Mission in song

‘Since childhood, sincere and enthusiastic mission-minded mentors left deep impressions’, Norm Auricht said, ‘the exemplary leaders were in our homes, in field work at Hermannsburg, Bethesda and Papua New Guinea’.

Norm was a teacher at Tanunda Lutheran School and was first ispired by vibrant and sustained images from direct contact at Mission Festivals, deputation evenings and school visits from missionaries.  He was influenced by the many missionary families on furlough who were accommodated in the New Guinea ‘Haus’ adjacent to the school. He taught their children and was inspired by the illustrated talks on PNG, given by one of the parents.

Norm and his wife, Lola, accepted the challenge to serve in Lutheran mission in PNG at the Kitip boarding school in the Highlands. They later moved on to serve the missionaries’ children at the Katherine Lehmann boarding school, Wau, PNG.

‘A shift in country, culture, climate and associates’, said Norm, ‘… these two areas of service [in PNG] with a wide expanse of experience, left deep imprints of mission in all its urgency and reality amongst young minds in a stage of transientness’.

Upon returning to Australia, Norm has had 18 years of founding and developing Immanuel Lutheran School at Buderim, Qld., in which many mission outreach projects were pursued, including fundraising for a classroom and evangelists in Cambodia.

Norm supports mission through prayer, music, love and action, even in the smallest of things; he says that blessings of fruit from his garden helped raise money too. His particular inspiration for this hymn comes from the people living in ‘Tahaw Village’ in North Thailand.

‘In this context and a desire to further bring the need to our home church (and across the Lutheran Church of Australia generally) to be active in mission, I have been moved to compose this original hymn’.

‘The words and music began to buzz in my mind .. and with constant promptings … hence the end product. To God be the glory!’ He said.

Download sheet music and words here.

Now thanks and praise … we raise. Tahaw.

Words & music N.L Auricht
Alternative tune: Old Hundredth

1. Now thanks and praise, O Lord we raise,
for word a-glow with fire and love;
in Asian lands the Gospel spreads,
pow’rd by the Spirit from above.

2. Give hope and homes to refugees;
new lands where the deprived are blest,
guarded and kept to grow in you,
the light to shine through all their deeds.

3. Hasten, O God, your mission plans;
sustain the souls where battles rage.
Make bold the voice of speach and hands,
to shine with light from ev’ry age.

4. Call faithful leaders, wise and true,
to speak of grace, Christ’s love for all.
From prisons dark, the souls to free,
redeemed to give our Lord the Praise.

5. At home, revive your church to serve;
stir up the souls that claim your name!
With hearts receptive to the call,
hold high the cross; the Gospel’s flame. Amen.