poitu varam

THE CHRONICLES OF A FLEDGLING MISSIONARY CALLED JOLLYBEGGAR "i still gaze fondly at all of the pictures, drink ginger beer, bunch my food, listen to punjabi dj tunes, play my dholki, wear my sarong (around the house only because in canada it is still really uncommon for a man to wear a wraparound skirt in public) and speak way too much of the differences between east and west..."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

sri lankan FM, the next generation

august 18: thursday: day 9 (part 3)

the one thing that i don't think i spent much time thinking about until the ordination service was the kids' program. i mean, i knew that it was running and everything, but it never floated across the screen of my mind until i saw these beautiful little kids standing onstage reciting scriptures that they had learned in tamil and singing songs.

colleen, sylvia and ruby worked with the kids and many of the ladies all week- in truth, once the pastor sessions were going we didn't see any of them except for meals. this was colleen's mission, as she represented the 'women's ministries' group in eastern (well, ontario) canada that had raised $4000 dollars in order to see resourcing come directly to the families of the pastors at this retreat. colleen, having an incredible love for children and that 'early childhood teacher connection' (which i have also observed, acknowledged and affirmed so much in mrs jollybeggar, a kindergarten teacher) was deeply involved in the lives of the kids here. she was always writing down names and descriptions, and was the other 'journalist' on our trip... although i think she feel desperately behind after that first wild sunday! anyway, in addition to being clearly equipped for the task of teaching the kids, colleen was also adept at building up and empowering other leaders amongst the sri lankan women present- in keeping with our global ministries directive: 'how can we live amongst you so that Jesus would be more real to you?'

what a gift (similar to the drama the night before) it was to see the next generation of sri lankan free methodist leaders together. the vision was eventually shared with us the next day that the movement in sri lankan free methodism anticipates incredible growth over the next few years, so the kids standing before us represented the foundation of something exciting yet to come.

as equally touching was to see lazarus with his own daughters and their friends, united in song as one voice... to the sound of lazarus out of tune guitar that seemed to be ubiquitous and therefore synonymous for the worship music here up to this point!


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