Over the next several weeks, we invite you to pray with us for Christian leaders from South Asia. South Asia is home to nearly a quarter of the world’s population and over 35 million Christians, who nonetheless remain a small minority in a region shared with one billion Hindus and 600 million Muslims. Through the Vital SustainAbility Initiative, ScholarLeaders works with five seminaries in India and one in Sri Lanka. Through LeaderStudies, ScholarLeaders has supported 50 Christian leaders from three South Asian nations (Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka), including eight scholarscurrently.
This week, please intercede with us for Dr. Lal Senanayake in Sri Lanka. A large island just southeast of India, Sri Lanka has been a center of Buddhist scholarship and practice since the 3rd century. Today, 70% of the country’s 22 million people practice Buddhism, while 13% follow Hinduism, 10% Islam, and 7% Christianity (mostly Roman Catholicism). Although Evangelicals represent only 2% of all Sri Lankans, they have continued to grow at twice the rate of the general population.
Born into a Buddhist family, Lal first heard the Gospel as a teenager. After becoming the first in his village to follow Jesus, Lal began sharing his faith with others. Pressure and persecution from his family, school, community, and temple eventually drove him from his home and village with nothing but the clothes on his back.
Today, Lal is President of Lanka Bible College and Seminary (LBCS) in Sri Lanka. LBCS provides biblically sound and holistic training for Christian leaders in and beyond Sri Lanka’s Buddhist context. Lal is especially committed to guiding the Church toward greater biblical literacy, intellectual engagement with Buddhism, and worship practices that reflect the ethnic diversity (mostly Tamil and Sinhalese) within the Sri Lankan Church. ScholarLeaders supported Lal as he earned his PhD in Educational Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Lal’s 2019 InSights Perspective offers reflections on understanding suffering in light of God’s character. Learn more about Lal’s story, ministry, and vision through Bible Study Magazine’s 2016 feature, Mending the Educational Divide. Lal and his wife Lalitha have two sons, Lasitha and Lael, and two daughters, Leoni and Lakshika.
Lal shares the following message:
Please pray for LBCS:
1) Pray for the success of our online program.
2) Pray for successful training of faculty and students, so they can use online learning platforms well.
3) Pray for the nation’s healing and recovery from this growing pandemic situation.
4) Pray for justice to prevail in the country.
5) LBCS is planning to provide training in the holistic mission of the local church for the transformation of society. We plan to train leaders in every region of the country on following topics:
- Introduction: Understanding God’s Holistic Mission on Earth
- The Gospel and Personal Transformation / The Church and Social Transformation
- Education for Holistic Spiritual Development: Dealing with Social Concerns and Justice Issues
- The Role of Ethics, Values, and Justice in Social Transformation
- Peace and Reconciliation in a Pluralistic Society: Transforming Attitudes
- The Importance of Knowing the Difference Between Men and Women in Decision Making: The Need for Integration
- Dealing with Trauma and Post-Pandemic Crisis: The Need for Counseling and Guidance
- Humans as Keepers of the Environment (God’s Stewards of Environment): Transforming the Environment
- Eliminating Poverty and Empowering the Poor: Transforming Livelihood
Please pray for the success of this holistic approach to missions training.
Thank you, and may God bless you.