Our Lord uses ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances to turn to him and experience his ever-extraordinary LOVE towards his creation! We declare this because we are just ordinary people living in New York / New Jersey /Massachusetts area and we used to live relatively normal lives as traditional Catholics. We thought we did our duty towards our religious faith by going to church, offering novenas and doing the usual rituals any Catholic would do. Although we thought we could be content merely with that, we were proved wrong by our Lord. We started seeking him in a new and different way.
As Catholics we often ask God to fulfill our material needs, desires and other requirements based on the way we perceive life. However, when the Lord Jesus does not provide answers the way we desire, suddenly we feel disappointed. We may even question why God is turning away from us! It is necessary to examine our inner faith to see how close we are to the Lord and to find out what our Creator desires from us. Frequently we are living with a worldly point of view and do not have the time or the awareness to be in the real presence of the Lord. Only thru actual communion with the Lord is the blessing, guidance and spiritual nourishment of God poured upon us—enabling us to lead a peaceful life.
This is exactly what happened to a few of us. Some of our normal lives were turned either upside down or changed in a completely new direction. We started looking for Jesus in a deeper manner.
I met this extraordinary girl Chamika who has been following the path of the community of Risen Lord for quite a few years in Colombo before coming to New York. In New York we were part of a community where we have devotions to the Blessed Mother and celebrate the May feast in traditional Sri Lankan style. In 2009 while preparations were under way for the novenas, suddenly my near perfect life (so I thought at the time) was turning topsy-turvy. I did not know what really came upon me!
Now, looking back, I know it was the mighty hand of our Lord. Previously I had been in a cat and dog race chasing after one ambition after another. The Lord gave me a groovy bump to stop my materialistic approach towards life. In my desperate situation I tried to get help from various ways including powerful priests. I offered every novena in the book but nothing helped. Everything was falling on deaf ears and no body was able to help.
But suddenly I remembered Chamika who told me about the Community of Risen Lord. She wanted me to get together with her to start a prayer group. Something sparked inside me. I started to watch all the videos of the services at Mabole and St. Peter’s College available on the world-wide web. I began to understand little by little what God’s plan for me was going to be. So with Mother Mary’s statue in hand together with my family I went to pray at Chamika’s home. I voiced to her that we need to start the prayer group as fast as possible. The date was set immediately. We did not know how we were going to accomplish it but we totally depended upon the Holy Spirit to guide us.
That same week, Sherene (who is another friend whom we met thru the devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary) phoned me up and explained how she watches the services on the internet Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Though she was unsure how I would feel about it, nevertheless she put the story across in the most touching manner. She mentioned whether we could start up a prayer group also. Although from the start of her conversation my heart knew where exactly she was heading, I wanted her to complete her part of the story which was a real enjoyment for me to hear. At the end of it I mentioned to her that the date is already set. However, I was not sure how to approach her. Both of us could not help laughing and an instant bond was made by the Lord.
Then comes the most powerful member of our group who Lord gave us. Her name is Chitra. She is the most simple, unassuming person I have ever met in my life. She has been part of the Kandy group for many years prior to migrating to the U.S.
One day, while Chitra was watching the services ‘live’ online, someone had posted the contact numbers of the Toronto group. Chitra jotted them down. Chitra who did not have any Sri Lankan friends living closer to her home was missing the CRL very much. She was praying to the Lord to pave the way to start up a group in the U.S. as well. Contact numbers of the Toronto group was an opening for Chitra who started communicating to them. Once Sherene mentioned to the Toronto group about us starting the prayer group, Chitra’s information was given to Sherene. Sherene in turn contacted Chitra to join us on the first meeting held on April 04th 2009. Since then Chitra has become our cornerstone in Christ. She guides and strengthen us thru ardent prayer.
Looking back, can any body think that these four incidents are mere coincidences? No not at all!!! There is definitely God’s glorious plan in the works! Praise the Lord for the unveiling and making us cross each other’s paths at this point of time! All four of us fit so well—l like hand in glove— as we try to make the journey to the heart of Jesus with friends, family, neighbours and the Sri Lankan Community in our areas. It is no doubt that from the beginning it has been ‘ MARY – RABBOUNI- GO’ which is an amazing experience for us. We greatly attribute this to our Blessed mother thru whom we all met and for Her silent intercession!
At first we were very nervous and did not know how to start or carry out the first meeting but depended on our Lord to lead us. We got help from the Toronto group to start up on the 4th of April 2009 and later was led by the “Take me Higher’ CD” to continue and wrap-up the first meeting deeply in the presence of our Lord.
Subsequently, through the intercessory prayers and powerful leading that Chitra received from the Lord, our new group was directed towards the leadership of Anusha and Lal of the Melbourne group. This is where the greater transformation took place and we were led in prayer and worship to our Lord. In just a few months we have grown immensely in faith and our lives have been touched in numerous ways. Our journey with the Lord is fruitful in all aspects of our lives and the experiences that we have had in this short span of time cannot be expressed in one write-up. Most of you who would have heard or read the testimonies may know by now how deeply touched we are by the presence of the Lord in our day to day lives. All Glory and honour to our Lord Jesus for the fabulous NEW LIVES given to all of us. We can proclaim ourselves as happy, joyful and full of love in Christ! As the scripture says “our lives have been crucified and we no longer live but Christ lives in us”.
At the start we were a gathering of merely 10-15 people who were mostly family. We are indeed fast growing. At present for the monthly worship we have 40-50 people from all denominations. We are amazed by the works of His mighty hand and the thirst is bringing us deeper and deeper into his loving Presence.
Our mission is to spread the love of Lord Jesus across America so that everyone will be touched by his unending love through which lives will be transformed!!! As a stepping stone towards this mission we leave in the hands of the lord to lead and guide us towards the Four Step Retreat in the near future!
We remain in the presence of our Lord for the great unveiling!!!
My brothers and sisters in the Risen Christ; let us give Praise to the Lord in all circumstances. This is all we have to do and this is the only thing which is expected from us!!!
Group of - New York/New Jersey/Massachusetts - USA
Phone : Nilmini Abeysekera - 347-694 9624 / Lucky Wijewardena - 516-457 9980 / Sherene Ranasinghe - 646- 258 4820 / Rasanga Perera - 917-582 9154
1) Date: Every 2nd Saturday of the month
Time : 7pm
Venue : St.Nicholas of Tolentine R.C.Church - Chapel
150-75 Goethals Avenue, Jamaica NY 11432
2) Date : Every 3rd Saturday of the month
Time : 7pm
Venue : advised every month on 2nd / pls contact us