It was two Police officers who delivered the news to Pastor Jacob on 7th June, 2013 at around 9.30 a.m. “There are posters displayed all over the town against you” they said. “What is it that you are doing here in this village?” The poster campaign demanding for his banishment from the village was not the beginning nor the end of the problems which Pastor Jacob faced while ministering at the King’s Revival Church. To date, Pastor Jacob’s wife keeps watchful vigil at the door while he conducts service. The fear, tension and the oppression which the entire congregation faces prevents them from worshipping wholeheartedly and even connecting with each other.
It was to this congregation that worshipped in fear and under threat that the NCEASL reached out its hand of help and encouragement. The Religious Liberty Commission organised a special Shalom Camp which was held for their benefit on 12th – 14th September, 2014 at Sanctuary House, Pamunugama. The sessions which were tailored to encourage this congregation addressed them on the topics of persecution and how to face it as a congregation and as a family, the salvation gained through Christ’s death on the cross, the significance of Holy Communion and family life. Throughout the camp, the 72 participants received an unprecedented opportunity to engage in group discussions and even a special talent night during which they enjoyed the fun, entertainment and camaraderie. Special classes were held for the children who learned action songs and how to be steadfast in their faith through Bible stories.
“On Sundays we only engage in an hour’s worship service” said Pastor Jacob. He went on to explain that he thus limits the service because of the threats he has received. “We do not want to endanger the believers because nothing should separate them from Christ.” Pastor Jacob appreciated that Shalom Camp permitted them to worship as long as their hearts desired, lifting their voices in songs and prayers of praise. He also valued that he was able to closely connect with his congregation. “The sessions showed us the need to face problems together as one family” he expressed. “We will now be able to carry on this ministry together as a congregation, united by the one vision of spreading the Good News.”