To see 370 young people from different ethnic backgrounds and both sexes meeting together at a Youth Camp seeking God for themselves and the Church in Sri Lanka, gives one hope for the future of that country and it’s Church. Tim had been invited to be one of the main speakers at this event and this was the main reason for our trip. The other speakers were Jim Annan from the United States and Leslie Matthews from Jaffna. Every morning there was a period of worship together. The teaching concentrated on two themes; firstly, the power of the Holy Spirit within each one of us who believe and, secondly, the importance of individually following Jesus closely so that the whole Body of Christ can grow.
To develop relationships between the various groups they were divided into six teams based on the tribes of Judah. In the afternoons these teams were used for the young people to take part in competitions and games. During the evening there were times of worship and prayer. We saw many people filled with the Spirit and speaking in tongues for the first time.
However, the trip did not start out as planned! Before the Camp we were hoping to spend a few days with the Church in Jaffna. As the General Election in Sri Lanka was due during that time, the Government was not allowing any foreigners into the areas where there had been the fighting in case there were riots which they did not want foreigners to observe. During the election days there were actually no disturbances at all which showed that this country is becoming more stable and gives hope for the future.
Consequently it was hastily arranged for us to attend some house groups from Sanna’s Church in Colombo in the evenings to share what we had from God and pray for them. During the days all we could do was relax by the pool and prepare for the camp. However it did give the opportunity to share with holidaymakers why we had come to Sri Lanka and what God had been doing in other countries of the world. On the Sunday morning Tim preached at Sanna’s church, New Life Church, in Colombo.
After the Camp we spent a few days in Nuwara Eliya visiting a church and one of its home groups out in the tea plantations. It was great to see how God had prepared these people to receive the message He had for them. There were many seeking a touch from God and we were used to give them that blessing.
Then we returned to Colombo visiting the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnewala on the way, always a delight! During the last few days we spent time with other contacts Tim had in Colombo and praying for the ‘ash cloud’ to clear. God was good to us and we were able to return home on our scheduled flight, which was the first to be able to fly. And our thoughts were with other tourists in the hotel who had been waiting for days to return who were frustrated as we left!
God continues to work among the young people on this beautiful island and we look forward to seeing Him move even more dynamically in the future….