Miracles from Malaysia to Australia

Walking up Archer Street in North Adelaide, Mr. Jayasingh Rajiah said with sincere enthusiasm, ‘this ALC scholarship is a miracle for me’. This is a surprise – a man, who is a miracle to so many others, finds a miracle here in Adelaide!

You see, for 21 years, Jayasingh drove his car to Bethany Home (Malaysia) for work and even though he’d retired, he realised that his car had not forgotten the way. He found himself at Bethany, for one reason or another, more often than not and I’m guessing that he’s not alone in retirement, asking this question; ‘what does God want me to do now?’

He asked himself over and over, and found himself thinking of Bethany again and again – until that thought pattern was changed by a Sabbatical Scholarship at the Australian Lutheran College (ALC).

This was a miracle for Jayasingh, an epiphany; this is what God wanted him to do and all he had to do was let go of Bethany – which is easier said than done, as his relationship with Bethany also began with a miracle.

Way back in 1992, when he was offered the position of Director at Bethany Home, Jayasingh faced inner turmoil. He continually fought off the idea of accepting this job; doubting his ability as a family man and provider, doubting his ability as a director and doubting God.

His wife, Lucie, stepped in with some well-placed words, reminding him of the story of Jonah and with it, Jayasingh’s sense of fear evaporated, ‘I felt God all around me and I knew what I should do’, he said fondly and graciously accepted the job.

For the Director of Bethany Home, funding is a high priority. The Malaysian Government subsidise a portion of expenses, but the remainder is left for the Bethany Home Management to source. This is done a variety of ways, including regular donors such as the Lutheran Women of Australia (LWA), Immanuel College in Adelaide, St. Stephen’s School in Perth, Evangelical Lutheran Churches and many individuals, churches, organisations and companies.

Jayasingh talked about a staff meeting when he felt at his lowest – after much stress over this broadening gap in funding, ‘I told them at the meeting, ‘my faith is at zero, I cannot provide the money we need to continue’, and he held up a fist to indicate a big zero.

Continuing on, he said, ‘God answered me through a lady staff member at the meeting, who said, “who are you to provide? God provides, let us pray”, so we did and the donations began to come in within 24 hours!’ He said incredulously, ‘at first I didn’t believe it and I tucked the cheques away … not daring to look at them, but by the third one, I realised that God had provided, it was another miracle’.

‘Fear left me again, I felt so peaceful with just a little prompting from God’, he said candidly, ‘since then, I trust in God, glory to God.’

‘I am retired, but I still can’t help talking of Bethany’ he said with a thoughtful grin. His love and dedication to a most beautiful cause is worn on his sleeve, painted across his brow and etched on his bones; it was his vocation.

Here in Australia, Jayasingh feels the presence of God in the thunder, lightning and bushfires that are so prevalent in summer, ‘you are blessed in Australia, you can see the hand of God in so many ways … You don’t even need Him anymore because everything is provided,’ he said sincerely, ‘this is a message from God, if I want to be fruitful, I must be attached to the vine, attached to Jesus’.

At the Australian Lutheran College, Jayasingh is studying courses on Counselling Skills, Toolkit for Ministry, Building Healthy Relationships, Spiritual Resilience, Sermon Preparation, Pastoral Care and Church in Mission in Australian Society.

‘These topics are all something that I can help families and communities with [in Malaysia]’, he said, perhaps indicating a new vocation?

It seems to me that this life of service isn’t over, now that he’s retired; it’s just changing with a new direction, a new limb growing but still thoroughly attached to the vine and still a life of service.

If you would like to know more about opportunities to personally support a scholarship recipient in your congregation during their stay in Australia, or ways in which you can financially and prayerfully support LCA International Mission’s scholarship program, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au

Read more stories about LCA International Mission scholarships at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/scholarships/