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Shining Lights

Abilasha's family has never liked Christians and avoided them whenever possible.

Abilasha comes from a Hindu family from Puttalam in the northwest area of Sri Lanka. Her family has never liked Christians and avoided them whenever possible. Abilasha’s father was an alcoholic, which made family life very difficult and disrupted her studies. There was no peace and harmony at home, so she begged her mother to let her go to school somewhere else. She wasn’t enjoying school and couldn’t concentrate with all the disruption at home.

Abilasha had an uncle who was a Seventh-day Adventist, and he would sometimes visit the family. Each time he came, he talked about an Adventist school called Lakpahana (“Light of Sri Lanka”). He explained what a good school it was and described its beautiful rural setting on a coconut plantation.

After hearing about Lakpahana many times, the mother decided that Abilasha should go to school there, even though she didn’t like Christians or the God that the Christians worshiped. So Abilasha made the journey from her home in Puttalam on the northwest coast, to the center of the country, where the school is located.

A Change of Scenery

Once she arrived on campus, Abilasha loved the beautiful and peaceful setting of Lakpahana. There she was introduced to the God of heaven and began to experience His love. She attended the worship services, and as her interest grew, she began to study the Bible for herself. She was especially encouraged by Psalm 23 and Psalm 115, which have often helped her during times of difficulty.

Abilasha also appreciates prayer and was especially happy to learn that her father is doing much better now. She is thankful to the Lord that she is getting good grades in school. She is hoping to one day become a doctor.

Abilasha enjoys helping with a branch Sabbath School near Lakpahana and especially likes telling Bible stories and teaching songs about Jesus and His love. She’s been helping at the branch Sabbath School for a year and is looking forward to continuing.

Branching Out

One of the teachers at Lakpahana, known as Teacher Manjula, is also actively involved in the branch Sabbath School. She has been helping out for quite some time. One day she noticed that in a nearby village, the people seemed lonely and worried, and they felt that no one cared about them. She could see that they needed encouragement and so began holding a branch Sabbath School there. The group sang with the children and with whoever else came.

They noticed that a blind man, who appeared to be in his 40s, was coming to their meetings. He enjoyed the songs so much, and two weeks after he started coming, he brought his mother to the meetings. He felt included with the singing and asked the branch Sabbath School team to record their music so he could listen and sing any time he wanted.

Providential Placement

Right in front of where they were holding their meetings lived a family that father did not get along, and there was a lot of fighting. Two children were living in that home and they had noticed the branch Sabbath School. At first they watched from their window, then from their doorway, and then from their front porch. Finally, they felt comfortable enough to join the group. The children soaked up all of the songs and stories that were shared during the meetings in front of their house. They began to feel loved and safe and started smiling and singing with the other children.

Manjula and her team are certain that the Lord led them to start a branch Sabbath School right in front of this home. Happily, the boy and girl are now studying at Lakpahana as a result of their first contact with this branch Sabbath School. Manjula encourages every church member to become involved in outreach programs and to share God’s love with whomever He leads them to.