On 21 April 2019, Easter Sunday, three churches in Sri Lanka and three luxury hotels in the commercial capital, Colombo, were targeted in a series of coordinated terrorist suicide bombings. Two hundred and fifty-nine people were killed, including at least 45 foreign nationals and three police officers, and at least 500 were injured.
A recent documentary took viewers through the journey of four individuals directly impacted by this evil event. Twelve months on…
· A charity has been established to provide hospital equipment in desperately short supply by a young man who lost a brother and sister holidaying at the time in Sri Lanka.
· A technology training academy has been established to raise education standards and improve job prospects by a Sri Lankan refugee from the civil war educated in England and in Sri Lanka on business at the time.
· A “not for profit” fund raising initiative designed around fine dining, supporting local charities in meeting the medical needs of those injured in the bombings, has been set up by a Sri Lankan national now living in Australia and on holiday in Sri Lanka at the time.
· A house had been built by the church family for a mother and her daughter widowed by the bombing of her church, who would otherwise be living on the street.
We are becoming increasingly aware of the devastating impact that the Coronavirus crisis is having on the wellbeing of many people. Failing businesses despite the UK Government’s financial support measures, significant levels of redundancies as businesses resize to match lower expected future demand and economic pressures on the poorest families.
What motivates anyone to act to try to change a situation for the good? In the case of the terrorism in Sri Lanka, it was first-hand experience, a personal connection with the country and people, or compassion for a suffering family with nowhere to turn. In each case, the provider had a resource which the recipients did not have. Either finance, education, a network or access to materials.
I am reminded of a profound saying used by John F Kennedy in a speech in 1961 and attributed to Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Luke 10:33,34 “But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged up his wounds…”
The Easter story demonstrates without any doubt that good can indeed come out of evil. Jesus, our hope, is alive and well and at work through His Church; through you and me.
What resource has He given you today to bring relief to someone suffering during this Coronavirus crisis?