At Habarana in the North Central Province in Sri Lanka, 54 brethren celebrated yet another wonderful Feast of Tabernacles. Habarana Village by Cinnamon lies sprawled across 27 acres of luxuriant land bordering a stunning lake. The hotel's cozy cottages lie in clusters with low clay-tiled roofs and brownish-yellow wall exteriors.
The brethren stayed in a village-type environment next to each other in two clusters of rooms. The fellowship and unity throughout the Feast were outstanding. Brethren prioritized attending daily services at the conference hall “Gam Sabha” (meaning village council) to listen to and digest God’s Word. Inspired spiritual messages were so compelling and enriching to the brethren. We are very thankful to the men who delivered these messages. The two pre-recorded messages from president Rick Shabi on the opening night and mid-week were thought-provoking. The special music provided by the local and visiting brethren was uplifting and beautifully done. The ambience of the conference hall, with lovely flower decorations and curtaining, enhanced the festive mood.
In the evenings, some brethren would take a stroll around the lake at the rear of the hotel to watch the sun go down beyond the hills. The occasional gusts of wind and forest trees were cooling to those who wanted to relax around the large green premises. Brethren enjoyed the treehouse, watching monkeys and rock squirrels at the end of the lake at sundown. Observing and listening to the birds singing as they returned to their nests in the trees was amazing. All glory and honor belong to our Creator God whose creation we can only marvel at with awe.
The brethren served one another with gladness. The Feast team went above and beyond their duties. Younger and older brethren jointly contributed; teamwork and unity were very evident throughout the Feast.
Very early in the morning, the fit and adventurous brethren challenged themselves by climbing the Pidurangala Rock. Pidurangala is a massive rock formation located a few kilometers north of Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Climbing to the top of Pidurangala Rock is more strenuous than climbing Sigiriya. However, a few overseas brethren challenged themselves by taking on Sigiriya successfully later in the day.
One evening, many of the brethren took a safari in five trucks in the Kaudulla National Park. It was a great opportunity to spot herds of elephants in their natural habitats. The two-hour safari brought so much fun and awe of God’s creation.
The participation of almost all of the brethren in the events such as cricket, family day, variety show, siteseeing, safari and rock climbing was delightful. Daily Feast services and the Bible study were attended enthusiastically.
This Feast was one that will be remembered by the brethren for a long time. The local and overseas brethren made good friendships and connections with one another. We thank our Father God and Elder Brother Jesus Christ for Their blessing in supplying our every need (Philippians 4:19).