In 2020, a 12 year old young girl called Vani was attending the funeral of a 13 year old village girl in a Hindu village. The girl’s name was Shani and she had tragically passed away from bone cancer. Vani, aged 12, listened closely to the story of how Vani had encountered Jesus, led her family to Jesus and witnessed in her village. Vani heard how despite having one of her legs amputated, Shani’s expressed desire was to share about Jesus with as many people as she could before she died. In that moment, Vani was intrigued to also know more about this Jesus. So she approached Dharshi and Ranjith.*
Beginnings of a movement
Vani and her family now meet regularly with Dharshi and Ranjith who are discipling the family. They read the bible and pray together. The seeds for the spreading of the gospel across this village has been planted in this household. Vani’s heart is to share about Jesus with all of her friends.
On her birthday earlier this year, Vani invited 20 of her friends to celebrate and hear about Jesus. Each of the children also brought along their parents. This very poor family shared cake and biscuits with their neighbours who also heard about how Jesus was changing their lives. Today, Vani dreams about seeing each of her friend’s families discover how Jesus can change their lives too.
Responding to the Sri Lankan crisis
Since the economic collapse of Sri Lanka, Dharshi and Ranjith are providing emergency food to over 20 families in the community. Some of these families are in Vani’s village through the access given by her family. These households are on the brink of starvation. They are also usually extremely opposed to any outside Christian influence. Many of these homes are becoming softer with some starting to ask why Dharshi, Ranjith and the team are helping.
This month, the team are inviting some of these families they are delivering food to every week to come and share a meal together. They hope their question of why they are helping will be answered as they connect deeper and find opportunities to share more with them about the hope of Jesus. A hope that also began in two young girls and has spread to many villages.
God is moving across Kandy. There are currently 19 Discovery Groups and over 100 people coming to know God within the last two years. Movement has been birthed!
Jesus fed the 5,000 with a young child’s small offering. He is doing the same today. As we disciple spiritually hungry children to multiply their faith, the impact can be significant for them, their families and wider community. Don’t underestimate the influence of an empowered child in God’s kingdom!
*A little about Dharshi and Ranjith (not their real names). In 2016, Praxeis workers Spenser and Karen travelled back to their homeland of Sri Lanka. They connected with Dharshi and Ranjith and have been coaching and mentoring them since. They are starting to see a disciple making movement spark in their ‘small’ city of Kandy (population of 125,000) in cental Sri Lanka. A movement helped sparked by Shani and Vani.