Blessings of Lessons with Singing Angels

After volunteering at the largest Lutheran seminary in Indonesia in 2014, Marilyn (Mal) and John Morgan returned in July and August this year to serve as volunteer English teachers at the Bible Frau School at Laguboti, North Sumatra.

It seemed as though we had been driving for hours through the forests and in the mountains of North Sumatra, in Indonesia. We really had no idea what to expect, other than that we were going to teach for a month at the Bible Frau near Lake Toba.

It was an all-girls college, with about 100 students—and that was the most specific piece of knowledge we had.

No-one we knew had been there before. It was a first for LCA International Mission.

And, although we didn’t know it, our Indonesian hosts had not had volunteer teachers before and also didn’t know what to expect.

After a trip that took most of the day, we arrived at a smallish campus in a smallish village. We were delighted, as we feel more at home in the country than in the city.

Two students introduced themselves. They had been assigned by the principal to look after us during our stay.

Roslinda, the principal, had spent three years in Germany so it was very easy to relate to her. With the help of the girls, she maintained a very tidy campus. Her timetable was well organised and ran smoothly.

We taught for three one-and-a-half hour lessons from Monday to Friday, mainly to the 37 first-year students, but the program also included a few lessons to the second- and third-year girls, and several to the adults.

The adults included members of the teaching staff, the office worker, nearby ministers and women working out in the mission field.

Our accommodation was in the guest house. Wow! A whole house with two western-style toilets and a hot shower. We were not expecting this! It did take us a week to work out how to run the hot water through the shower, though, and John inadvertently lost a sock when it got sucked down the loo!

We made our own breakfast, ate with the girls at lunchtime, and the evening meal was delivered to our house.

Roslinda told us proudly that the girls sing like angels; then in the same breath added that they get up at 4.30am to start their cleaning and cooking chores, do their exercises and practise the organ!

And so our day started with the clang-clang-clang of the 4.30 wake-up bell followed soon after by the organ recitals and Zumba music that rang throughout the neighbourhood.

Prior to chapel at 7.30am the girls had choir practice, and yes, sing like angels they do! They all love to sing and there were not many hours during the day when the sound of their beautiful voices was not heard somewhere on the campus.

All the students were a delight to teach and we had a lot of fun capitalising on their love of singing, using visual cues, role plays, discussions and quizzes to encourage speaking and listening, as well as reading and writing activities.

Their sense of humour came to the fore at the farewell party they put on for us when they introduced Mr John and Mrs Mal as two puppets, and took us off to a tee.

During our month at the Bible Frau we experienced unconditional love and felt very blessed to be able to share our God-given gifts with these wonderful people.

We were thrilled to be asked to come again next year, and this we will be delighted to do, if at all possible.

This story was also published in the November 2015 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.

If you would like to consider the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in mission, serving in practical ways, teaching English, teaching in the seminaries and institutions of our partner churches, or in local churches, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email For more information, go to

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