COVID-19 Relief in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, the government has instituted a nationwide military-enforced lockdown since March 15. People are not allowed to leave their homes, even to buy groceries, except for a couple hours every four - six days when the curfew is briefly lifted. Stores are kept closed, but food may be purchased from government conveys.

This situation has had a devastating impact on rural pastors. Unlike urban ministers, who have broader networks and virtual support systems, rural pastors live each week off of the previous Sunday’s tithe. For the past four weeks these pastors have gone without income. With a government ban on gatherings expected to last until July, there is little hope that this will change soon.

DAI’s ministry center director in Sri Lanka, Kendall Atkinson, is personally connected with over 250 rural pastors in this desperate situation. He estimates that even as little as 10,000 Sri Lankan rupees, or about $60, is enough to provide very basic staples for a family of four for a month. A few dollars more allows for such things as milk for babies and children, who have had to go without.

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