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.