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One of the questions people always ask me is, “How did this happen? Why is your viarage in Sri Lanka?”

I try to give an honest answer. I tell them the whos and the whats—how Grace and I filled out paperwork for missionary candidacy, how, when we learned Sri Lanka was the option and spoke with the missionaries involved there, we decided that this was a good fit for us, how we accepted the appointment we received on Call Day.

But this week, during New Missionary Orientation, I realized that the answer I had been giving all this time was wrong. Why is our vicarage in Sri Lanka? It’s not my doing. Our vicarage is in Sri Lanka because God opened a door and answered a prayer.

Ever since I decided to study music in college, I’ve been hoping and praying that I would be able to use music in my ministry. Throughout college, my love of music deepened while my resolve to pursue the Holy Ministry heightened. Then, after our first year at seminary, God answered a prayer and opened a door. Saint John’s Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, Colorado, eighty miles from my home, offered me a summer internship that combined music and ministry. God brought our family to a place where I could serve Christ joyfully, with the talents he’s given me, in a place that needed me.

God opened a door and answered a prayer. Now He’s doing it again. While I learn how to be a pastor on my vicarage in Sri Lanka, I will also serve with music. The Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church needs help seeing music’s potential for the church. Through music I’ll be working with our partner church to teach the faith, praise the Lord and uplift the soul.

Isolated in a Buddhist nation, the Sri Lankan Christians need the encouragement, refreshment and Christian confidence that church music can give. We give thanks that God is sending us, through you, our dear brothers and sisters in His Son. God works through His church—through His people—to bring Christ to the world!

Vicar Benjamin and Grace Vanderhyde serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as missionaries in Sri Lanka. In his role as vicar, Benjamin trains up musicians to serve the Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church while assisting the other LCMS missionaries serving in Sri Lanka with their work and learning from them. You can read more about the Vanderhydes at