Learning to be Partners in Mission

In March this year, seven Australian Lutheran schools (Victory College Wodonga, Faith College Tanunda, Tanunda Lutheran Primary, Unity College Murray Bridge, Endeavour College Mawson Lakes and St Martins College Mt Gambier) sent educators for a visit with LCA International Mission to explore the possibility of partnerships with Indonesian Lutheran schools. Judy Minge was a participant on this journey.

Our week-long itinerary in North Sumatra had taken us to a significant number of Lutheran schools. We had seen many students, sitting up straight at their desks and keen to greet us with their limited English. Our guides and the English teachers in the schools had translated for us, allowing us to ask questions and understand responses from the students. As I walked into the Grade 6 class at SD Swasta GKPS 1 school I expected a similar experience.

Looking at the eager faces, I spoke to one of the teachers present and asked if I could talk to the students. It very quickly became apparent that she did not speak much English. Wondering how I would manage, the teacher pointed to a young girl in the front row, who reluctantly came forward.

I asked her if she could translate for me and she responded that she would try. What followed was 10 minutes of sharing about my life in Australia, the students’ lives in Indonesia and their dreams and ambitions. The Grade 6 student translated my questions and the responses of her classmates. An amazing young girl!

Her name is Rachael and she is 11 years old, living in Siantar, North Sumatra, Indonesia. As I spoke with her I learned a little about her life. Her parents are both lecturers at one of the local universities and she has been learning English since Grade 2. Her mastery of the language in the short time she has been learning is incredible.

Rachael’s ambition in life is to live in Australia and be the Indonesian ambassador. She loves her school because the teachers and students are kind. In fact, everyone in her school is friendly. And best of all, Rachael knows and loves Jesus and knows he is always there to help her. ‘He really loves me and I pray to him every night’, she says.

What a blessing it was to meet this young girl on our principals and teachers visit to the schools of the Lutheran churches in Indonesia.

This story was also published in the August 2017 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.

If your school would like to know more about how they can connect to the mission of God through a LCA International Mission service-learning and ministry partnership, you are invited to phone Erin on (08) 8267 7300 or email erin.kerber@lca.org.au. For more information, go to www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/service-learning/

Read more stories about school partnerships and school service-learning at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/local-partners/schools/