It was my privilege to serve as the treasurer of the Sri Lanka Mission from August 1997 to January 2001. The blessings received, the friends made, and the lessons learned will benefit me for the rest of my life.
Sri Lanka is a small island nation located off the southern tip of India with a population of twenty million citizens. The dominant religions are Buddhism (70%), Hinduism (15%), Islam (7.5%), and Christianity (7.5%). Although freedom of religion is enshrined in the nation’s constitution, the government fosters the Buddhist religion because of its cultural significance – Sri Lanka enjoys the status of being the nation where the Buddhist teachings were first written down.
Within this mix are 3,800 baptized Seventh-day Adventist members worshiping in 60 congregations in all regions of the country. Though little lights of truth can be seen in every region, Sri Lanka remains a challenge with a ratio of one baptized member to each 5,300 citizens (the world average for Adventists is 1:400).
Particularly active in the hill area of the tea estates are our Global Mission pioneers, visiting the plantation workers in their homes and giving Bible studies. Many have accepted the gospel message but find it hard to follow through with baptism because of social pressures from their families and communities.
There are indications of a breakthrough though. At one Global Mission project site in Nuwala-Eliya, nine people were baptized last year. In other locations reports are coming in of baptisms taking place. Since it is not possible with their limited financial resources to build churches, and in many cases not acceptable, the homes of new believers are being converted into houses of worship each Sabbath.
We praise God for your prayers and financial gifts that make it possible for Global Mission to reach more non-Christians with the news of Christ’s love and soon return.
Faithfully yours, Delbert Pearman
Global Mission pioneers are local people who dedicate at least one year to starting new churches in areas or among people groups where there is little or no Adventist presence.
Mission 360° features inspiring stories about mission work.
One day while Rajah was holding a Bible study, a mob approached his house, brandishing sticks and swords.