News from Sri Lanka

News from Sri Lanka

I have been in Sri Lanka for a little over two weeks and things are going well.  I am staying at the seminary.  Everyone has been very kind and all of my needs have been met.

I have been teaching a course on the biblical book of Genesis four days per week.  I have sixteen to seventeen students in the course, most are pastors, and three are seminary students.  They are very engaged in the course.  They ask lots of questions and they share their own thought about the texts freely.  They have said that they feel that they can talk more in my class because I am staying longer than most visiting professors.

I am offering a second course titled “Women in Ancient Israel.”  I was disappointed the first week when only four women showed up.  Eight men came.  But yesterday, 14 women came, mostly from the war torn region of Vanni.  Some rode on public buses for four hours to get here.  I led them through a study of several biblical texts and I showed a video about the fate of women in the war in Bosnia which I brought from the U.S.  They said that what happened in Vanni was much worse than what happened in Bosnia.  The Vanni women told me that they will not be able to come next Saturday due to an event at home.  I thought that was it.  But then they proposed that the class be held on Sunday so that they can come.  I said “Yes.”

I have been able to fit in some sightseeing on my day off.  I have been taken to the coastal area and to some islands that up until recently were under military control and off limits to the local people.  I also spent a delightful half day at the Uduvil Girls School for their sports day program.

Wilma Bailey