What inspires you? There are a lot of things that can provide inspiration
– seeing other people accomplish great things,
-seeing other people overcome adversity,
-hearing inspirational quotes from great people,
even the sheer beauty of nature can remind us just how lucky we are to be alive.
Ambalantota is a coastal town in southern Sri Lanka. It is located in Southern Province in Hambantota District betweenMatara and Hambantota. The Jaffna Diocese of the church of South India has been extending its services to our Sinhala community in the National level since Bishop Daniel Thiagarajah was installed as the Bishop. Along with the pastoral ministry of the Diocese, the Centre for Holistic Healing which emerged as a psychosocial component of the diocese soon after the war which came into being with a handful of dedicated social workers started to help the survivors of war, the poor and the needy mainly focusing on the war torn areas.
However, the Centre for Holistic healing according to their vision and mission extends its ministry to the other parts of Sri Lanka especially to the Sinhala brothers and sisters. The Rev. Chandrasena who was ordained by Bishop Thiagarajah as the presbyter is involved in the ministry to the community of ‘Deaf and Dumb’ in the Matara district. He has got his Diploma in sign language to communicate with these people easily. He had his diploma at the University of Colombo. He worked as a Deacon with the Anglican Church before tsunami. After sometime he and his wife dedicated themselves to get involved in this particular ministry as their eldest daughter is “deaf and dumb”.
With the view of empowering these people, the CHH ventured out to help them using the recourse people from their own area itself. In August, Thaya Thiagarajah along with Rev. Priya who was ordained recently made a visit to Ambalantota and spent a day with them. The pastor’s wife introduced a new creative skill of making beautiful greeting cards, wrapping papers, small bags using waste papers, dried leaves, dried flowers etc.
It was very interesting as this group could handle these types of handicrafts well. She demonstrated making these from waste materials using the normal blender which is used in the kitchen, a sift, old rags and an iron box. Many of them showed interest and offered to start to learn this skill. The Centre for Holistic Healing decided to provide them the necessary machinery mentioned above for them to start the project. The pastor’s wife who is very good in this skill will join the staff of CHH Vocational Training Centre and continue to help them.
After the demonstration, Rev. Priya and I visited the house of the pastor’s family. The house in which they live and the ministry they do among the unfortunate ones is the typical example of their sincerity to serve to the unfortunate community. The time Rev. Priya and I spent there helped us widene the horizon of the vision and mission of the Centre for Holistic Healing. Rev. Priya being very fluent in Sinhala language has been an asset for the translation when I did counseling for some of them and the Rev. Chandrasena was of much help in doing counseling with the sign language.