OUT OF THE RUINS BROUGHT BY HATE SPRINGS NEW HOPE FOR SRI LANKA
An international team of VMs responded to Sri Lanka in its time of need, helping it to forge an era of trust and friendship that transcends religious, ethnic and cultural divides.
On April 21, Jerome was in church at Colombo’s St. Anthony’s Shrine. Stepping outside for a moment, he was jolted by a deafening explosion. “I got to the door and was engulfed in black smoke. Inside, dead bodies and severed limbs were everywhere. Among the victims, many were my friends.”
Within an hour, he and his friends had helped pull all the dead and wounded from the church. But it was only then that the real work began.
The Easter Sunday bombing seemed to turn back the clock to the 26-year Sri Lankan Civil War. Jerome’s greatest fear was that the attacks would rekindle distrust and prompt interreligious violence among Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities.
But then Jerome found the tools he needed to help ensure lasting peace when a scouting friend from Nepal arrived to provide humanitarian relief as part of a Scientology Volunteer Ministers’ disaster response team that also included VMs from India and the United States.
Jerome immediately grasped the significance of a technology that is both practical and spiritual, capable of dealing with the disorientation, trauma and loss experienced by his friends and the entire nation. Jerome trained on chapters of The Scientology Handbook and joined the disaster response team.
“I got to the door and was engulfed in black smoke. Inside, dead bodies and severed limbs were everywhere. Among the victims, many were my friends.”
The team reached out to every segment of Sri Lankan society. They formed a partnership with the education association over the Muslim district of Kinniya to deliver training on Study Technology, communication and Scientology assists to the over 20,000 students in 66 schools.
In the Buddhist community, representing some 70 percent of the country’s population, the VMs collaborated with a Buddhist society that provides higher education to Buddhist communities across the world. One seminar trained 40 teachers from 15 countries on communication and Study Technology. The society wants to incorporate this training into their curriculum going forward.
A spiritual nation, every segment of Sri Lankan society has welcomed the help of the VMs, and new VM groups are springing up across the country.