Youth find global perspective

By Elsa Matthias and Oliver Swift

Horas! Welcome from Indonesia. We have had the most wonderful opportunity to meet and learn from the people of the HKBP (Huria Kristen Batak Protestan) church here, thanks to LCA International Mission. HKBP held its 2018 Youth International Conference from 29 August to 2 September in North Sumatra and we were fortunate to attend as […]

Horas! Welcome from Indonesia. We have had the most wonderful opportunity to meet and learn from the people of the HKBP (Huria Kristen Batak Protestan) church here, thanks to LCA International Mission.

HKBP held its 2018 Youth International Conference from 29 August to 2 September in North Sumatra and we were fortunate to attend as representatives of the LCA/NZ.

Over five days we had many chances to experience Batak culture and to form friendships. We gave a presentation on what ‘youth in the church’ looks like for the Lutheran church in Australia and New Zealand.

As former participants of the Grow Leadership program, we shared about the value and knowledge we received from the program. We also shared what each of our districts are providing for youth in the LCA, with both SA and WA running various camps and youth services throughout the year, as well as what each of our congregations is doing at a local level, running youth groups and young adults groups.

Other presenters spoke on a range of topics, including the Bible and the digital age, the use of narcotics, and being a millennial Christian.

It was comforting to hear that many Indonesian people experience the same challenges when working with youth that we do. Further discussions suggested ways that we can work towards decreasing these challenges and encouraging youth to take a larger role within our churches.

We also experienced some of the culture and scenery of Indonesia. We rode bikes from Siborongborong to Balige in North Sumatra and saw the HKBP church located on Bulbul beach. We also rode through the island of Samosir, located in the middle of Lake Toba, the second largest lake in the world.

Each rest stop provided a chance for Indonesian people to teach us about their culture. One evening, following evening prayer, we were introduced to a traditional Batak dance.

The main solution suggested to involve youth in the church was to form relationships with them and to encourage them to participate. This weekend was an amazing chance to do just that – form relationships with the youth of the (international) Lutheran church; to meet, learn from and encourage each other in our ministries.

Following the discussions and the presentations of the conference, representatives teamed up to draft a youth recommendation. This document was given to the HKBP committee to show what conference attendees would like to see happen with the youth of the present and future HKBP church.

We are so appreciative of this experience and for the many things that we learnt. We wish God’s richest blessings on the HKBP church and everyone we met there.

Terima kasih (Thank you)


Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray

Read more stories about our partner churches in Indonesia at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/indonesia/

 

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