Sri Lanka: A Feast of Tabernacles Adventure

[Jamie Schreiber] We are here gathered togetherto observe God's Feast of Tabernacles.

We are united by one hope and an incrediblepromise of an exciting world yet to come.

We are one body, united by one spirit.

It's the time when all of us from around theworld leave our homes and travel to various destinations to worship together in peaceand harmony.

This year my wife Kayleen and I are travelingto a beautiful small island known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean.

We love to travel and see the world, but mostof all we enjoy meeting God's people.

Come along with us and meet your brothersand sisters as we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, Sri Lankan style.

[00:00:44] [music] [00:01:12] It's Wednesday.

Last Chick-fil-A sandwich for two weeks.

Four days before the start of the Feast ofTabernacles.

Twenty-four hours later, we arrive in thebustling city of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

After checking in and a cup of coffee, weset out to explore.

This is Grace Stephens.

She lives here in Colombo, and has her wholelife.

Grace has been a member of the Church of Godfor many years.

She remembers walking to a friend's housewith her father every Sunday evening to listen to the old World Tomorrow radio broadcast.

Their family didn't have a radio.

[Grace] Daddy, my two sisters, we three startand we three started going to Mr.

Kaurnatileke's house to listen to the radio message.

A long distance we have to go in the night.

[Jolinda Schreiber] What time? [Grace] From 8:30 to 12 am.

Not clear but even that we listened to themessage.

[Dave Schreiber] So what did you think whenyou when to your first Feast of Tabernacles? What was on your mind? What did you see and think and feel? [Grace] All of us were there.

It was like a paradise.

[00:02:51] [music] [00:03:03] [Jamie Schreiber] It's 4:30 a.

m.

Sunday morning.

We're taking a coach bus to the complete oppositeside of the island, where the Feast of Tabernacles is being held.

We make several stops along the way to pickup brethren whose homes are on the route.

And once the sun started to rise the bus camealive with music and chatter.

[00:03:30] [music] [00:03:36] I've never seen a group of people more excitedto go to the Feast.

[00:03:38][music] [00:03:43] [Natalie Reckerman]: This is my 20th Feastof Tabernacles.

What's really exciting about it is we arejust one step closer to God's kingdom, and definitely looking forward to celebratingthe Feast with all of the brethren around the world.

[Marina Kumar] : And this is my 14th yearat the Feast.

And we are looking forward every year.

[00:03:58][music] [00:04:05] [Dave Schreiber] We're just beginning theFeast here in Sri Lanka.

We are really, really looking forward to aforetaste of God's coming kingdom, and the brethren in Sri Lanka, wow, are they excited.

[Frank Reckerman] Good evening.

Welcome to the Feast of Tabernacles, AmayaBeach, Passikuda.

[Jamie Schreiber] Our Sri Lankan brethrenhave been counting down the days to the start of the Feast, since the end of the final serviceof the Feast last year.

[00:04:32][music] [00:04:45] [Jamie Schreiber] The sun rises on the firstday of the Feast.

The resort has an extensive spread for breakfast, and we all enjoy a slow paced morning with family and new friends.

Hey, Rohan good morning.

[Rohan De Silva]: Hey, it's been a while sinceI've seen you.

I think what everyone looks forward to aboveall things is a foretaste of God's Kingdom.

We live in a world that is confused, we haveto, you know, carry on with day-to-day life as well as, you know, doing day jobs and makinga living is sometimes it's tough.

I think, you know, what brethren look forwardto is a time of refreshing from that.

It's a world of confusion, a world of hopelessness, and what we have is real hope.

[00:05:30][music] [00:05:34] [Jamie Schreiber] Each day the Sri Lankansdecorate the backdrop behind the podium with a different theme.

We have two services on the first day of theFeast, and the Sri Lankans are excited to hear the messages of God's coming Kingdom.

[Keith Tomes] It's the beginning of somethingmarvelous that our Father has planned, not just for us but for all of mankind.

[Jamie Schreiber] Special music is a realtreat.

Although it's a smaller Feast site, thereis no lack of music to praise God each day.

[00:06:04][music] [00:06:15] Here we go.

Call.

Tails.

Calls is tails, it's a head.

[Jamie Schreiber] Today is youth day, whichmeans an afternoon of cricket.

One, two, three, four.

They appointed my dad and me to be captains, and we gathered our squads.

[Frank Reckerman] Cricket is fun.

Cricket is fun, so we have the ladies andthe gents, the children included also.

And if we want to get some opportunity toplay cricket.

The fun part is when the brethren who hasnever touched a bat, suddenly has been given on the job training, within minutes, and heare sometimes playing better than the locals.

So, it's advisable to bounce the ball once.

Hopefully closer to the batsman's legs.

That's the best way you can pitch, or we callit bowling.

[Jamie Schreiber] It was a quick explanationof the rules, and we're off.

[00:07:01][music] [00:07:22] Hey.

Good job.

[Wayne Topping]: You'll notice if you keepyour eyes focused on the goal, your life is going to be a lot smoother, a lot more peaceful.

Because if I'm down here, and I'm into reaction, and this is how most people are living their lives, in reaction.

[Jamie Schreiber] After services today, weare headed to one of the most famous sites in the land.

Sigiriya, or Lion Rock.

It's an ancient rock fortress located in CentralProvince, Sri Lanka.

[David Schreiber] Yeah so, we want to tryto be back at the buses by 1:15, that's about two hours from now.

[00:07:59][music] [00:08:12] [Jamie Schreiber] On a small plateau abouthalfway up the side is a gateway in the form of an enormous lion.

This is where the fortress gets its name.

There was a king who built his palace on topof this rock and decorated its sides with beautiful watercolors.

It's quite a challenging trek to get to thetop to see these ruins.

A real test for those with a fear of heights.

.

.

orsnakes.

[00:08:41] [music] [00:08:52] [Jamie Schreiber] The Sri Lankans have a lovefor their international brethren.

Many do not have the opportunities to traveloutside of Sri Lanka, so the Feast is a blessing of friendship.

[Rohan De Silva] Being Sri Lankans, we liveon an island, we don't often get to visit other brethren in different parts of the world, and having them come over to the Feast is often an encouragement.

Hearing of the trials that they go through, circumstances they have had to face, hearing their stories and understanding, you know, things that have gone on in the church.

Their point of view is often something thatwe look forward to hearing.

[Frank Reckerman] The great blessing is thatwe meet each other for every single meal, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a great blessingis to have the activities that are lined up.

Every day is special.

The talent show is special, and of coursewith that comes the richness of God's spiritual word, explained to us by the speakers, theministry that we hold more valuable than physical blessings we have here.

[Virgiania Thamel]: I really enjoy havingthe internationals with us at the Feast.

So we are happy about it.

[Rohan De Silva] Okay, good afternoon, weare just about to leave for an elephant safari at Minneriya National Park.

Now Minneriya is known for its high populationof wild elephants, so you are in for a treat, lets get on board.

[00:10:17] [music] [00:10:35] [David Schreiber] We've been encouraged atthis Feast to go onward.

As Christian soldiers and to fight that battle, and to be a light, to be able to share the truth of God.

We have been rejuvenated with the vision thatGod has given us at this Feast.

We have had a foretaste of that coming Kingdomof peace and of working together.

And so we're really moved and inspired aswe leave this place to go back to our homes and begin to be that light that God wantsus to be, and to proclaim that gospel of His coming kingdom, which is really the hope forall mankind.

[Child] Thank you for this Feast of Tabernacles, and we are so thankful to be here.

Thank you for all our blessings, in Jesus'name we pray, amen.

[Jamie Schreiber] The brethren in Sri Lankaare some of the warmest people we have ever met.

The pure joy they have about the coming kingdomis infectious.

They remind me that we are truly one.

God is working with people from all over theworld.

On this tiny island in the middle of the IndianOcean, He has set apart a group of people who are amazing representatives of the Kingdomwe are anticipating and celebrating, here at the Feast of Tabernacles.

[00:11:46] [music] [00:12:07] [Jamie Schreiber] What happens when you drinkthe chocolate milk? [Child] If you drink it, then you can pedalthe bike.

[Jamie Schreiber] Then you can pedal the bike.

So, drink chocolate milk and you can pedalthe bike.

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