“There is a spiritual famine throughout the earth, just as there was a famine in Joseph’s time. However, the Lord’s recovery is a storehouse filled with food, just as Joseph’s storehouses were. We have seen the need among God’s children; therefore, we should rise up and distribute the food in our storehouse.” (The Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1984, vol. 5, “Guidelines for the Propagation of the Lord’s Recovery,” p. 110)
The literature work in Turkey and Sri Lanka is opening up Joseph’s storehouses to feed the Lord’s children.
The translation work for the ministry materials in Turkish started in 2013. Thirty-six titles of ministry books have been published, including the 7 Rhema-distributed books for free distribution, and 108 hymns have been translated into Turkish.
Through the operation of the Turkish Rhema distribution, over 2,000 readers have subscribed for the physical books throughout the whole country. Three local readers got baptized through reading our literature and are having contact with us. A local Christian distributor who has helped us to distribute over 10,000 copies of our literature told us that our books are warmly welcomed by the local and overseas Turkish Christians without any complaints.
A few years ago we met with some Rhema readers in the Black Sea area. One sister enjoys our literature and continues to fellowship with us. She joined the 2019 Balkan Blending Conference with us in Zagreb, Croatia. She has a burden to preach the gospel to her relatives. Recently we visited some Rhema readers in a city in Southeast Turkey. One of them is a very active Christian there. He was saved 8 years ago. He treasures our books and introduces all his Christian friends to subscribe to our Rhema books. He testified that he did not receive enough nourishment in those years but received a lot of feeding and enlightening through reading our books. Another seeking one considered that the Lord sent us to this country purposely to translate these books for them. They both charged us that we must continue this translation work.
The official languages in Sri Lanka are Sinhala and Tamil, and English is widely used for education, scientific, and commercial purposes. As far as ministry translation is concerned, we mainly focus on the Sinhala translation and receive ministry materials in Tamil from India. Currently, there are 3 saints serving full-time on the translation of the Sinhala New Testament Recovery Version, 2 saints serving part-time for the translation of the ministry books and conference and training outlines for the churches, and 5 saints doing the HWMR translation. In addition to 10 ministry book titles, the Life-study of John, the first volume of the Life-study of Luke, and the first volume of the Life-study of Genesis, as well as some materials related to gospel, shepherding and training have been translated. Since the beginning of the translation of the New Testament Recovery Version on May 1, 2021, the translation of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, including the verses, the footnotes, and the outlines has been completed. Two hundred hymns in Sinhala have been translated and 150 of them have been recorded. We also have an audiobook of the Gospel of John.
In order to help the saints have a solid enjoyment of The Holy Word for Morning Revival, some brothers prepare three key points from the HWMR, record them in three languages daily, and then share the audio recordings on the Internet. The prophesying meetings on the Lord’s Day were thus uplifted. Some seekers were even attracted to the meetings after listening to the audio recordings shared by the saints. A weekly video training was also held according to the schedule of HWMR for the saints to directly enter into the speaking of the ministry. Moreover, there are Life-study meetings and meetings for the pursuit of the 96 Lessons during the week. The Lord’s speaking became a great supply to the saints and caused them to be burdened for shepherding and ministry distribution.
Beginning in June of last year, with the help of Rhema co-workers serving in the United States and India, we began to advertise the Sinhala Rhema books on Facebook. After only half a year, 45,721 readers have browsed our Facebook page. Among them, 30 have expressed that they liked our page very much, and 1,413 have posted comments, although most of them were negative due to Sri Lanka being a predominantly Buddhist country. However, what is very encouraging to us is that 2,651 people have left complete information and were willing to subscribe to our publications. In February of last year, we received 1,000 copies of the first volume of Tamil Rhema booklets from India and 200 copies were distributed. The churches have also printed 200 copies each of the 7 Sinhala Rhema books for distribution. Through the coordination in the Body and the Lord's arrangement in the environment, we can now continue to contact and shepherd these open seekers using the translated ministry materials.
A seminary teacher in Triconmalee received the books, The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures and the biography of Watchman Nee. After reading them, he was deeply touched. As he was very hungry for the Lord’s Word, the saints gave him a set of A Pattern of the Healthy Word (96 Lessons). He carefully studied the truth among us and was fully subdued. As a result, he left the denomination and turned to the Lord's recovery. He is opening his house for meetings and coordinating with the brothers in his locality to serve the Lord.
Two years ago, a seeking sister in Galewela, who had been troubled by a chronic disease, came across and read the ministry books and was attracted. After reading The Holy Word for Morning Revival, The Economy of God, and The All-inclusive Christ, she shared the truth she enjoyed with believers meeting in the same denomination. Six months ago, she requested some brothers to go and help them. Through the shepherding of the co-workers, 15 people have been baptized. Now they have morning revival and study the truth every day with the hope that a golden lampstand can be established this year.
Through the introduction of the saints, two young girls in Ella joined the young people's Bible reading group during their summer vacation. By reading the Bible in the morning and the spiritual books in the afternoon, they finished the first volume of Truth Lessons, the first volume of the Life Lessons, and the Gospel of the John with footnotes. Such reading, prayer, and fellowship resulted in a big change in their disposition. They used to quarrel much and engage in worldly entertainment such as dancing and movies. However, by being touched by the Lord, they become obedient to their parents and have peace with each other. Their parents were so surprised that they want to know what the teaching among us was. Through their contact with the brothers and their reading of the ministry titles, they were convinced by the truth. They not only turned to the Lord’s recovery but also brought some saints who met with them in the denominations into the church life. The church in their locality was established in January 2021. Praise the Lord!
A pastor in Kelaniya felt limited in his knowledge of the truth and went to various denominations to learn the truth. He also came once to our midst and was so touched by the message he heard. He started to study our books carefully and was totally subdued by the truths. A year and half ago, he invited the co-workers to share the truth with his congregation. He also highly appreciated The Holy Word for Morning Revival and The Economy of God and encouraged his congregation to read them. After half a year, in December 2020, the entire congregation of about 20 saints turned to the Lord’s recovery. Now they continue steadfastly in having daily morning revival, enjoying the Lord, and participating in church activities. Praise God!
A published message can have a great effect simply by “flowing” into a home and reaching someone whom we do not know…The value of the publications lies in the fact that their effect is long lasting and widespread…Many local churches have been raised up through the publications. At first the recovery spread through saints contacting people and introducing the recovery to them, but eventually the seeking ones have received benefit directly from the publications. (CWWL, 1984, vol. 5, “The Faithful and Diligent Spreading of the Truth—Concerning the Publication Service,” pp. 216, 218)