Dear [Friends in Sri Lanka], Having suffered in silence for the last one and a half years, I am finally communicating with you as God in his mercy has enabled truth to prevail.
The attached letter signed by Mr. Clifford Fedirchuk (Overseer) and Mr. Peter Morrison (Missionary) of the Undenominational Christian Mission, on their official Letter-head, dated 30th January 2017 is self-explanatory. While everything has been witnessed by God, this letter was also signed in the presence of an Attorney-at-law. It negates terrible accusations spread locally and internationally that Lionel Silva and I, as Honorary Trustees, have been stealing mission money in the Snell Trust, entrusted to us to safeguard.
I professed in the year 1985, having heard the gospel through Aunty Mary [David]. At that time, I discovered that my father Leslie Mendis, had professed in 1937. However, he left after he found out that the then Senior Worker, Mr. Jack Trigg who brought the gospel to our land, had sexually molested young boys in professing homes. When my father questioned the workers, they denied this. Later, Jack Trigg himself left the country in shame, without telling anyone, admitting the crime committed.
Anyway, I professed in 1985. Subsequently, my father and other family members professed. My father was appointed as Elder by Senior Worker Harry Morgan who knew all about his past. The fellowship meeting was held in our home in Moratuwa for thirty years.
Over the years there have been many disturbing happenings that we unquestioningly accepted, starting in 1999, with the Elder who replaced my father, Professor Dayantha Wijesekera, having an extramarital affair with my sister-in-law. This resulted in breaking-up my brother’s family.
We also witnessed workers whom we loved and respected suddenly leaving the country–Lloyd Haughan, David Brough, Philippa Scheib, Yasmin, Basith, Elaine Parsons, Craig Wilson and Jocelyn Dippy. We were perplexed and grieved. Yet, we did not question.
The unbearable pain finally struck me and my family when we realized that after the arrival of Peter Morrison, Uncle John and Aunty Mary whom we loved and respected were being persecuted. Malicious stories against them were being spread. Aunty Mary, who had left an affluent home 62 years ago for God’s work, was to be sent to a Buddhist Elders Home. A place with meagre facilities and a culture alien to her.
As someone who has always stood for truth and justice, I challenged this. Uncle John was being forced against his will to leave Sri Lanka, where he had labored for over 60 years. They did not want to permit him to end his life on our soil in peace, like his predecessor, Uncle Harry Morgan. At the same time, Uncle John was diagnosed with Cancer. Doctors declared that it is not advisable for him to travel overseas.
Yet, Peter Morrison wanted Uncle John out of the country. He spread a story among professing friends that Uncle John was not suffering from Cancer. To make it impossible for Uncle John to remain, he suddenly took Muni, our professing brother who has been lovingly caring for Uncle John, away to Balangoda, leaving Uncle John helpless. Peter Morrison told Muni’s own children the diabolical lie that Muni had sexually abused Priyanthi, Aunty Mary’s nurse.
Having contacted Muni, I discovered that this was another despicable conspiracy. No inquiry had been conducted. Hence Lionel Silva and I together, took action to bring Muni back to Colombo. Peter Morrison and his companion, Benny Minnar, were invited to Lionel’s office. We questioned them in the presence of Muni and his daughter. Peter Morrison finally admitted the truth and apologized to Muni for the false accusations levelled against him, in the presence of all.
Since then, my family and I have been victims of malicious slander. A Hate Campaign was launched against us locally and internationally amongst our lifelong friends, and extended family in Sri Lanka and overseas.
In addition to the Hate Campaign, the following are some of the specific acts of vengeance that were carried out against me and my family by Peter Morrison and his companions:
1. My daughter Mahishka was not allowed to partake of the emblems for eight months since marrying a Buddhist— violating the understanding she was given by the sister workers who told Mahishka in the presence of her husband, that she would be restored in 3-6 months if she attended meetings regularly, which she did.
2. Insulting my elderly mother-in-law, Mrs. Gem Karunaratne, when she asked him about her granddaughter’s Communion in the presence of her husband, Mr. Bandu Karunaratne, the Elder of the Church in Nugegoda and Benny Minnar. At this incident, Peter Morrison stood in front of her chair, bent down at the waist and pointed to his buttocks, and said, “If you’re angry with me, give me a kick on my backside.”
3. Few days later, summoning my father–in–law to the Workers Camp and threatening to remove him from his Eldership and remove the meeting from their home without giving a reason. The only obvious reason is that he confided in me as son-in-law and Manique, as his daughter, all what happened.
4. Going to my daughter’s home straight after the fellowship meeting and ordering Dileepa, Mahishka’s Buddhist husband who was also attending meetings, to tell Mahishka not to attend meetings anymore.
5. Setting up my dear friend and respected Elder, Rikmal Soyza, to interrogate me in an unfriendly tone as I was entering his home for the fellowship meeting with Aunty Mary, with a false accusation that I have prevented workers in Sri Lanka from getting their visas. Due to God’s grace, I managed to control myself, having told him that his behavior is unbecoming of an Elder towards someone who is attending the Fellowship Meeting. Having said that, I stayed in my car in the garden till the meeting ended, and took Aunty Mary back to her home, as she was depending on me for transport.
6. Accusing me over the phone the following day (Monday) of having reported against the workers at the Visa office, claiming that Leon Jayasinghe had overheard me talking against the workers to an official at the Immigration Office with whom I had a meeting. Coincidently, at the same time, Peter and Benny happened to be at the office with Leon and his wife. On this day, I greeted Peter Morrison when I saw him. As someone working in the Public sector, I have meetings in many Government offices, the Immigration being just one of many. There is no way that anyone can eavesdrop on a meeting in a private office room of a senior official in a place with tight security. However, without any evidence or inquiry in the presence of Leon for me to prove my innocence, I was condemned as guilty and ordered over the phone by Peter Morrison to stop coming for meetings. I was excommunicated having unreasonably accused me.
7. Confronting my 88-year-old mother, Mrs. Miriam Mendis, who is in ill health, straight after a Fellowship Meeting at Koralawella, and disturbing her peace by telling her that I will be punished by God for committing evil, resulting in her weeping in front of him.
8. Garry Prothero tried to poison my own mother against me by sending her a letter (copy attached) alleging that I am giving preference over her (my mother) to Aunty Mary, by taking Aunty Mary, who lives close to my home in Mirihana, to the Fellowship Meeting in my car, instead of coming all the way to Moratuwa to take my mother for meetings. My mother has two other sons with families living very close to her. Moreover, her health does not permit her to travel long distances for meetings. I am motivated by love and gratitude to provide transport to Aunty Mary to attend the Fellowship Meetings, as her fellow workers do not make any arrangements for her. It brings great joy to my mother, who has the same love and gratitude to Aunty Mary, that her son, who although excommunicated from the Fold, continues to help Aunty Mary, who is now helpless, being marginalized and neglected by her fellow workers.
I thank God that after having been subject to severe stress and sorrow for so long, my name has finally been cleared. Truth has prevailed over those who accused me of being dishonest.
I am sharing this with you as you are someone whom I have loved and associated with for a long time. I pray that you will never suffer like my family and I did, for standing up for truth. I believe the main reason for their persecution is that I have cared for and safeguarded two feeble and elderly workers who have done so much for all of us in Sri Lanka and are now in poor health. I thank God for his strength that has enabled me to do this.
The lesson we learned is that as long as you are indifferent and turn a blind eye to the atrocities of those who call themselves God’s Servants, you will be alright. Yet beware…You too may someday be personally affected and may experience similar or even worse pain and sorrow.
If that should be your experience, I encourage you to turn to God and put all your faith and trust in Him. He will keep you and love you and bless you to the end.
My faith in God is stronger than ever. My family and I feel closer to God than we did previously. Although Peter Morrison and colleagues have tried their best to do irreparable damage to us, we do not harbor anger against any of the workers and friends as we face the future in God’s care.
Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
7th February, 2017
Click Here to read Dr. Mendis’ wife’s exit letter, Manique Mendis
Click here to view a photocopy of the following typed letter dated January 30, 2017, by Clifford Fedirchuk, Overseer of Sri Lanka and Pakistan and Clifford Morrison, Head Worker of Sri Lanka.
Undenominational Christian Mission
Since 1927 in Sri Lanka (Ceylon)
134/2 A, Stanley Tilaakeratne(sic) Mawatha
Nugegoda 10250 Sri Lanka
January 30, 2017
Mr. Lionel D C Silva Trustee – Snell Trust
Dr. Mahim Mendis Trustee – Snell Trust
Mr. Andrew Blair Trustee – Snell Trust
Confirmation that All Matters Connected with the SNELL TRUST have been Managed According to Stipulated Legal Requirements
The Members of the Clergy belonging to the Undenominational Christian Mission officially located at Number 134/2A, Stanley Thilakaratne Mawatha, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka, have carefully gone through all the relevant documents relating to the above mentioned Trust and hereby confirm the following:
(a) The Trustees have duly submitted the relevant documents for independent verification as requested by Mr. Clifford, Overseer of the said Mission and Missionary based in Sri Lanka, namely, Mr. Peter Morrison
(b) The Trustees have ensured that the legal requirements relating to Auditing of Accounts have been carried out through a reputed Auditing Organization, namely, M/s. Hemachandra & Company to our satisfaction.
(c) The work of the Trustees has been above board ever since they have been appointed to fulfill related responsibilities and confirm that properties and Bank Accounts coming under the Trust have been managed to our satisfaction.
(d) We confirm that Mr. John Robert Blair and Miss Mary David will be permitted to reside at the Melder House located at No. 134/1, Stanley Thilakarathne(sic) Mawatha, Nugegoda, till the end of their lives.
(e) We thank the three Trustees for undertaking this Honorary Tasks in accordance with the Constitution of the SNELL TRUST, and carrying out their mandate in an honorable manner without any questionable conduct and any MISAPPROPRIATION OF FUNDS.
Signed: Clifford Fedirchuk, Overseer
Undenominational Christian Mission Christian Mission
Signed: Mr. Peter Morrison, Missionary
Undenominational Christian Mission
January 30, 2017
The declarants having understood and admitting the contents here of to be true and correct signed at Colombo on 30th January, 2017.
T. A. Wickramashinghe
January 30, 2017
Attorney at Law
Commissioner of Oaths
Letter by Brother Worker Garry Protheroe from QLD Australia laboring in Sri Lanka, dated January 31, 2013, to Mahim Mendis’ mother, Miriam. Click here to view a photo copy of this letter
January 31, 2017
Dear Aunty Miriam,
I wanted to send you a quick line before I go to send you some jottings from the convention since you missed it. I feel very sorry when I think of the situation you are in. I remember you in my prayers every day. It puzzles me as to why Mahim is so keen to help Aunty Mary get to meetings but does not want to help you, his own mother to get to the meetings. I hope you keep well. Bennie has been struggling with the after effects of the cold he got during convention and went again to see the Dr yesterday. It sure seems to take a lot to shake it off.
I am leaving for my visit to Australia on Thursday night. I will have the day in Kuala Lumpur where I expect to catch up with Aunty Chella and other workers there before flying on Friday night to Australia.
Uncle John has been in hospital the last few days to get some more blood. His Hemoglobin had gone down. He says he hasn’t felt much benefit from it yet.
I’m enclosing a copy of some jottings I took from convention they are not very comprehensive, but better than nothing. I do hope this new year will be a year of settling and restoration for you all and you will be able to get out to all the meetings again. Keep a strong connection with the true vine Christ don’t be deceived by those not willing to fulfill the conditions of God’s righteousness in their own lives. May you have a spiritually prosperous year in 2017. Greetings to Vipul and Seetha.
Love and Greetings in Christ,