by Carol Naidu from India,

 Recently, on 1st February 2020, we had a guest from Sri Lanka, named as „Sumitra N. Fernando“ in our volunteers house.

Sumitra is 62 years old and she is a  Reverend and she works in an Organisation of her church, the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka. She works for the orphan kids and widow women. The Church of Dortmund and the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka have a partnership since more than 30 years.

She wants to get retired at the age of 65 and before getting retired she wanted to meet her old friends, therefore, she is in  Germany on her vacation. She arrived on 17th January and will be returning on 10th of February. She wanted to visit out beautiful volunteers house as well so she decided to stay in our house for a day.

On 1st Feb. (Saturday), Sumitra arrived in our house at 15pm. Rachel and me, we took her out for shopping in the city centre  while Dika remained in the house, as he wanted to prepare the dinner for all of us. We also asked Sumitra to try „lassi“- a yoghurt drink from India and „currywurst“ – a very famous German food. Later on when we reached home, Dika’s food was already ready, then Rachel and me we both also cooked some food from our country. Sumitra was very impressed by our food and by our hospitality. She was so happy to meet us all and she also invited us to visit Sri Lanka sometime.

On 2nd February (Sunday), Dika and me took her to Markus Church to visit a service, and then later on we went at Brigit’s (pastor of Lydia congregation and Markus church) house for lunch together with Sumitra, as Brigit was hosting Sumitra at her place. We also got a chance to taste sweet dish and chocolate made by Sumitra.

And then later on I discovered that when Sumitra was young, at the age of 42, she wrote a book named, „Role of a women in conflict situation“. This book is about the hardship and difficulties which women face due to conflict in Sri Lanka. Through this book she wanted to share her faith as a Christian with others, so that they can encounter faith by themselves. She also wanted to encourage others and wanted them to hear the women’s voice, by sharing their stories.

I spoke to Sumitra for a very long time and it made me realise that I have never seen a person who is so kind, selfless, strong, motivated, courageous, sweet, friendly, funny, loving towards everyone. She has completely devoted her life towards the development of the underprivileged kids and widows, towards their better future and a better life. She also thanked UEM and all the church organisation that supported her with the education in United Kingdom and help her in accomplishing her dreams.

Sumitra is not married and she takes care of three kids of her brother who passed away along with his wife. They call Sumitra as Loku mamma, which means big mother.

She wants to continue working after her retirement for the Methodist Church of Sri Lanka after the age of 65 till 70, as a freelancer. So that she can earn some money and save it for her kids for their better future.

Sumitra has left an impact in my life and I was so encouraged and motivated by her.
I hope for good health for her and for her kids and may she be happy. God bless her!