YWAM Workers Continue Tsunami Relief Despite Anti-Christian Violence - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/10/05-Garden Valley

YWAM Workers Continue Tsunami Relief Despite Anti-Christian Violence

Their goal: To provide food and shelter to hundreds of children orphaned after a tsunami devastated Sri Lanka.  But an East Texas group is now coping with the effects of hate.

outh With A Mission out of Lindale is working with a small Christian church in Sri Lanka to build an orphanage. But earlier this week, the pastor of the church and his brother were severely beaten by an anti-Christian mob.

Just days after the tsunami hit in December, YWAM was there to help.

"There was this one city that had, had little relief," said Debbie Lascelles with YWAM. "There was one little pastor there, only one little church and he was the only that they could find that was doing anything to help."

That sole pastors name is Yogesh.

"There were so many orphans all around him and they thought this is the place there needs to be an orphanage here," Debbie said.

But just before their peaceful efforts began, they were met with hate.

"We got the deed to the property Friday. On Monday they went to clean it up. The pastor, his brother and other church members were beaten by a band of supposedly Buddist people who opposed Christianity there."

Pastor Yogesh and his brother are in critical condition, but expected to live. Other church members were badly injured. They were beaten with pipes. Their vehicles and phones, stolen.

"It's very sad that people do operate out of so much hate but we're going to respond out of love, " Debbie said, "because that's what Jesus said, love one another."

So Friday, YWAM sent two members to continue the pastor's work.

"We just know there's kids there with needs. We're going to feed them and house them and help them. So, yeah we're going to keep moving forward to help them however we can."

Despite the threat of violence, YWAM will build the orphanage.

"God's love is greater than fear," Debbie said, "and we just try to share that love that conquers fear."

In addition to the two members that left Friday for Sri Lanka, another group is expected to leave in 10 days.

YWAM is raising funds to build the orphanage. If you would like to help, you can contact their offices.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com

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