Decades-long civil war leaves hopeless refugees

By July 30, 2010

Sri Lanka (MNN) — For 26 years, Sri Lanka was ravaged by
civil war. Though the war is over and Sri Lanka is considered a post-war country,
the effects can still be seen in the form of thousands of refugees, wandering
the streets without hope.

Many children were orphaned and have no home and no parents to
care for them. Many people have been emotionally traumatized by almost three
decades of violence and strife.

However, Asian Access President Joe Handley said their
partner, Dr. Adrian DeVisser, is seeing seeds of hope sprout through his church-planting and farm ministry.

Across this island nation south of India with a population
of more than 20 million people, DeVisser and Asian Access have already planted some
600 churches.

Along with several dozen churches, DeVisser has established farms and taken in refugees: "He's able to take them in and raise
kids in an orphanage that provides a safe home and an education," said Handley. "And the
cool part of it is that they get to do this in a farming community that is
creating a sustainable ministry environment."

Each of these farms is focused on integrating social
outreach and the Gospel. And as they reach out in both of these aspects, the
ministry is not just attracting refugees.

Handley said, "It's so powerful that even some of the
government is now recommending kids off of the street to go to their homes,
which is quite remarkable in a Buddhist nation: to refer people to a church-oriented world."

With all the good things taking place through this ministry, Asian Access does not want to slow down now. Their goal is to see 2000 churches planted
throughout the country in the next 10 years.

In fact, Handley was just in Sri Lanka at a conference to
train more church leaders and pastors. He said, "We had a one-week
development intensive, where I was one of the faculty members. We're
training these pastors in leadership development, church multiplication, and principles
of holistic church planting where it's not just about evangelism–which it IS
about–and it's not just about church planting, and it's not just about
discipleship. But discipleship involves the whole of transformational ministries
that impact society."

As they look to the future, pray with Asian Access
about the people their Sri Lanka ministry will be impacting. Pray for the
leaders God is already raising up and for people to continually step up to lead
in Christ's kingdom.

Though these farms are mostly self-sustaining, Asian Access
can still use your help in getting new churches and farms started. Click here
to contribute today
.

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