Wednesday, July 10
Photo: Thomas John
The Kalpitiya Islands are an integral part of Sri Lanka’s beautiful landscape. Yet 1,500 fisher families living there will soon be displaced by the government as part of its agenda to turn these islands into a tourist destination. The famous Dutch Bay, a narrow strip of land that divides the sea from the lagoon, is a wonder of God’s creation. It is covered with thick mangrove forests. Any human intervention can upset its delicate balance and create havoc. The Bar Reef—a system of coral reefs off the shore from Sri Lanka’s Kalpitiya peninsula—is another important landmark close to this region. The Joining Hands network in Sri Lanka, Praja Abhilasha, has been working with the fishing community to prevent another “tsunami,” this time created by human avarice.
First Kings chapter 21 narrates the story of how a king’s fancy to turn a vineyard into a vegetable garden results in the murder of Naboth and the forceful appropriation of his land. In Naboth’s worldview, land is a gift from God and an ancestral inheritance, but in King Ahab’s worldview land is a commodity that can be exchanged for its value in money. In today’s world, we are confronted with the clash of these two worldviews. Many Naboths around the world are paying with their lives to protect their land, livelihood, and ecosystem.
—Rev. Thomas John, companionship facilitator, Joining Hands, and former coordinator, Young Adult Volunteer program, South India
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray
O God, we marvel and wonder at the beauty of your creation. We, in our avarice and selfishness, appropriate and destroy it. Forgive us of our cupidity and help us to join hands with all those who strive to protect God’s beautiful creation. Amen.