These seven people decided to follow Jesus after encountering His love through Samiran, Kalpana and the Women’s Fellowship team.
Kalpana trimmed the fingernails of Chirag and the other children.
The Women’s Fellowship team served a hearty soup for many to enjoy.
In addition to meeting physical needs, Kalpana and the Women’s Fellowship team have been teaching the children about Jesus.
On August 23, 2010, Chirag got up early in the morning. He dressed in his best suit and walked outside his cottage, peeping through the passageway to the narrow dusty footpath as he waited for someone.
He heard a sound and ran to the old, broken fence to see whether his friend had come. Finally, Ajay, his friend, did appear.
Chirag’s face filled with delight, and he rushed to the fence and asked, “Can we go?”
“Yeah! Why not?” replied Ajay.
Both ran to join their other friends who were nearby.
As soon as they reached the appointed place, they heard the sound of a motorbike approaching. All the children hurried toward the bike. Pastor Samiran Silva and his wife Kalpana got off the bike and hugged their beloved group of “adopted boys.”
Chirag looked to see the love in the eyes of this special couple. Kalpana hugged him. Since he had never known his mother, Chirag was unable to express the feeling generated from receiving a mother’s love. Tears streamed down his face, and his hardened heart began to melt as he drank in this caring love. That was the happiest day in his life, he thought.
An Open Door for Compassion
The people of Wada Mal Watte, Chirag’s village in Sri Lanka, lived in dire circumstances when Gospel for Asia-supported pastor Samiran Silva and his wife Kalpana first visited their community. Of the approximately 140 villagers, most are illiterate and desperately poor. They live in makeshift shacks. They work as laborers whenever they can find a job. Chirag only went to school one day a week; the rest of the time, he worked picking coconuts or in gardens owned by wealthy people.
As if the poverty and illiteracy were not awful enough, this community faced a serious problem: Men from surrounding villages crept into Wada Mal Watte at night to rape the girls who lived there. Because the villagers were unable to defend themselves, the problem persisted.
When Pastor Samiran learned about the situation, he and Kalpana went to the village and talked to the people. He contacted the district government about the repeated attacks.
Following his report, 140 officers from both the district and national governments reached the village and recorded the incidents that took place. They also gave Pastor Samiran permission to care for the villagers and educate them, and they promised to provide for the basic needs of the villagers.
Led by Pastor Samiran and Kalpana, the Women’s Fellowship team from Pastor Samiran’s church initiated compassion-services work in the village. On one of their first visits, Kalpana and four Women’s Fellowship sisters helped 40 children, including Chirag, by trimming their nails, cutting their hair, providing clothes and giving each of the undernourished kids a healthy meal. They started the day with a time of worshiping the Lord through songs, and Kalpana shared Bible stories with the children.
Kalpana called the children one by one to clip their fingernails. Chirag was amazed. Since he picked coconuts all day, his hands were very rough. But this loving mother took his callused hands and trimmed his nails. Chirag’s heart was filled with joy.
Kalpana taught them how to keep their bodies clean. The Women’s Fellowship team prayed for all the needs of the children and for their future.
The children were thrilled with the tasty meal provided by the ladies. Chirag had never had the kind of soup served, a soup with meat and vegetables.
The love, food and good advice of his spiritual parents has changed his life. For the first time, Chirag received such favor and care, and now he understands how much Jesus loves him.
A Lasting Presence
The Women’s Fellowship team continues showing Christ’s love in the village, traveling there weekly to teach the Bible. In addition to sharing God’s Word, they started both English and Sinhala language classes for illiterate villagers. A believer in Pastor Samiran’s congregation donated 25 chairs and desks for the classes.
They didn’t forget the children of the village but keep finding practical ways to care for them. One of the highlights for the children comes when the team serves them a special treat, a coconut rice drink.
“These rural and illiterate villagers see the love of Jesus demonstrated through the Women’s Fellowship ministry,” writes the GFA correspondent.
Through the compassion displayed by Pastor Samiran, Kalpana and the Women’s Fellowship group, the villagers’ lives are changing. Seven people have already chosen to follow Christ, and 20 children are attending Sunday school each week.
The missionaries ask for prayer for the village. They would like prayer specifically for the safety of the village women and also for the opportunity to start a Bridge of Hope center in this community.