Sri Lanka in Crisis
The Church Demonstrates the Love of Christ to Families in Need
“Sri Lanka is bankrupt,” said Rev. Cedric Rodrigo, the national leader of The Wesleyan Church of Sri Lanka. A once growing economy ground to a halt, due to crippling debt and a political crisis. After two years of the COVID pandemic, a challenging situation spun into chaos.
Protests began peacefully, but were met with violence by government supporters. Then, on May 9, the protests turned violent. 130 houses and 70 cars were burned to the ground. Ten people lost their lives.
“I’m 59 years old, and I have never seen a situation like this in my country,” Cedric continued. There is a lack of fuel, lack of cooking gas, lack of basic medicines, and long hours of power cuts. There are long queues for major necessities. Cedric reported waiting for more than 14 hours at one of the few stations reported to have fuel.
“It has impacted everyone, rich and poor. But the poor suffer the most.” According to Cedric, “The cost of fuel has gone up over 150%, while the cost of food increased 80-100%. Salaries have not increased, and many have lost their jobs. Other nations have not come to our aid, except for India. Many are daily paid, running rickshaws on the streets, income is very curtailed.”
The Church’s Response
All churches are doing their best to share the love of Christ, not only to their members but to those outside. In Cedric’s words:
The Wesleyan Church of Sri Lanka is praying for God to use them to bring about transformation. They have launched a project to help families in their communities with basic food items, medical expenses and utility bills. They are demonstrating the love of Christ, praying for people’s hearts to be softened and opened to that love.
The Church received a donation in May to help with this relief effort. They were able to purchase and deliver 5-kilogram bags of rice and other essential food items to over 250 families in need.
Describing the experience, national leader Cedric shares: “As we were carrying food packages there was this one man walking in the neighborhood looking for work so he could earn something for the day. We offered him a bag of rice. His face lit up and he thanked us profusely saying that this was indeed a big help to him. He was all smiles and kept on thanking.
“As we kept on walking with 5-kilogram bags of rice, another old man was walking behind us for some distance. We stopped and asked him if he would appreciate a bag of rice. He said ‘I followed you this distance hoping you will offer me this help too.’ He was a man from a middle-class home, and he must have been too shy to ask.”
The crisis is predicted to get worse before it gets better, and the church is committed to do all they can to help. But, they need our partnership. To continue reaching out to families in their communities, they are seeking partners who will contribute $103,000 over the next six months. Let us stand with the Church of Sri Lanka as they serve families in need in Jesus’ name by giving today: gponline.org/sri-lanka.
Together we can make a difference!