Mission Trip to Sri Lanka
April 18th – 28th, 2011
many calls we received from an Asian brother asking us to minister in the country of Sri Lanka which is an island surrounded by theIndian Ocean. We prayed and we received the confirmation from God that it is His will to go even during the Easter holiday. Sri Lanka is a land like no others. In ancient times, Sri Lanka was known by a variety of names; the ancient Greeks called it Taprobane, the Arabs
referred to it as Serendib, the Portuguese called it Ceilao and the British called it Ceylon. Its climate can be described as tropical and warm. Sri Lanka’s historical and cultural heritage spans more than 2,000 years.
is a very strong Buddhist country which flourished in the early 2nd century BC. The island was very influenced by Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism but now Christians, which are a minority, are praying and believing that God is going to release this country from religion. Pastor Robinson from Faith Covenant, Pastor Clifton White from Good News Christian Center in Beloit, WI, Pastor David Phillips from River of Life Church in Winnsboro, LA, along with my son,
Tiberius Lupancu and I had the privilege of ministering in churches, conferences, prisons and recovery homes throughout Sri Lanka. Brothers in Christ from Shanti Nagar, Pakistan also came to meet us in Sri Lanka. We ministered in Shanti Nagar, Pakistan in 2009.
first, we held a conference of pastors and ministers from all over Sri Lanka for two days. It was organized by Pastor Antonio from a church in Colombo. Everyone was encouraged and challenged by us to be strong in the faith of Jesus Christ and to be a testimony for the Lord Jesus Christ in the midst of the darkness of religions because the Light shines in the darkness and darkness cannot overcome. Over 400 people attended the conference which was held in the restaurant hall. On the second day it rained heavily in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, but this did not stop anyone from attending. After each conference, we prayed for the ministers to receive refreshment and a new fire and desire to move with the gospel of Jesus Christ in the land of Sri Lanka. The Holy Spirit touched so many hearts that the ministers confessed it
was what they needed at the time – more fire and desire to seek God’s presence more and more. Many were filled with the Holy Spirit to continue to do God’s work in their villages, towns or cities. Each night we were asked to preach in different churches throughout the capital.
On Good Friday, I was invited to preach in a jail close to Galle city since I was involved in prison ministry. The jail was about a 2-hour drive from Colombo City. As I was driving along the shore of the Indian Ocean, one of the pastors shared a memory of the tsunami that hit their country in 2004 claiming over 50,000 lives. Still, the remaining damaged buildings have not all been rebuilt especially in the city of Galle. In this city, I met a pastor from a Dutch reformed church who testified that only four to six people attended his church before the tsunami and he was very discouraged at times. Due to the fact that his church was built in the headquarters of the Dutch colony in 1775 – it was surrounded by a large tall wall of protection, the tsunami could not reach it and the church building was spared from any damage and became a shelter for a lot of people. From that time until now, over 120 people attend the church regularly. Many times, God uses catastrophes to wake people up to show that He exists and people need to turn to Him in faith and surrender all to Him.
When I arrived to the prison, Pastor Raja Wijekone was waiting for us and he introduced me and my son to the director of prisons who welcomed us and brought us over 100 inmates all dressed in white to minister to them in this day of Good Friday, April 22nd. Because all the inmates were from a Buddhist background, I had the privilege to preach about the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ with the title of ‘Which thief are you?’
there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture references are from the King James Version of the BHoly Bible And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:32-43
message challenged almost all the inmates to confess that they are sinners and they need the mercy of Jesus Christ to forgive and set them free of the power of sin. We all prayed the sinner’s prayer and asked God to forgive them and to surrender their life to Jesus Christ. The director who was very busy that day with security meetings was so touched by the Word of God that he could not leave until we finished. We gave the inmates hygienic goods and blessed them in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Since it was Good Friday, the director granted that 5 inmates can be released if an amount of rupee would be paid for each as ransom. This was another testimony to share the Love of God and the price of redemption that Jesus Christ paid for all of mankind.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 1 Timothy 2:5-6
“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:11-14
I paid the price for the 5 inmates selected by the director to their court. What a great and blessed Good Friday to spend in a ‘land like no others’.
director invited me to come back on Sunday, the day of Passover. From there, I went to a recovery home founded by Pastor Raja. I visited his office and home near the ocean shore and prayed for his family, wife and 3 children. The recovery home was on a mountain near the ocean. This is a very isolated place deep in the forest, where people with alcohol and drug addictions come to receive freedom in Jesus Christ and enjoy the nature. I preached to about 50 people that were worshipping God when I arrived. Later at night, I returned to the motel and shared with the other pastors of the blessed day God gave to us. Saturday morning at the conference, I shared the Word of God from the book of Judges with a purpose to inspire people that the fire of the Holy Spirit will destroy the work of the devil. Jesus Christ ordained His disciples to go two by two into the world.
“And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails. And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn, with the vineyards and olives.” Judges 15:4-5
I introduced the ministers to the jail and prison evangelism that we are involved in around the world and how desperate this ministry is needed everywhere even in Sri Lanka. How desperate the inmates are to receive the Truth of Jesus but who is volunteering to go? Some of them responded and promised that they will get involved.
Sunday morning – the day of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ – while churches are commemorating the empty tomb (Returning of the Tomb that Jesus borrowed from Joseph of Arimathea), I preached in two churches. The power of Resurrection was and remains real in the life of Christians. This power manifested and people were touched, healed and blessed.
prayed for all of them. Communion in the remembrance of our Lord Jesus was held in one of the churches pastored by Antonio. I prayed for and blessed a baby that was brought by his parents for the first time. We had another meeting with pastors that want to start Bible schools throughout the Sri Lanka country. One of our pastors from our team gave the curriculum and motivated them to start these schools and he will find sponsors throughout the churches in the USA. We prayed that the Lord will provide funds to fulfill this vision of raising a new generation of leaders.
Rev. Constantin Lupancu