Sutha was not always a single mother. She lost 8 members of her family including her husband during the recent Sri Lankan civil war. Her husband died right in front of her. Her grief drew her closer to God and she found herself attending Christian Theological Seminary (CTS) of the Church of the American Ceylon Mission. Through hope and community, Sutha was able to begin the process of healing. She sacrifices time with her children during the week to attend the seminary. Sutha's mother cares for her children while she is attending the seminary.
Global Ministries support provides a stipend that helps pay for Sutha’s tuition and needs for her family while she attends seminary full time. Sutha is able to travel home by bus on Fridays to see her family. She stays over the weekend and then travels back to school on Sunday. It is difficult, but she knows that she is called to serve. CTS has helped Sutha discover her passion and purpose to help single mothers who have lost their husbands and loved ones to war. Christian Theological Seminary has made great progress in recent years toward its mission of providing theological education as a humanitarian response to the post-war community.
Kalavathy is standing to the right of Sutha. She is one of Sutha's classmates. Kalavathy lost her husband during the war in a very traumatic way as well. The deaths of their loved ones have made them closer to each other. In 2020, they will both be graduating from the seminary and will be among a handful of female pastors in the region.
Sri Lanka is a religiously and ethnically divided nation. Partners and people like Sutha and Kalavathy are working to help bring reconciliation, hope, and support as the country continues to recover from civil war. Sutha hopes to bring community development, interfaith dialogue, and relief and rehabilitation to those who were affected by the violence of war.
Of the 22 million people living in Sri Lanka, Christians are a small minority, making up about 8% of the total population. Global Ministries partner, the Church of the American Ceylon Mission (CACM), focuses on empowering children and youth. They work with vulnerable Indian Sri Lankan youth to provide vocational training. St. John's Vocational Training Centre (St. John’s VTC) in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, offers training for boys and girls in programs like computers, sewing, air conditioning repair, refrigeration, and more.
The Batticaloa region consists of a large number of single-parent households. In an already poverty-stricken community and home, single-parent homes find themselves at an even larger disadvantage. Children are forced to grow up earlier than expected, often dropping out of school and going to work at an early age. St. John's VTC offers alternatives for young people who seek employment and education.
The school has trained about 3000 students and about 2000 students have been placed in jobs. This program is important in the community because it is creating income opportunities in skilled labor jobs, thus lifting young people and entire households out of extreme poverty. Breaking generational poverty is one goal of the program. Rev. Rajan P. Rohaan, CACM community outreach pastor and pastor of St. Andrew's church, has seen first-hand the transformation that this program has on young people and their families.
As part of the Southern Asia Initiative, seven members of the Common Global Ministries Board traveled to Sri Lanka and India in September. There, they met and visited projects of various Global Ministries’ partners to celebrate relationships and to walk Together in Hope. The following reflections will take us through their pilgrimage around these colorful and vibrant countries.Read more
The life of the capital “C” Church is bright and active! I was given that opportunity to experience the living out of Christ’s call for the Church through the efforts of the Church of the American Ceylon Mission (CACM) as a short-term volunteer with Global Ministries.Read more
by Darshan Ambalavanar
Today was the 3rd Sunday after Easter. St. John's had Sunday services each week although the security forces have advised against it. Today we had the largest gathering since Easter including a number of children.
Rev. Rohaan preached on an appropriate but very challenging text. "If you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you?... But love your enemies, do good to them..." (Luke 6:33,35)Read more
At a time when our motherland, Sri Lanka, is grieving at the tragic deaths of our Christian brothers and sisters, and also other innocents from this country and abroad, who have fallen victims to the atrocities of terrorists in certain parts of this country, we release this communiqué with a heavy heart, while expressing our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and those suffering at hospitals.Read more
From the Church of the American Ceylon Mission (CACM), Sri Lanka
Freedom of the Religions and rights of minorities Church of the American Ceylon Mission, St John’s Mission, Uranee, Batticaloa
Tension between the Muslim and Tamil community escalated after the suicide attack on Easter Sunday that killed more than 30 persons including 17 children and wounded more than 75 half of them critically in Batticalao. Remains are being handed over to the families, and the remains have been buried with the religious observances. There are three remains still laying in the teaching hospital due to an issue with identification.Read more
This was originally published as an article for the UCC series, "Getting to the Root of It".
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” (Romans 14: 19).
On Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019, bombs went off in multiple locations around Sri Lanka. 3 of the locations were churches where Easter was being celebrated. The official death toll as of April 26 is 253 people and more than 500 people were wounded. The Sri Lankan government has stated that the perpetrators were members of a local militant Muslim group, National Thowheed Jamath. Both Christians and Muslims are minority groups in Sri Lanka. The majority of the population is Buddhist (around 70%).Read more
US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO) Condemns the Terror Attack on Churches, Hotels in Sri Lanka
The US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of several leading national and local Muslim organizations and institutions, strongly condemns the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and stands with the families of the victims during this difficult time.Read more
Statement from the Church of the American Ceylon Mission
We the Church of the American Ceylon Mission vehemently condemn the brutal and cowardice bomb attacks that took place on Easter Sunday the 21st of April, 2019, targeting Churches and Star hotels in Colombo, Negombo, and in Batticaloa. The attacks took place in eight places, including 3 Churches and 3 Star hotels, targeting innocent people - women, children, and foreign nationals - killing 290 and injuring 500. We consider these attacks on worshippers who gathered in the churches to receive the blessings and the peace of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ is against the norms of the civilized society and a threat to those who love justice and peace of the whole world.Read more