“Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today; to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.”
This was the quote that a little boy in Sri Lanka was able to communicate to me without knowing barely any English. He read the whole chapter of Deuteronomy 28 in Sinhalese to me, and then asked me to read it back to him in English. He didn’t understand anything I was saying, and I didn’t know anything he was saying. But because we had our Bibles, we were able to communicate with each other and share this bonding moment over the Lord. During this time, a lot of boys came over to us to listen as well. It was one of the most powerful and incredible moments I have experienced.
This was just one of the hundreds of incredible moments I was able to experience in Sri Lanka.
The children and workers’ love for the Lord in this home, was like no other I had ever seen. The children would lead powerful prayers that would last for more than a few moments. After every bible verse they read, they would end with, “amen”. They sing worship songs with passion, and really worship God like their songs were meant to. Despite the unimaginable things that they all have been through, they still love & trust the Lord like no other.
These children, taught me so much. These children still occupy my heart & thoughts, every single day. I mean, look at these sweet faces, how could you not love every one of them?!
The Lord was SO present everywhere in Sri Lanka. A church started by the missionary Therese (who graduated from WWU & was apart of my campus ministry, how cool?!) started off with a tiny service, now has six services a day in three different languages! God’s word is spreading like wildfire, and is breaking every barrier thrown at him. That, ladies & gentlemen, is how powerful our God is.
The reason we came to Sri Lanka was to bless these children in every way possible. This included blessing the place they lived, as well as helping to grow their love for Jesus.
While we were there, we able to paint all the girls’ dormitries as well as the hallways in their living space. The difference was incredible, and despite the 95 degree heat with 90% humidity, we enjoyed giving back. Our time painting was filled with singing songs, chatting, and many water breaks. It was many of our first times painting, and everyone in the home was so greatful. All the girls would pull us to their rooms and show just how excited they were. Those smiles were priceless.
We were also able to provide ALL the children with new pillows, flip-flops, and Bibles. We also got the girls new sheets for their beds. They were so thankful, and we were so happy to be able to do that for them. Our money made a huge difference, and went such a long way.
We also ran a program with the children, somewhat like a vacation Bible school. We had the theme of ‘Armour of God’, and focused on different parts everyday. The children really enjoyed reading the Bible stories, making crafts, and playing games. We had a blast too!
Overall, I learned so much about myself, the Lord, and what I want to do in the future because of this trip. I learned how privledged I am to have a safe home, with a comfy bed and air conditioning. I learned just how important it is too love someone so much that you will do what’s best for them. I learned that the little impact we did have in Sri Lanka, God will multiply into so much more we can imagine.
If you get the opportunity to travel, take it. If you get the opportunity to travel, give back, and serve the Lord you love, please, PLEASE take it. It will change your life, and steal your heart.
PS: One of the little girls I bonded the most with was named Pavani. She had the sweetest heart and loved the Lord. Ever since my trip, the name Emilia Pavani has been stuck in my head and I’m thinking that God is pushing me to name one of my future baby girls that. (I am going to listen.)
Here’s some more photos of our trip! 🙂