Sri Lanka, an island nation still reeling from the effects of nearly two decades of civil war, appears to be once again ‘on the brink of full-scale war’ according to some news sources. Despite a cease-fire agreement signed in 2002, sporadic fighting between the Tamil Tigers (ethnic minority group in Sri Lanka) and Sri Lankan government began late last year and has escalated in recent weeks. The conflict is posing special challenges and risks for Gospel for Asia missionaries serving in Sri Lanka.
About 65,000 lives were lost in the 20-year civil war , and tens of thousands are displaced from their homes. Hundreds more have been killed in the recent fighting. More suicide bombings have taken place, and one news source referred to air strikes and attacks as an almost daily occurrence.
More than a dozen workers of a French aid agency were murdered last month, with both sides blaming the other. In a recent church bombing, more than 20 people were killed.
Lal Vanderwall, GFA’s country leader in Sri Lanka, says that despite these uncertain times, God is working in his nation. As missionaries under his leadership continue to reach out daily with the hope of the Gospel, hurting lives are being transformed—and new church fellowships are forming in the war-torn nation.
GFA Radio is penetrating areas difficult for missionaries to reach with evangelistic broadcasts, and through GFA’s Bridge of Hope centers children who have had to grow up far too quickly are receiving the message that Jesus loves them.
Vanderwall requests special prayer for the peace of his nation Sri Lanka, and also that its people would hear about and experience the true peace Jesus offers.