Greetings from Manique Mendis.
Dear Peter Morrison,
Trust you are happy and enjoying the fruits of your recent actions in Sri Lanka.
This is to express my sentiments on the spiritually inspired actions you have taken from the date of your arrival as overseer of the church in our country. These actions culminated yesterday in your banning my daughter, Mahishka, from attending gospel meetings or sitting at fellowship meetings. These privileges were sanctioned by the sister workers who were at our field, when Mahishka discussed with them her marriage to a non-professing person in December 2015.
My sentiments are shared by our extended family and friends who are professing in different parts of the world, among them are elders
I meant to confine my sentiments to you. However, our relatives and friends from other countries have expressed concern over the reaction of your fellow workers, to your actions. Hence I am copying to them and friends as well.
I refer to your exemplary action in showing your buttocks or whatever you prefer to call it to my 88-year-old mother in the presence of her husband who is the elder of the church in the same room that the fellowship meeting takes place. This is indeed a novel gesture for us natives of a third-world country.
You claim that my old parents have forgiven you. Yet it baffles us all on how my mother forgave you, without you ever asking her for forgiveness. You only discussed the matter with my father instead. You told him that you only showed her “half” your backside and you used to do the same to your own mother.
Anyway, I guess this is a unique way that you, as the esteemed overseer would respond to the desperate concerns of a very old lady on why her granddaughter’s issue was totally ignored by you.
Of course, it was a serious concern to an old grandmother that the child’s communion was not addressed even after the lapse of 8 months. The sisters who discussed the matter with her had assured her that she would be able to participate in meetings within 3-6 months. This has been the case with all other professing people who married outside the truth in Sri Lanka.
She did not realize that you are so busy sowing the seed throughout our country. So, the case of one young girl is too trivial to be addressed by you in a country where less than 100 people profess.
You claimed that you showed my mother your buttocks in jest, alleging that she is mentally unstable. I beg to defer in this verdict by you.
Even at the age of 88, my mother continues to teach English literature to students who come to her home. She is a person with high professional credentials and has been the principal of a Government English Teachers Training College. Students will not come to learn from her if her mind is not sound. She also continues to give inspiring testimonies at the fellowship meetings.
Anyway, we are also wondering as to why you summoned my father to your camp the following day. You threatened to remove him from the position of elder post and not bring back the meeting which had been temporarily shifted from their home due to house repairs. However, we have learned from you that it is weakness on the part of us sinners to question the actions of the overseer,
I do not want to discuss the interactions with Mahishka that led to her being put out of fellowship by you. It suffices that you told her clearly that “I am responsible for your salvation”.
We all believed that up to now that it was God who was the judge for our salvation. Now we are enlightened by you otherwise.
Our family is grateful that Mahishka recorded the whole conversation she had over the phone with you. Hence we too can learn from you.
Although you as the wise overseer have taken this step to banish Mahishka from the fold, both her two very old grandmothers, old grandfather, and old grand-aunt are devastated. But we understand that you as the person responsible for the salvation of the friends in Sri Lanka cannot be questioned.
As these old people are nearing their end, I am sure that you are looking forward to presiding over their funerals. You can look forward to inspiring other sinners who will be present at the funerals with your wisdom. However, beware that it is culturally insensitive in Sri Lanka to show off your backside even to the dead.
Mahishka’s husband Dileepa gave an undertaking before marriage to attend all meetings. He also agreed to allow any children they may have to also attend meetings. He is deeply baffled about your conduct.
He stated that if a Buddhist priest acted in the way you did, he would be assaulted by the villagers and banished from the ministry. However, we urged him to understand that your virtue. character and position are beyond human comprehension.
As Dileepa is a very nice young man who demonstrated respect for the workers and our meetings, we had a lot of hope that he would profess. We were optimistic that as a young couple who are among the extremely few young people in the fold in Sri Lanka today, they would have an open home for God’s servants. Such open homes and love for God’s way was a hallmark of four previous generations of our immediate family before Mahishka.
In this context, Mahishka and Dileepa enjoyed the fellowship of Benny and Johanne, whom they invited to their home for dinner with great love and respect even though their home was not quite ready for visitors.
However, we see that you do not want to accommodate those you judge as sinners like Mahishka and Dileepa in the fold in Sri Lanka. This is probably due to the fact that you see a lot of potential in a multitude of spotless souls across the country who are waiting to hear you.
As such, we humbly comply with your wishes with unquestioning obedience and reverence to you. We acknowledge you as the Chief Representative of God and Gate-keeper to heaven, for us poor sinners in this poverty-stricken island.
We will continue to get strength, encouragement and guidance from your eloquent sermons and exemplary life. We count it a great privilege that you have come as the saviour of our country.
With wishes for continued peace, joy and prosperity
Colombo, Sri Lanka
30 August 2016
Peter Morrison didn’t reply to Manique’s email to him; brother worker Garry Protheroe replied:
From: Garry Protheroe
Sent: August 30, 2016
To: Manique Mendis
Cc: Peter Morrison; et al
Subject: Re: Greetings from Manique Mendis
I acknowledge receiving your vindictive e-mail this morning. You’ve had a hard night! I notice in it several inaccurate interpretations of recent events. I notice in it a strong spirit of sarcasm, and I note it is written for the sole purpose of reviling my fellow-laborer before the whole church. The verse that came to my mind after reading your missive was what our Lord and Master said “Blessed are ye when men shall revile and persecute you and say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad for great is your reward in Heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
There is no blessing for the one who reviles, the reviler, but the blessing is for the reviled.
One with the spirit of a little child would never write in such a manner as I have read this morning. The fundamentals of our Christian life are humility and truthfulness and forgiveness. Let us take ourselves back to these lest all we have built into our testimony crumble to eternal destruction.