Calvary Messianic Congregation (Rabbi Avraham, Dr. Irmeli Libertus, sister Linda Newton) and Souljourners for Christ Ministries, (Rev. Dianne Adams) returned to Sri Lanka in April 2015. This was the fourth time Souljourners for Christ joined Calvary Messianic Congregation in a Sri Lanka mission. This mission was for three weeks.
Sri Lanka Mission – April 7, 2015 – April 27, 2015
2015 Mission Team Members
Rabbi Dr. Avraham Libertus
Dr. Irmeli Libertus
Rev. Dr. Dianne Adams
Sister Linda Newton
Our mission began on Monday, April 7, 2015 at 5:30 a.m. in the Tulsa airport. From Tulsa, we flew to Dallas, than New York. It was around 10:00 p.m. before we left New York for London, then on to Kuwait.
We stayed in Kuwait a couple of days. Kuwait is a very interesting country, but I would not want to live there. Actually, the Kuwait government would not allow me to live there. This country is not friendly to any outsiders. In addition, there is too much heat, wind, and sand for me, but there were some beautiful places to visit. Those who are not born in Kuwait but permitted to live there are unable to “own” anything. They cannot buy houses, land, etc. The Kuwait government is very much aware of what non-citizens do for a living and it has complete control.
The team left Kuwait late at night and arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka very early the following morning. After going through security, we proceeded to pick up the luggage. After waiting for a very long time for the last 2 pieces to come around on the carousel, we finally realized that the luggage apparently did not make it to Sri Lanka. As of today, they are still lost.
From Colombo, we drove to Negombo and spent the night. We held morning and evening services at Pastor Matthews’s churches. They requested we sing a Hebraic song and dance a Hebraic dance. Both services were outstanding. What a way to start our mission in Sri Lanka.
Monday, April 13, we drove to Kandy. We stayed in Kandy until April 22. What a fantastic ten days in Kandy. During this timeframe, we held three conferences: Women’s Annual Conference, Youth Conference, and a Combination Conference. The message at the Combination Conference was “Revival through Prayer.” It was so well received that I was asked to give the same message later at another location.
We prayed for more than 1000 people individually during our mission and anointed them with oil.
We visited approximately 25 churches and home churches. I gave 15-20 messages and there were several of what I will call, “unique salvations.” They were unique because we were at places where we normally would not have the opportunity to share the Good News. One opportunity was at a tea factory where two young girls were led to the Lord. They said they ‘knew of Jesus’ but wanted to ‘know’ Jesus.
Another opportunity was at the river village of Haragama Gurudeniya where two men were just passing by and dropped in for the service. They accepted Christ and attended church the following Sunday. (The two young men were drug addicts.) This particular service was held at one of the houses where we did not have covering and it was raining. However, no one left the service just because we were getting wet. At the same service, a Muslim woman received healing.
Baptisms: There were 30 baptisms. Ten young people (mountain area) were baptized in a river during a very hard rain. The rain was cold and the river was cold. Thank the Lord for the pastors who were so willing and obedient to baptize regardless of weather conditions.
· River village: All the schoolchildren were given school shoes and presently they have plenty of drinking water. The government will be laying the main waterline from the last house that has water to the last house that needs water. Appears there are 5-8 houses that need a connection. The charge will be $200-$300 per house to connect. Funds have already been received to cover this expense. Thanks to all who contributed earlier to this very special project.
While waiting on the waterline, we are looking at ways to improve the huts and houses. We have already built a new wall and replaced a roof on one house, but it is still in need of additional repair. All the houses really need to be rebuilt. Three of the houses (huts) are made of mud and cow dung. Obviously, the people need something built that they can live in longer than a few months. I will be communicating and working closely with Pastor Joseph and 2 youth pastors to either repair or rebuild these houses.
We also visited a second village, Aluthwantha Rajawella, where we were able to hand each child their school shoes. The youth pastor had wrapped each pair of shoes. The smiles on their faces! They each bowed at our feet and thanked us. This is the children’s way of blessing someone.
Monkey experience: During our 10 days in Kandy, we stayed in a hotel where the ‘jungle’ is its backdoor. Monkeys, monkeys, and more monkeys. Such well trained little thieves and very aggressive. After breakfast one morning, I headed back to my room to get items I needed for the day’s journey. I forgot that I had a small banana in my left hand. As I reached the second floor, I noticed approximately 40 monkeys on the roof of the building next to the hotel. The next thing I knew, there were three standing in front of me with one of them almost my size.
We all froze and just looked at each other. Of course, I thought I could talk to them as I do with my dog. No, stop, sit, move, etc. The large one looked at me as if I had lost my mind and started toward me. Then he leaped toward me hitting my leg with his body. As he hit my leg, he slapped my left hand. Only then did I realize I had a banana in this hand and he was going to have it even if he had to take it by force. Of course, I threw the banana at him. He caught it, bit off the end, peeled it, and stuffed it into his big mouth. He did not offer the two little ones any of it. They of course kept looking at me to see if I had another one. They followed me all the way to the room checking my hands all the way.
Months before we left on this mission, the Lord spoke to me concerning its purpose. He told me that I was returning to Sri Lanka for R & R, which was Revival and Restoration. Sure enough, the most magnificent part of this year’s mission was revival and restoration. I have never witnessed so much restoration in the churches, in the pastors, in families and friends in such a short period of time. Insignificant matters that had created hurt feelings between churches were resolved. There was so much unity in the churches, not only with pastors but also within the congregations. God restored families and friendships that were divided for many years.
I was glad to return to the U.S., but I am already making plans to return to Sri Lanka in God’s time. A big ‘thank you’ to all those who kept the team in prayer the entire time we were gone. Please check the Sri Lanka pictures in the photo gallery. Also, please continue to pray for the two villages. If you would like to contribute toward building new houses for those who have no shelter in these villages, you may donate through PayPal on this Website, or you may send a check/money order to the address listed on the ‘Donate Page.’ Shalom!