The month of March was filled with visitors from LCA International Mission partner churches, beginning with a visit from Rev Dedi Pardosi, the director of the National Committee of LWF member churches in Indonesia (KN-LWF), and closely followed by church leaders from Malaysia and Singapore together with some of their wives.
Rev Pardosi spent time at Australian Lutheran College, where he met with leaders and sat in on a pastoral ministry class, recognising the great gift the LCANZ has to offer churches in the region. Coming from a context where seminary education has become a largely academic pursuit, Rev Pardosi noted that one of the key strengths the LCANZ can share is the practical application of Lutheran theology in daily ministry encounters. Rev Pardosi also met with a number of Lutheran schools in South Australia that have partnerships with Indonesian schools and sought to strengthen these important relationships. It was also a time when he was able to officially acknowledge the significant work of Ruth Butler, who has finished her term as a volunteer educational consultant to the KN-LWF.
The delegation from Malaysia and Singapore had a very full schedule, including meetings with LCA leaders, briefing on LCA ministries, time at ALC, visits to congregations and a wonderful two days in the Barossa Valley, where they heard presentations on Lutheran history in Australia and inspired locals through their reports on the challenges and joys of mission and ministry in Asia. A particular highlight was the reception of the delegation at a function catered by the Pasadena Indonesia community, which filled attendees with delicious food and entertained them with traditional music.
Most of these church leaders are newly elected and so it was also an opportunity for them to strengthen their friendships and discuss ways they can work together. Bishop Thomas Low from the Lutheran Church in Malaysia commented, ‘Thanks so much for your outstanding hospitality, great sharing and getting to know the ministries of LCANZ, especially the challenges of your congregations on the ground. I’ve learnt much and [been] encouraged’.
Thank you to the many people who supported these visits and blessed our guests with wonderful hospitality.