Pastor Dayaratne still remembers the day in 2013 when the 130 orphans from Agape Children’s Center were forcibly removed by government workers: “I can still hear the noise of the children, how they cried, how they were weeping not to be taken away.” This occurred because of untrue rumors being spread through the media by the extremist Buddhist group, Bodo Bala Sena, and jealous local Buddhist priests.
Pastor Dayaratne & his wife, Sister Mala, opened Agape Children’s Center in 2001, to take in children who had been abandoned, orphaned, or abused. It grew and flourished over the years to over 100 children, and in 2010, was recognized by the government as the best orphanage in the south of Sri Lanka. But, this part of Sri Lanka is a Buddhist stronghold. As the orphanage started thriving, jealous monks hurled accusations at Pastor Dayaratne.
The media accepted all of the wrongful charges and never gave Pastor Dayaratne a chance to explain how untrue that they were. Pastor Dayaratne has filed appeals to the Magistrate to reopen the orphanage, in order to serve the children again. The next appeal is to be heard on July 14, 2016, but the authorities keep dragging out the case.
Open Doors is asking you to send cards and letters of encouragement to Pastor Dayaratne and his wife, Sister Mala, to encourage them not to waiver in their faith as seek to reopen the orphanage. Let us remind them that we are one with them in prayer as they serve and wait, for we belong to one body in Christ.