In December 2004, a tsunami struck Navodya and Vimukthi’s village in Sri Lanka, destroying their home and all of their possessions and forcing them to live in a refugee camp for a few years. Eventually they were able to move into a government-owned apartment complex for tsunami survivors. Vimukthi and Navodya rarely left their apartment: Vimukthi was ill much of the time and required Navodya’s constant care. Aside from getting groceries, the couple stayed home the majority of the time.
Because they couldn’t work, Vimukthi and Navodya struggled to support themselves, relying on the small amount of money sent by their two daughters.
A few years after the tsunami, Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Sandaruwan, who did ministry near the apartment complex where Vimukthi and Navodya lived, visited the couple in their apartment. The pastor prayed with Vimukthi and Navodya and invited them to church. The couple came from a Christian background but had not been able to attend church regularly for quite some time. The following Sunday, Vimukthi and Navodya attended and received a Bible to learn more about Jesus. They felt instantly at home at the church and were excited to study the Scriptures more deeply.
A month later, Vimukthi and Navodya began following Jesus wholeheartedly.
From Confinement to Connection
Motivated by their love for Jesus and commitment to prayer, the couple that rarely left their home now attends church, as well as a home Bible study, every week.
Vimukthi’s chronic sickness left his body, and he no longer requires constant care. Navodya now has time to create gifts and home decorations, which she sells to her neighbors and local grocer. Through this work, the couple has been able to provide for themselves.
The couple has been fully revived through their church activities and love of Jesus. Formerly too sick to walk, Vimukthi and his wife regularly walk around their neighborhood and share their testimony and the love of Christ with other tsunami survivors they meet.
“Because there is a living God, even at this old age, we are able to live happily and do some service in our community,” Vimukthi said. “I am happy that even late in life I found the true God.”
Read how a blanket and coat saves lives.