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..."

Sunday, August 14, 2005

the water's fine

august 14: day 5: sunday (part 2)

mohamed ensures that ben doesn't suffer from sunstroke...
in the afternoon we headed off to a river (which mohamed compared to the jordan) in order to baptize the three who gave their testimonies in the morning service. i was invited to participate in this... talk about early church: baptism here (particularly for former buddhists) carries with it a multifaceted death sentence- be it social, political or economic death.

the buddhist monks here are government sanctioned spiritual fathers who lose immediate support (funding) when members of their buddhist flock convert to christianity. here it is legal to be a christian, but it is not legal to evangelize... or baptize, for that matter.

again, i was not needed but i was invited. why?


returning, mohamed and i walked together talking- he knew some english; i knew no sinhala- that's the way it goes... yet out of the blue he said 'Jesus dies- give me life; i die- get heaven.'

so i said' Jesus dies- gives you life- you live, bring heaven... heaven starts here, now.' motioning around me at the group of believers walking back from the river.

he smiled and nodded and we continued to walk through the blackened sand, so much cooler and so much cleaner along the surf than up on shore.

i got a ride back with mohamed and his wife ivon in their 3-wheel auto... this is his tent-making but it is also an instrument in the hands of God, for God is using it to literally save lives one fare at a time: one of the women we baptized (jennifer) had been picked up by mohamed and his taxi when she was on her way to commit suicide in this same river that she would eventually be baptized in... she was taking her toddler son with her on that eternal journey.

however, the little guy stood up in the service earlier on this day that had seen the baptism of not only his mother but his grandmother also to read from 'the living bible' in english!

salvation has come to this house.


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