Suffering: the True Test of Christian Ministry

Faith Works

Sometimes known as the “Asian John Stott”, Ajith Fernando is a committed Bible teacher who ministers in war-torn Sri Lanka.  In July 1983, the Tamil Tigers killed 15 government soldiers; in retaliation, Sinhalese mobs tore through Colombo, killing Tamils and setting properties on fire.  Six years of civil war followed, and Christian ministers began leaving the country – their children could not get an education, their careers were on one long ‘pause’ button, and their very lives were in danger.  Finally, Fernando received a letter offering him a position at the prestigious faculty of Gordon-Conwell – he had an opportunity to leave the war-torn country, to lecture and teach, and to dedicate time to writing.

Sri Lanka

He turned it down.

As one issue of Christianity Today observes,

“Everything Ajith Fernando writes and teaches is forged on the anvil of poverty, suffering, ethnic strife, and war—and tedious, patient administration.”

Tim Stafford, ‘

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