Let me tell you a story about my friend Mwajemi. I first met her about 10 years ago when she and her family arrived from the Congo. They had been in a refugee camp in Burundi, and if you can imagine something tough, double it, and you would be closer to the circumstances they endured.
The LCANZ’s New Horizons local mission conference program is heading to Sydney this month. The conferences are being staged across Australia and New Zealand, as the teams work together to engage with new arrivals and support congregations wanting to be more embracing of newcomers.
Over the Easter weekend, my wife and I were guests at an African youth affirmation event and had the privilege of joining hundreds of colourfully dressed and exuberant young people while they encouraged each other – it was full on!
Despite any fears we may have about the future of our church, God is at work in our communities. The green shoots of growth in his kingdom include new congregations being planted around the LCANZ. And now you have the chance to play your part in this exciting mission work.
LCA/NZ Cross-Cultural Ministry Facilitator Craig Heidenreich says Jesus is establishing God’s kingdom among the nations and calls us to participate with him. ‘When we fish for souls, it’s a corporate endeavour’, he says. ‘Our net is made up of all of us, with our different gifts and callings.’
Imagine how you’d feel if you were stranded in another country with all the current health concerns – and you couldn’t speak the language. Many of our LCA/NZ congregations engaged in Cross-Cultural Ministry are responding to these needs, and being innovative in how they minister to people.
At the Lutheran church in Pasadena, Adelaide, worship services are bilingual, drawing on music, language and contributions from African, Persian and Indonesian people. It’s a sign of things to come for our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural church.