In a moving show of generosity and Christian partnership, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Myanmar (ELCM)/Lutheran Bethlehem Church has donated three Sundays’ worth of offerings towards bushfire relief through the LCA/NZ.
Despite being based in a poor South-Eastern Asian nation in which more than 30 per cent of people live below the poverty line, ELCM members have donated $AUD500 to support ‘brothers and sisters’ in Australia. The ELCM is one of the LCA/NZ’s partner churches through LCA International Mission and has a congregational partnership with Ipswich Lutheran Church, south-west of Brisbane.
ELCM Program Coordinator Luke Andrew brought the donation to Adelaide last month while on a visit to Australian Lutheran College. The trip, which included a visit with Pastor Ben Hentschke at Ipswich, was part of his orientation prior to beginning Bachelor of Theology studies at the college, thanks to a scholarship from LCA International Mission.
Luke said the response of Lutherans in Myanmar to the bushfire crisis was overwhelming. ‘Our church usually receives but God has blessed our church and for the first time we are able to give’, he said, referring to financial and prayerful support given by Australian and New Zealand Lutherans when severe flooding hit Myanmar last year. ‘It may not be much but with this small donation, we continue to commit ourselves to pray for all our brothers and sisters in Australia.’
Pastor Matt Anker, the LCA’s Assistant to the Bishop – International Mission, said the ELCM’s support of Lutherans and others who have suffered losses in the bushfires represented true Christian partnership. ‘I’m humbled by the response of members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Myanmar’, he said.
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