This morning John preached at the English service at Kollupitiya (pronounced Collpetty) Methodist Church in Colombo – it was the 120th anniversary of the opening of their building. (John wonders if he could lose weight by sweating that much every time he preaches.)

Methodism has strong roots in Sri Lanka since Methodist missionaries played such a key part in the spread of Protestantism on the island. In December 1813 several set out from the UK to reach Ceylon with the gospel, and for many it cost them their lives. The leader, Thomas Coke, died before even arriving. One particular man, William Ault, was sent to Batticaloa (on the East Coast). His wife had already died on the boat and he died himself within the year… But not before learning Tamil, starting 8 schools, and preaching the gospel! Such was his impact that there is a statue of him next to the Batticaloa gate. It is the only statue of a Christian on the whole island. The willingness to suffer so that others might hear the gospel is humbling. John’s grandfather was a Methodist Minister and so he was delighted to hear these tales and to preach at KMC. (The photo of KMC was taken at the end of the 7am Tamil service.)

Then after the service we went to Ramanan & Anusha’s for lunch, in order to celebrate another anniversary – Anusha’s birthday. We don’t know how old Anusha is exactly but we are pretty certain that she is younger than KMC. (On the way Ramanan kindly showed us the traffic Police 🙂 )

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