Methodist Church

MCS gives $10,000 to Sri Lankan Methodist Church

THE Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) has sent a gift of $10,000 to The Methodist Church in Sri Lanka (MCSL) in response to the latter’s appeal for funds following the breakout of violent hostilities in the northern parts of Sri Lanka last September.

The Rev W. P. Ebenezer Joseph, President of The Methodist Church in Sri Lanka, had written to Bishop Dr Robert Solomon to ask for funds and seek help in relief work for displaced persons as well as to seek prayers for his church workers and members.

He said heavy fighting, including extensive shelling and aerial bombing, between the Tamil Tigers and government forces had resulted in people living in fear and were trapped as they were unable to flee to another town or location.

The people travelling to the town of Vavuniya, for example, could not use the normal roads because of the constant fighting. They had to use tracks which meander through jungles.

They were also forced to travel through a large strip of “no man’s land” which was very dangerous.

“However,” said the Rev Ebenezer Joseph, “we are able to care for about 200 families, paying special attention to pregnant and lactating mothers, children and providing dry rations to their families.”

The people had to buy rations and food items at exorbitant prices as movement and sale of food are restricted.

Another major problem is worship. The affected churches cannot resume worship services as the war is still going on. This problem will stay for a long time.

However, the MCSL is working towards putting up temporary sheds in one locality where the people could gather to worship. This too cannot be realised immediately due to the lack of tin sheets and materials.

‘Keep in mind that the reconstruction of worship places will be our priority once the battle subsides and some normalcy returns. We are grateful for your concern and support.’

The process of providing chaplaincy services has already begun.

The MCSL is providing some assistance to care for injured soldiers. It has so far provided 50 crutches and 10 wheelchairs. It is also renting a Home in Anuradhapura for family members of injured soldiers to stay while visiting them in hospitals.

Prayer campaigns are being organised on a regular basis. Counselling and training for befrienders to deal with all affected by the war have commenced.

Seeking prayers from the MCS, the Rev Ebenezer Joseph said: “Keep in mind that the reconstruction of worship places will be our priority once the battle subsides and some normalcy returns. We are grateful for your concern and support.”

In his reply, Bishop Dr Solomon wrote: “We are concerned about the situation there and want to assure you of our prayers for you and the people there at this difficult time. We pray that God will bring about lasting peace to your nation, and that justice and mercy will prevail.

“For those who are badly affected by the violent hostilities, our hearts go out to them and we pray that they will find help and comfort.

“We are pleased to send you a gift of S$10,000 in response to your appeal. This is a small token of our solidarity with you and our support of your relief efforts in a dangerous and needy situation.

“We continue to pray for you, The Methodist Church in Sri Lanka, and the people of your nation. May God be with you.”