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"Going to Church 9,000 Miles Away from Home" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

While on a recent trip to Sri Lanka, my brother and I attended Sunday morning worship at the Methodist church in Mount Lavinia, near Colombo. Just a couple of quick observations about that experience.

1) The church, built in 1928, was full of people. The primary religion in Sri Lanka is Buddhism, but the church was full. The Methodist Church in Sri Lanka today has 40,000 members, with 45 circuits, 200 churches and 120 pastors.

2) I was encouraged that many young people were present. In fact, the first part of the worship service involved several teenagers leading the service with a contemporary band.

3) We felt very welcomed. Of course, I was fearful that we might be sitting on someone’s pew. But we were warmly greeted from the second we entered the doors.

4) A faithful Biblical message was preached by the pastor. His focus was on the words of the Apostle Paul, to be content with who we are and what we have. It sure was a sermon that I needed to hear.

In a beautiful land that is full of Buddhist temples and shrines, I am so thankful that the Christian faith is alive and well. A church member smiled as he told me, “Our church is seeing a resurgence of young people.”

I invite you to join with me in praying for the church in Sri Lanka, and for our churches here in America. May the light and peace of Christ shine through all of us.

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