Partnership transforms lives

By Craig Chidgey

When did you last do something for someone that made a positive difference in their lives? What if we as a school community from Tanunda, South Australia, could work with another school community and enhance the lives of everyone involved? These were among questions discussed over lunchtime by a teacher and students from Faith Lutheran […]

When did you last do something for someone that made a positive difference in their lives? What if we as a school community from Tanunda, South Australia, could work with another school community and enhance the lives of everyone involved?

These were among questions discussed over lunchtime by a teacher and students from Faith Lutheran College. The direction for the initiative was provided by LCA International Mission, which encourages Lutheran schools in Australia to form partnerships with Lutheran schools in Indonesia.

The Serving Indonesia with a Heart (SIWAH) project grew out of a desire to transform lives through learning and teaching. Project group members prayed for a long-term partnership through which staff and students from both schools could work to:

  • Develop an understanding of each other’s culture
  • See how we can learn from each other’s daily practices
  • Work on serving others and making a positive difference in their lives
  • Support each other through prayer.

The SIWAH team of staff members Ivan Muster and Craig Chidgey, students Amy Doecke, Benson Heintze, Anneka Wilksch, Sarah Herrmann, Benjamin Roennfeldt and Brittany Colmer, and parents Carolyn Heintze and Debbi Holding, spent a week with staff and students from SMA HKBP 1 Tarutung School in North Sumatra, Indonesia.

It was evident a long-term partnership could develop and transform the lives of students and staff from both communities. The connection formed was based on the values Jesus displayed in his ministry – such as care, appreciation, serving, love and compassion.

Staff and students from SMA HKBP 1 Tarutung will spend time at Faith College in 2019. The global connection will then become a biennial trip for both schools. This will provide staff and students the chance to teach and learn in a way that has the potential to transform lives, with the grace of God.

What Faith students said

‘I hope for a God-driven partnership to evolve so that students, staff and families from both schools can continue to have experiences like ours. It was a true blessing to visit Indonesia and was the best leap of faith I have ever taken.’ – Sarah Herrmann

‘I could never have realised the power of God in a situation like this, until I saw this unfold. I pray that the mission of God be placed on our hearts and direction be provided for our hands and feet, that this mission may never stop, rather continue to flourish in the power and will of God!’ – Anneka Wilksch

‘The kindness, warmth and enthusiasm the students showed was infectious and was it was exciting to be a part of. I’m really excited to develop the SIWAH project so that other Faith students can experience the same things in the future.’ – Brit Colmer


If your school would like to know more about how they can connect to the mission of God through a LCA International Mission service-learning and ministry partnership, you are invited to phone Erin on (08) 8267 7300 or email erin.kerber@lca.org.au. For more information, go to www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/service-learning/

Read more stories about school partnerships and school service-learning at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/local-partners/schools/

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About the Author : Erin Kerber


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