Dear reader of this article: thank you! You might not realise it, but right at this moment God is working powerfully in Malaysia and Singapore – and you are contributing to that! Yes, that includes every one of us in the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand. A part of our weekly offerings goes […]
Dear reader of this article: thank you! You might not realise it, but right at this moment God is working powerfully in Malaysia and Singapore – and you are contributing to that!
Yes, that includes every one of us in the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand. A part of our weekly offerings goes into ministries in South-East Asia. Does that excite you? It should, because you are a missionary! Wow, now that sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
It shouldn’t surprise us, though, for God calls each one of us to follow him – and that means to spread his word, to tell everyone what he has done, and to walk in Jesus’ footsteps. So, let me tell you about your brothers and sisters in Malaysia and Singapore.
Two months ago, God gave me the amazing opportunity to accompany Glenice Hartwich, our LCA mission project officer, on a three-week trip to Malaysia and Singapore. The purpose of the trip was to visit some of the ministry projects of our partner Lutheran churches and to find out how our sisters and brothers are going and how we can support each other.
I can tell you, I would have loved to have packed all of you into a great big suitcase and taken you along. The encounters with the people there left me in absolute awe of God and his powerful hand upon their lives.
As you might know, Malaysia is a Muslim-dominated country, and Christians have a pretty tough time sometimes. Yet the love of Jesus shines right through the darkness and attracts more and more people every day. The churches over there are growing. The people are so excited to know Jesus that they just can’t contain themselves; they keep talking about him all the time! The invite friends and family to come along and join them for fellowship and in worship. They patiently minister to the seeking souls all around them.
For them, mission is a major part of their life. It is not something some people do in foreign countries. Their mission field is right at their doorstep, and every individual Christian is called to be a part of that. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19, 20) is meant personally for every follower of Jesus. It was so uplifting and encouraging to see this enacted in the lives of the people over there. And I have learnt that this is something I have to do, too, right here in Australia. The mission field starts at my doorstep.
Now let’s get back to your direct involvement in the work over there. Malaysia doesn’t have a social welfare network like we do. Orphans, disabled people and elderly people without families to support them get no support from the government whatsoever. This is where Jesus comes in. Christian have taken up the task to care for these people. Devoted followers of Jesus have established orphanages, old folks homes, care centres for disabled people and shelters for the underprivileged. Part of our weekly offerings at church goes into support these establishments. God provides for them and this keeps going. The people running these establishments are grateful for any support they can get. Financial help as well as practical help is welcome at any time. So, if any of you feel called to support them in any special way, please do not hesitate to contact the LCA for more information. One thing I learnt on the trip is that God has given each one of us unique gifts. It is our calling to use them to the glory of God and to help his kingdom to grow.
Travelling in Malaysia and Singapore was exciting. The people are warm-hearted and hospitable. Their eyes shine when they talk about God and they live their faith so passionately. What amazed me most was the outreach the churches do in order to draw more people close to Jesus. They never seem to tire of thinking of new ways to spread the gospel.
One time we were taken to a church that has a university campus nearby. The church has set up a room for the students to get together and meet after classes. Christians mix with the students and befriend them, and it doesn’t take long before some of the students start going to church on Sunday to find out more about Jesus. There are many stories like this.
A highlight of the trip was an ecumenical service we attended in Kuala Lumpur. Malaysia celebrated 50 years of independence on 31 August. People from all the Christian denominations in the country came together in one church. Glenice and I were in tears, it was so beautiful!
Now, be careful! Excitement for Jesus is contagious. Let us pray for our sisters and brothers here in Australia and overseas and thank God for the amazing work he does among us.
If you would like to consider the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in mission, serving in practical ways, teaching English, teaching in the seminaries and institutions of our partner churches, or in local churches, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to http://www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/volunteer/
Read more stories about volunteering at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/join-gods-mission/volunteers/