The season of Christmas brings joy into the hearts all human kind. Thus George Matthew Adams reminds says “Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years… Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.”
The Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India with the help of the Centre for Holistic Healing is involved in the ministry of impaired-hearing and Mute (Dear and Dumb) of the Ampara district. Rev. Kalinga Chandrasena Hemawittarana an ordained priest of the Jaffna Diocese of the Church of South India, who is qualified in sign language, with the help of his colleagues Anoton who is teaching at Nuffied School in Kaithady, Sarath and a senior and experienced teacher Mr. Christopher in the Deaf and Blind school Ragama help form the National Deaf Association in the Ampara district.
Thaya Thiagarajah and Rev. Priya represented the Centre for Holistic Healing attended the Christmas function was organized on the 22nd of December 2016 as a full day programme. We too were present when they started the recycling program a couple of months ago.
There were around 350 people including children were present. In some families both the parents were deaf and dumb but the children could speak.
In some families the children were deaf and dumb but the parents could speak. People from all religions took part and made it into a happy occasion. It was an interesting program where a video clipping was showed to them and the explanation was given to them simultaneously by sign language. Though there was carols played nothing disturbed the message given by the president of the association to the people.
Everyone was following and understood what he said. Instead of clapping to encourage, the people raised their hand and waved at the speaker.
It was a surprise to us that almost everyone had a touch phone. They were able to communicate with the sign language through video call, and were interested in taking photos.
The Santa’s presence brought excitement for both the children and the adults. Christmas gifts were given to the children. The function ended up with fellowship lunch.
This ministry of Rev. Hemavitharana and his family have to appreciate and we wish them all the best. May God give them strength to carry on this ministry for the glory of God.