Over the past five years, Lutherans from South Australia’s Barossa Valley have donated $1.5 million to help people in need through Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS).
More than 180 people from across the region north of Adelaide came together last Sunday, 8 July, along with representatives of ALWS, to recognise this milestone in giving.
ALWS, the LCA’s overseas aid and development agency, visited the Barossa to host an Asante Afternoon – Asante means thank you in Swahili – in Hoffmann’s Barn at Dimchurch Vineyard in Ebenezer.
ALWS Community Action manager Jonathan Krause said the event celebrated ‘the great kindness that is having a life-changing impact on refugees fleeing conflict, poverty and injustice in countries like South Sudan, Somalia and Djibouti’.
‘Our Asante Afternoon gave us the opportunity to show the good-hearted people of the Barossa the difference their kindness makes in people’s lives – especially refugee children, who can now go to school’, he said.
‘In fact, in the refugee camps of Kenya, the words “Lutheran” and “education” go together as much as they do here in Australia.”
Many Barossans are themselves direct descendants of Lutherans who fled Prussia in the 1840s to escape religious persecution, and settled in the Barossa Valley. Jonathan, who is one of those direct descendants, noted that all of the hospitality for the Asante Afternoon – from 380 homemade sausage rolls and Maggie Beer Quince Paste to 10 kilograms of streusel kuchen, litres of pastor-concocted gluhwein and the venue itself – was all donated. ‘This proves there’s no end to Barossa kindness’, he said.