A report of our 17-23 Dec 2012, Cornerstone Couriers Team to Colombo, Sri Lanka.
By Johnathan Leow
It started out as a dream that I had in March to bring members of my cell group to minister together in the nations. 9 months later, we found ourselves standing at the entrance of Colombo International airport.
Together with a very experienced couple, Andy and Christina, who have been on numerous mission trips before, our team of 7, spent 7 exciting and power- packed days ministering together with the youth and children’s ministry of Bethany Church Colombo. Throughout the whole trip, Pastor Sampath, who really took care of us very well and planned our itinerary meticulously, hosted us.
We conducted a youth leaders training on the first day for 25 of their youth leaders, and introduced new icebreakers to them, which they really enjoyed. Pastor Sampath also shared the vision and direction for the youth ministry in 2013, and I gave a short encouragement on the need to have the spirit of thankfulness in the youth ministry. Their youth ministry has seen recently a revival of sorts, with over 150 souls added in the past year alone!
At night, we went caroling with the youths and brought Christmas joy to the poorer locals who lived in shanties and slums in the city. One very memorable aspect of the caroling was that we had to sing the carols in Sinhala, and this was deeply appreciated by the locals living there as they had never imagined that foreigners would ever bother to visit their homes, much less sing carols to them in their native language!
The next day, we did a Singapore-Sri Lanka cooking session with their youth leaders at one of their homes, and this really helped to bond us together as the family of God! Some of our team members even helped out in the kitchen, breaking coconuts, and chopping vegetables.
Over the course of the next few days, we helped the youth ministry out with their youth evangelistic Christmas party, and also helped the children’s church with their party. For the youth party, there were approximately 150 people in attendance. Our team conducted icebreaker games for them, and also performed an evangelistic skit that tells the story of a girl who backslided from Jesus, into a life of drugs, drinking, money and eventually suicide, but was able to slide back to a living relationship with Jesus at the very last moment through His redeeming sacrifice. The skit was well received, and there were approximately 10 hands raised in response to the salvation call given. We praise God for their open hearts!
We also helped the children’s church the next day with their Christmas party. Our team distributed over 250 goodie bags to the children, and also did face painting and balloon sculpting for them, along with games. It was an especially very memorable experience praying while painting their faces, as we saw in many of them great dreams awaiting to burst forth, through the different characters (Spiderman etc.) they asked to be painted! In all, there were about 300 children in attendance.
The day before we left for Singapore, we visited the Bethany branch church in Nittabuwa, to minister at their youth cell. The church is situated in a rural village area, and though they were small in number, the atmosphere was pregnant with faith.
One of the more memorable moments here was when we prayed and sung songs to a 14 year old girl who came down with a mysterious infirmity 4 years ago and has been unable to talk or walk ever since. When we saw Andy and Christina hugging her with tears of love in their eyes, it reminded me instantly of how Jesus would stoop even to touch the lepers in the Bible.
Also, at the youth cell, Andy, had 2 words of knowledge for healing that were 100% accurate! First, he had a word for someone who had been having left eye pain, and when he gave the call, one of their youths responded! It barely took a short prayer for him before he was completely healed off the pain.
Then, Cherilyn, one of the members on the team who had been suffering from backache, started to feel her back pain disappear too, and she could even jump up and down!
It was not the end of the story yet. When we went to a church member’s house for lunch, Andy had another word of knowledge that a member of the household had been suffering from headache, and that God wanted to dispense healing to that person. It turned out that the wife of the church member who hosted us was having a headache, and after we prayed for her, her headache completely left!
We praise God for the healings!
So it was with much reluctance that we flew back to Singapore on 23rd Dec. But the trip was definitely a very memorable and fun one for all of us.
For 3 of the members on our team, it was their very first virgin mission trip, and it left a deep impact on them. The trip opened their eyes to the bigger picture of God’s work in the nations. They had expected a mission trip to be like a traditional service where a pastor preaches and people respond to altar calls, but this trip was way otherwise. The practical ministering of God’s love in the slums, in the village church, through outreach activities have inspired them to dream again of doing great things for God.
Thank you Couriers for this opportunity!