Partnerships that strengthen faith and love

By Glenice Hartwich

The transforming power of God is truly evident in the life of the newly elected bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Thailand (ELCT). On Friday the 1st April 2011 at the General Assembly of the ELCT in Bangkok, Rev Dr Banjob Kusawadee was installed (for a new and second time!) as the Bishop of […]

The transforming power of God is truly evident in the life of the newly elected bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Thailand (ELCT). On Friday the 1st April 2011 at the General Assembly of the ELCT in Bangkok, Rev Dr Banjob Kusawadee was installed (for a new and second time!) as the Bishop of the ELCT to lead the people of God in this Church into this next season of history. Born into a Buddhist family, Banjob came to know the saving love of Jesus Christ and entered fulltime ministry as a pastor. He went on to become the Bishop of ELCT in the 1990’s prior to receiving an LCA scholarship. The scholarship provided the opportunity for Banjob to study at Australian Lutheran College (ALC) in Adelaide from 1999 to 2005 together with his wife Mundrudee and their two children to gain his doctorate. The topic of his thesis was “Suffering and the Cross” and through this, Banjob explored issues of Christ’s suffering and death for all people and how this impacts on the Buddhist belief system. This thesis has now been published under the tile “Holy Suffering”. Following his return to Thailand after his scholarship Banjob served as principal of Lutheran Seminary of Thailand up until his election as Bishop.

We can give thanks to God for allowing us in the LCA and LCNZ to partner with Him in encouraging and growing Banjob in his faith through his LCA /ALC scholarship, and as we join together with the ELCT in sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the people of Thailand through the partnership we share together.

Australian Lutheran College through the scholarships offered by the LCA has, and continues to play a significant role in the spiritual formation of many pastors, leaders, and bishops of the LCA’s overseas partner Churches. We can never underestimate the power of God at work through the LCA as we partner together with the agencies and institutions of the LCA in his mission, and as we help to support the theological capacity building of our partner Churches.

Former scholarship recipients who have received LCA BfM scholarships at ALC currently serve their churches in significant leadership roles in our partners Churches in the following roles:
Thailand: Rev Dr Banjob Kusawadee Bishop of Evangelical Lutheran Church in Thailand (ELCT)
Malaysia: Rev Dr Solomon Rajah, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia (ELCM)
Singapore/Geneva: Dr William Chang, Area Secretary for Asia in the LWF-DMD for a period four years (pastor of the Lutheran Church of Singapore) (LCS).
Sabah: Rev Dr Wilfred John, Vice Principal of Sabah Theological Seminary (STS)
Indonesia: Rev Pinda Harahap, General Secretary of the Gereja Kristen Protestan Angkola (GKPA); Rev Elimanson Sumbayak, General Secretary of the Gereja Kristen Protestan Simalungun (GKPS); Rev Dr Binsar Nainggolan, head of the Maturia department of the Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP); Rev Manjalo Hutabarat, General Secretary of the Huria Kristen Indonesia (HKI).
These join the list with many others who have served before as bishops or currently as leaders of various church departments.

Let’s thank God for Australian Lutheran College.


This story was also published in the June 2011 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.

If you would like to know more about opportunities to personally support a scholarship recipient in your congregation during their stay in Australia, or ways in which you can financially and prayerfully support LCA International Mission’s scholarship program, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au

Read more stories about LCA International Mission scholarships at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/scholarships/

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