Nanda* studied at Colombo Theological Seminary (CTS), one of LeaDev-Langham’s Partner Schools in Sri Lanka. She tells her own story of how the Lord has led her to start Bible studies and ministry for the families connected with a drug rehab centre, and how what she has learned at CTS has been of tremendous value:
“I was 19 years old when I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour. From that point, I submitted my life to the Lord and within me grew a burning desire to serve the Lord. I entered into full-time ministry 10 years later through my church. I was in charge of some ‘unreached’ villages and responsible for all spiritual aspects of the families of believers living there, as well as going house to house to share the Gospel. During this time, I began to be burdened to concentrate on serving neglected women.
About three years ago, the leadership of my church encouraged me to enter into seminary training at Colombo Theological Seminary (CTS) in Sri Lanka. As I engaged in my studies, that compulsion for neglected women grew stronger. I was going through an intense internal conflict. Although I had been involved in full-time ministry for over 10 years, I had a nagging feeling that I had not really embarked on the specific ministry to which the Lord had called me – ministering to neglected women.
However, through my studies at CTS, I came to the important realization that the Lord uses us for different purposes at different times and that my responsibility was to be faithful in whatever I was doing at any given season. This helped to strengthen my faith, released me from the inner struggle I was undergoing and helped me to continue to faithfully serve in the ministry I was engaged in until the Lord opened a new opportunity for me.
I got married about a year and a half ago, and that’s when a door opened up for this ministry desire on my heart. My husband ministers in a drug rehabilitation centre. The centre is run by Christians and is open to anyone. At the point when I entered this ministry, there was no initiative in place to minister to the spouses of addicts.
I started ministering to the wives of recovered addicts who serve in the centre. By conducting a regular Bible study for them, I have been helping them to grow spiritually. More recently, I have joined the ministry as a full-time worker and minister to the male residents as well.
Currently there are 49 male residents in the centre with whom I work on a daily basis. In addition, I conduct a weekly Bible study for seven women who are spouses of reformed addicts.
My learning at CTS is of tremendous value as I minister to these men and women through the Word of God, helping them to overcome their challenges by developing their spirituality. The majority of those who come to the centre don’t have any knowledge about God. I spend time introducing the concept of God to them and sharing the Gospel. This is an important aspect of helping them overcome their addiction.
By spiritually strengthening the wives of reformed addicts, I am helping to build up a support group for these men who are in danger of falling into their old lifestyle at the slightest temptation. To help these people grow in spiritual strength, I have been teaching them the power of prayer, especially as an important means through which to overcome temptation.
My learning at CTS is of tremendous value as I minister to these men and women through the Word of God, helping them to overcome their challenges by developing their spirituality.
I have recently set up a prayer team. I believe that as they grow stronger in their prayer life, they will grow stronger in overcoming their addictions and in staying away from temptations. However, as many are very recent believers, they are still taking baby steps in this regard.
My hope is to one day set up a fully-fledged rehabilitation centre that will focus on ministering to neglected women in society.”
*Name changed for security reasons.