God can use our gifts for His good

Never be surprised how God will use you! After both my children had participated in mission trips I felt God had put on my heart to one day be involved in His service overseas. Earlier this year, I received a message from Erin from LCA International Mission, asking if I would be interested in helping the Lutheran Church in Cambodia with bookkeeping.  God had a plan, but I never envisaged it would involve using my experience as a bookkeeper not only in my congregation and parish, but also in Cambodia.

‘Trust in me,’ God said. ‘I have it all planned.’ He reminded me of this when, on arrival in Phnom Penh, I found myself lost in a tuk tuk late in the evening. I trusted Him and thanks to an English-speaking driver and technology, I eventually arrived safely at my hotel. God’s plans included my visit coinciding with visits to Cambodia by Erin and Nevin from LCA International Mission and Bishop Terry Kee from the Lutheran Church in Singapore. Their ‘coincidental’ presence proved helpful in regard to the work I was to do.

My role was to help the Lutheran Church in Cambodia with bookkeeping, but in doing so, I received many blessings. I spent the majority of time at City Church, Phnom Penh, which includes tertiary students housed at Rainbow Hostel. The opportunity to worship, commune and participate in weekly gatherings and prayer with the church, was a privilege. It was amazing to see the hostel youth involvement in worship and watch their faces light up as they talked about their faith journeys.

I was able to see and experience Christian church planting and mission in Cambodia with visits to the Lutheran centres at Phum Krus and Kandal. Ministry centres and places of worship were established in these villages to connect with children through teaching English for an hour after School, and with adults through the provision of medical clinics. It was amazing to have the opportunity to see the commitment of the staff and their love for God and the children they were teaching. I was also privileged to visit the Boys Brigade Learning Centre near Siem Reap, where dedicated Christian staff taught English after school to up to two hundred children who were enrolled.

Serving God in Cambodia was a blessing to my spiritual life, providing me with a renewed vision of mission and a broader understanding of how to share His love in real and practical ways. The Lutheran Church in Cambodia is blessed with support from some Lutheran churches from across the world who offer financial assistance and provide volunteers to assist in the programs they run. God takes what we have and uses it for His good. Being open to His calling can provide both surprises and blessings – and I am truly thankful that He called me!

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 nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au. For more information, go to http://www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/volunteer/

Read more stories about volunteering at www.lcamission.org.au/category/join-gods-mission/volunteers/