Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sri Lanka

Part of our mission includes the island nation of Sri Lanka. It is about a 1 hour 15 min flight to the capital city, Colombo. In Sri Lanka there are three branches and a district of the Church. Young missionaries do not serve in Sri Lanka, but we do have one or two senior couples who help with Seminaries and Institute and with humanitarian work.

Last week there were two outbound Sri Lankan young people headed to the Manila MTC who needed to be set apart. At the same time, there was a new senior couple scheduled to arrive. Terry and I decided to meet the new couple and I would set apart the young missionaries.

Sister Riyasha Maduchani Ekanayaka WELLAYAN is one of the young missionaries. She traveled about 1.5 hours to meet me at our church in Negombo (photo below) to be set apart. She then traveled back home, another 1.5 hours, so she could get her suitcase and finish her goodbyes, and travel back the same 1.5 hours to get to the airport. She is called to the Philippines Cavite Mission, and will learn Tagalog in the MTC.

Sister Wellayan and President Berrett

As I was setting her apart, I felt the power of her spirit. I know that she will be a wonderful missionary.
I do not have a picture of Elder Ramaih, the other missionary I set apart. While doing so, I felt strongly that he was a great young man and would be a strong leader in his mission. It is wonderful to see these great young people go off to serve the Lord. 

I met Sister Wellayan at our meetinghouse in Negombo. While waiting for her to arrive, I noticed that just outside our property was a shrine to one of the Catholic saints. I think the juxtaposition is priceless.

The new couple we greeted are the Woodruffs, from near Cardston, Alberta, Canada. This is their second mission. Their first was to Ethopia. They were, of course, very jet-lagged, but seemed happy to be in Sri Lanka. We are very grateful to have them. They will serve in Negombo, which is a city about 40 km north of the capital city, Colombo. 

Sister and Elder Woodruff
While traveling to and from lunch with the Woodruff's, we saw one of my favorite sights in this part of the world - the interaction of livestock and vehicular traffic.

We also passed over a canal which leads out the sea. The canal is a place of safety for fishing boats. We saw one fisherman tending to his nets that sunny afternoon.

Negombo, Sri Lanka
While traveling around Colombo, we came up next to a couple of Muslim school boys headed home from school. With permission, I clicked this picture.  

While in Sri Lanka, we decided to take a "preparation day" and do a little sight seeing. We hired a car and headed south from Colombo. We stopped at the Madhu Ganga River Lagoon, formed where the Madhu Ganga River backs up before emptying into the ocean. There are about 65 islands in the lagoon. We hired a boat and guide to give us a 1.5 hour tour.

In keeping with the preparation day theme, I decided not to wear a white shirt and tie.

The first stop was a local business man who was out with his pet monkey. Terry enjoyed a few minutes of holding the little one. She was reminded of a few of our grandchildren.

The tour took us in and out of mangrove swamps and open water.

Inside the lagoon is a fish farm, which advertises a foot massage. Turns out that fish nibble on your feet, removing dead skin, etc. Terry was brave enough to give it a try.


I confess that I was not real interested.

We continued south along the coast to the port city of Galle. Here in the 1700's, the Dutch established a fort to protect their trading interests. Not much remains. I was facinated by this mosque and lighthouse, which are of a much more recent vintage.

All in all, we had a wonderful day. We were ready to return to Bangalore, and get back to work. In other words, we successfully prepared.

1 comment:

  1. Mom, that monkey looks like it might have been easier to hold that Lilly! :) I'm so glad you found another place where the fish can suck your feet - I know how sad you were when your place in Hong Kong closed. But, if we come visit, let's skip that adventure - I could hardly handle it with the little, tiny fish. I don't think I could handle the larger, pink fish!