Through LCA International Mission, over the past eight years the community of Good Shepherd Lutheran College at Howard Springs, Northern Territory, has formed a strong partnership with Bethany Home in Malaysia. A part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia, Bethany is a training centre for young people with disabilities.
Bethany Home is an awesome place in every sense of the word. The staff who work with the children are outstanding – patient, kind and extremely knowledgeable. It’s incredible to sit amongst the staff and students and see and feel God’s love permeating every aspect of this amazing school.
I have been overwhelmed by just how much each of the children of Bethany Home is loved. There is a day program for students and there are multiple group homes that enable them to develop life skills. Older and more capable students join ‘The Entrepreneurs Program’, which allows them to derive a small income from taking on projects for larger companies. Instead of focusing on the disabilities of individuals, the abilities are celebrated.
But the most astounding thing is to see the fingerprints of God everywhere. The staff and leadership live their faith and have sacrificed a lot to work for a Christian organisation.
Australian students who’ve visited Bethany Home always say that they have never seen so much of God’s love in action. While we go there to serve and be educated about the needs in Malaysia, we have all left as different people.
Visiting Bethany Home is a truly humbling experience. When we go, we are asked to deliver professional development to the staff, and often we are at a loss because there’s so much we can learn from the dedication and commitment of everyone who works there.
Anita Synnott is the chair of the LCANZ’s Committee for International Mission and a teacher at Good Shepherd Lutheran College.
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