“It’s been disrupted by the temporary lockdown now in place, but we know that, as soon as restrictions ease up and they’re able to move about more freely again, this work will continue.” FARMS Executive Director Scott Clifton says.
FARMS International pairs Christian stewardship and interest-free loans to help families work their way out of poverty while supporting the local church. Learn more about FARMS International here.
They began the FARMS Lanka program in 1973. However, when government changes took place in the early ’90s, “it became unclear on how partnership was to continue between FARMS International and FARMS Lanka,” Clifton says.
Through FARMS Lanka, local believers continued aid deliveries in the name of Jesus for 20 years. Now, “we feel like God opened the door to rekindle that relationship and partnership,” Clifton says.
COVID-19 lockdowns force FARMS Lanka to close down their normal office and stop routine work. Sri Lankan authorities implement “temporary lock downs, but then they’re extended so it’s really hard to make any progress,” Clifton says.
“It’s a difficult, difficult situation.”
However, FARMS Lanka has been able to carry out some relief work, providing dry rations and donations for their food station through the local churches.
Persistent poverty and the current conditions in Sri Lanka provide plenty of opportunities to demonstrate God’s love.
FARMS Lanka – in partnership with FARMS International – has begun approving applicants for their program promoting businesses among believers. They have supported two poultry businesses and another for food preparation.
Clarence, FARMS Lanka Director, wrote in a recent update:
“Covid 19 threat has come to the whole world in a time where many economical, political, spiritual ups and downs are taking place in many countries. We have observed many people, due to fear, engage in religious activities during this period. The messages from churches has increased through media for those who are interested and for those who could not attend church services due to lockdown. In the Biblical history we have come across many pandemics. In all circumstances, when people see God, He has made a deliverance.”
“If someone [serves] on the missions committee at their church and they’d like to mention FARMS, that would be incredible,” Clifton says.
“There are many opportunities in front of us and we anticipate more will come about, but to pursue these opportunities we need partnerships.”
Header image depicts aid recipients helped by FARMS Lanka. (Photo courtesy of FARMS International)