Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Pletcher Sri Lanka Trip

Peter sent an update on God's work in their mission trip to beautiful Sri Lanka mid December. I'll share that here along with pics he sent. The entire Pletcher family joined the group from their church (a total of 16 adults and 6 children). While in Sri Lanka they spent time in Colombo with a missionary pastor who took them to Kandy, a devout Buddhist city, and then up into the tea country. Everywhere they went, they were well received by the locals and had the opportunity to share the gospel through tracts and passing out Bibles. Their pastors also had the opportunity to speak at several different special services that were held while we were visiting. Here is Peter's email. Thanks to the Pletchers for sharing the testimony and pictures!

"We had a great time and experienced a very open and for the most part welcoming people. We arrived on Wednesday into Colombo for our pastors to speak (Brother Crocker and Brother Moore) to the Tamil service and also to the Sinhala/English service at Colombo Bible Baptist Church where Brother Unruh pastors (these services go on simultaneously at different locations on the Church property). The next morning we left at 8 a.m. and traveled to the city of Kandy which took about five hours. In the city center, we divided up and spent a couple hours passing out tracts. Kandy has a significant Buddhist temple which attracts devout Buddhist from all over the world, as such, the city of Kandy has a strong Buddhist following. We had some who would not accept the tracts or would ask why we are trying to spread Christianity into such a strong Buddhist area but for the most part people gladly accepted the tract and would begin to read (tracts were written in Sinhala). Prior to handing out the tracts, I had asked what the literal translation was on the front cover. We were surprised to find that many of the people could speak a fair amount of English, so when we were asked by a young man who was with his group of friends "Do you even know what this says?" I pointed to the Sinhala on the front cover and acted like I was reading/translating into English. They were all surprised and we enjoyed a laugh.

"We continued up into the Mountain area to a small town of Nuwara Eliya and stayed at the St. Andrews Hotel. This town is about one mile high in elevation so our bus had a lot of climbing to do as we began our day in Colombo which is at sea level on the West coast of Sri Lanka. The cooler 14C (57F) temperature was also welcomed as it never gets this cool when at sea level near the equator. Sri Lanka's 4th largest export is tea and is grown up in the mountain area. It is amazing to see how they use all the land available by terracing the steep slopes. Most of the pickers are ladies who must pick at least 16 kg (35lbs) per day to earn $2. If they pick less than 16 kg of tea their pay is docked but if they pick more, they are given a small bonus. Tracts were also put into plastic bags with small gifts inside such as small lotion or shampoo bottles, pens, etc. Along the drive up, the tea pickers or village people would be along the side of the road for which a packet was thrown out the window. The tea pickers would quickly collect the packet .... this is not a method which can be used in Singapore as you would be fined for littering but was very much welcomed in Sri Lanka.

"On Friday, we went into Kotagala, a tea plantation village, where one of the local pastor's sent out by Colombo Bible Baptist Church has an out reach ministry. The children had already gathered for the Neighborhood Bible Club. Our group helped lead in teaching them some Bible songs and told them the Gospel story (Brother Shanker, the local pastor gave the translation). Afterwards, the children were then taught a game which was played with great enthusiasm. For most of these children, it was their first time to hear that Jesus loved them. After the children's meeting, preparations were made for the evening evangelistic meeting at the other end of the soccer field. A Gospel film was shown and pastor Crocker gave a short message and invitation afterwards. Fifty-nine people came forward to put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ! Bro Shanker conducts a Church in a tent which is attached to the back of his house located in Kotagala and will be following up on these decisions. We understand that our group is the first to go into this tea village with such an outreach and we pray that the impact and seeds sown will grow for many more to hear and receive the gospel. Our church had also collected clothing back in Singapore and we left the boxes with Brother Shanker to be used as an outreach ministry to the village people.

"After a long day of travel back to Colombo on Saturday, we were back at Colombo Bible Baptist Church for three services on Sunday with a meal in the afternoon under the tent prepared for all those who attended. We flew out at around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning back to Singapore since I needed to work Monday morning while the rest of our Church group flew back on Tuesday morning. The Lord certainly blessed our trip and by the following Monday morning, the church had already received in the mail responses from 6 different people who had put their trust in Jesus Christ as a result of the tracts passed out. We were constantly reminded of Luke 10:2 "Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest." So many people whom need the Lord and someone to give the gospel message."

By the way, the Pletchers celebrated Morgan's 1st birthday immediately after returning from this trip. Happy Birthday, Morgan!

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