The community of the Risen Lord began as a prayer group of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, in the late 1980’s, at a house down Dharmapala Mawatha, Colombo 3, the then residence of Brother Lalith Perera, the lead coordinator of the community. There were no more than 12 of us at the beginning, but our numbers grew. Shortly afterwards we shifted our operations to a convent down Rhineland Place, where we became a covenant community. A few years after that, we moved out of Rhineland Place and started conducting our weekly prayer meetings at the St. Paul’s Milagiriya Church hall. Although it was during this time that we received the revelation of the four steps, our numbers remained stagnant at around 300 for a long time.
The year 2000 was a significant milestone in our history. Several of our members attended retreats at the Divine Retreat Center, Porta, Kerala and experienced a conversion. Thereafter, our work received a mighty anointing. God led us to Catholic Priests who had visited the Divine Retreat Center and we started working together. We began to experience the fulfillment of the promise in Mark 16:20 as we witnessed God confirming the preached word with signs and wonders. At Wednesday Prayer meetings, miracles such as healings and conversions started occurring during praise and worship. The four step retreats began to touch lives and we began to witness powerful life changing conversions. The attendance at four step retreats began to be counted in multiples of thousand. We did not know where the people came from; as we walked in surrender, He found ways and means to attract people to our meetings.
The Wednesday prayer meeting outgrew successive venues and we subsequently ended up at the St. Peter’s College Hall. The estimated attendance now is around 3,000. We started a Prayer Meeting in Sinhalese at St. Mary's Church Mabole. This meeting now attracts around 10,000 people every week. In addition to these meetings, we conduct several other large scale prayer meetings at outstations such as Negombo, Wennappuwa and Kandy
As our numbers grew, a thirst to serve the Lord began to overcome us. Without our even realizing it, a wide spectrum of ministries sprang up and volunteers came forward to serve with joy. Many professionals, such as managers, accountants and technologists, give of their time and skills to streamline the ministries. The Servers meeting (the core group meeting) now draws an attendance of around 300 Our administrative office, “Tabor” at Ishwari Road, is manned by several full timers.
We have been blessed to witness a huge thirst for God among the catholic clergy in Sri Lanka. Catholic priests and religious work together with us in our outreach programs and regularly attend our retreats and meetings. In April 2007 we conducted a retreat for the priests of the Diocese of Kandy, where we witnessed a mighty anointing of power. We also conducted a five day retreat for seminarians. Despite the retreat being organized exclusively for the OMI order, seminarians from other orders, made special requests and attended this retreat. The love and the thirst these young men, who are about to be ordained Catholic Priests, have to see His glory fall is truly amazing. Recently, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Sri Lanka gave us the responsibility of coordinating the National Priests’ Retreat for 2007. Around 300 Catholic Priests and 2 Bishops attended. Fr. Augustine Vallooran V.C. from the Divine Retreat Center, preached this retreat. Those who were present claim that they had a "glimpse of heaven".
Every week, we send several teams to different parishes all over the country to conduct outreach programs. Our outreach programs are not restricted to conducting retreats and prayer meetings. Talks and retreats are distributed via Audio Tape, CD, DVD and the Internet. On our Knees; In His Hands and Echoes of Emmaus are published monthly. We also conduct programs such as Monthly Bible Studies, Journey Through the Scriptures, Scriptural Way of the Cross, Visits to Divine Retreat Center, and Tours (combined with a retreat) to the Holy Land.
Yes, we are indeed witnessing an unprecedented outpouring of grace. Amidst the aftermath of a bloody war, in the midst of the uncertianity of economic turmoil, the Lord is reaching out to people, touching their lives and yet again confirming that true joy and peace does not lie in favorable circumstances, but by simply being in His presence and touching His heart in worship.