scrambled eggs were awesome, although brown …

Breakfast of Dahl (Lentils, coconut, curry) and Scarmbled Eggs with onions & spices

Breakfast of Dahl (Lentils, coconut, curry) and Scrambled Eggs with onions & spices

4. The head waggle thing is charming

I noticed this on the first day, to indicate “yes” Sri Lankans don’t nod up and down, their heads waggle form side to side. Quite unusual and difficult to replicate.  I found this video on Youtube that explains it, but the friends we met did it much more charmingly than these cats.

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5.  At our conference, men and women sit on opposite sides of the room.

Very interesting.

6. Drums from the keyboard.

No drummer? No problem.

At the youth conference, and at the big church on Sunday, the worship leader played keyboards and used the built in drum machine for drums. They were really good at it though.

Worship team with keyboard drum machine

Worship team with keyboard drum machine

On Sunday at the end of my message, I was teaching the Sinhalese congregation the chorus to A New Anointing / This Is The Day. After a couple of repeats, the keyboard player jumped in playing the chord progression and the drum beat spot on. Impressive!

7.  The need for quality instruments.

All my missions trips are in under resourced areas of the world. That means they need training and equipment. We donated a guitar and accessories to a very worthy recipient.

You can see and hear about it in this video.

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Ruwanta is a very humble and low key guy. He works with the youth, and was teaching 10 students how to play guitar and bass, despite not owning an instrument of his own! He had been borrowing a guitar. We’re thrilled to support the work of the kingdom through his ministry!

8. The power of a team.

I really enjoyed spreading the teaching load amongst our other team members. Each of us carried a piece of the content puzzle that made for an excellent and well rounded conference.

I was very blessed by the youthful perspective of Anna Johnson and Elliott Diaz; and the experience, wisdom and cultural intelligence of Tom Johnson.

It was a great team!

Team Pic 2

Once again, this was a wonderful mission to experience. The feedback from the attendees was “life changing”. I am grateful and humbled to have been part of it.

It would not have been possible with out the prayer and financial support  of our partners. Thank you so much! God provided everything we needed in just the right manner and timing.

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