Meeting Jesus at Bethany

Her smile lights up the room and brings warmth to the people she serves. Vigneswary, or Vicky as she is called in English (pictured above), stands encouragingly alongside the young people learning practical skills in the café of the new Creative Business Centre at Bethany Home, in Malaysia.

A special needs teacher, Vicky came to visit Bethany Home six years ago at the invitation of her sister, a long-time teacher there. Brought up in a Hindu family in a Malaysian village, she had heard her sister talk about the amazing care and opportunities given to people with multiple disabilities through the ministry at Bethany (a home of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Malaysia). Vicky came—and stayed.

These days her duties include teaching the older young adults the skills for good customer service, cleanliness, and making sandwiches, cakes, waffles and great coffee.

Lutheran Women of Australia, in partnership with LCA International Mission, have supported the training of the teachers and support staff in annual staff training retreats.

Not only the surrounds and services offered at Bethany have changed in the past six years that Vicky has been at Bethany, but so has Vicky herself, as she has joined in the daily devotions and staff retreats.

Vicky says, ‘Sometimes it is hard, tiring work, but the people at Bethany give me so much joy’.

‘They are keen to learn. They are given hope here, and so am I. There is no difference between me and the people I support. They teach me so much—particularly patience. I came to Bethany as a Hindu, but I have come to meet Jesus. And this is the best thing for me.’

The teachers of Bethany Home in Malaysia give tirelessly of their time and abilities to help children who would otherwise have no hope or future. These teachers are a vital part of the ministry at Bethany. Many teachers have had no formal training for the roles that they undertake. However, through the annual staff development days held over their time at Bethany, the teachers have had the opportunity to grow in understanding and their capacity to teach in these situations. Funds raised by Lutheran Women of Australia support these staff development days.

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

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