Even though the South Asian country of Sri Lanka is about 70% Buddhist, rulers through the ages have allowed the practice of Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity (primarily Catholic). To help encourage and equip local Christians, Dave from OC’s Asia Area Office accepts invitations to teach special sessions at Bible colleges. Here he shares about his latest visit to Sri Lanka…
“It was our second time with the students of the Bible College in the central hills of Sri Lanka. All but one of the students that I had taught 2 ½-years ago had graduated. (We remember those students quite well because of their enthusiastic reception of the idea that persecution is a major theme in the book of Revelation, a theme which was also a big part of many of their lives as pastors and church planters in Sri Lanka.)
“It took a few days for these “new” students to warm up to the tall and strange American teacher that was trying to tell them that they could really study the Bible on their own, in fact, they needed to study the Bible on their own. But as they gained some new skills, and were perhaps less wary of their teacher, they really got involved in their group discussions about the structure of Philippians 3:10-11, and whether Psalm 1:6 is a summary or the climax of the psalm.
“Why are they so interested in studying the Bible? Why would they sacrifice four years to gain a bachelor’s in theology? And why is this same thing happening wherever we go in Asia? They have come to faith in Christ, and God has so moved in their hearts that they want to help others to come to know Him personally through Jesus Christ. They have seen that the Word of God is a light on our path, a lamp for our feet, and they want to give others a chance to walk in that light.
“All over Asia God is doing this – in a marvelously diverse number of ways, He is calling young men and women into ministry, often in hostile environments like Sri Lanka. And many of those young men and women go to a Bible school to gain insight and skills for the days and years to come. And they go out to the cities, the fields, and the mountain slopes with the gospel and their Bibles. It’s amazing. And it is amazing that – by the grace of God – we get to help them along the way! Thanks for standing with us in this adventure.”
Would you like to give toward this ministry in Asia?