Hi, I’m Nevin
I’m Nevin Nitschke, your LCA International Mission Indonesia Program Officer. I’m here to help you and encourage you to join God’s mission in Indonesia.
The people of Indonesia have a strong sense of community and a gentle nature. The 8 million Lutherans in a predominately Muslim country have learnt how to work together in their communities and have a deep passion for serving Jesus. In partnership with the churches in Indonesia we have much to offer and even more to learn! I’m meeting people hungry to learn English and receive training and education. Volunteers and partnerships are highly valued by the Indonesian people. If you would like to know more about how your life might be touched or used to support people in Indonesia, give me a call and I’ll be happy to chat with you or visit your congregation or school.
The history of Indonesia is a rich tapestry. Indian merchants bought Islam into the country in the 10th century while in the 13th century a Hindu kingdom, the Majapahit Empire, flourished for a period.
The Portuguese, Dutch, British and Japanese have all at times laid claim to at least parts of Indonesia. Guerrilla warfare by the Indonesians resulted in the Dutch agreeing to recognize Indonesian independence in 1949. Parliamentary democracy was replaced when President Sukarno introduced a new political system in 1957. The power of parliament was reduced and his own power was greatly increased. In 1965 the Communists attempted an unsuccessful coup in Indonesia.
From 1966 Suharto ruled as a dictator but brought stability and under him the economy of Indonesia recovered. Democracy returned to Indonesia with elections held in 1999. Today the economy of Indonesia is growing steadily.
Your partners in mission
There are now 13 Lutheran World Federation (LWF) member churches in Indonesia with an estimated membership of 8 million. LCA International Mission continues to work towards developing relationships with all 13 churches. Our partnership has taken the form of in-country and overseas scholarships for pastor training, support for education reform in the Lutheran schools, support for the seminaries, guest lecturers from Australian Lutheran College (ALC) teaching in the seminaries, the provision of Australian volunteers to teach English in various ministries and institutions, and mission to prisoners. The LCA continues with ‘off-budget’ funds to support diaconal institutions of these churches, through their orphanages, and ministry to blind students and abused children, on a request basis.
Many of the LCA scholarship recipients who came from the Indonesian partner churches to study at ALC have gone on to serve their churches as key leaders – bishops, general secretaries and lecturers.
The history of the Indonesian ‘Lutheran’ churches is complex and the formation of the various churches has at times been from dissent from the ‘parent’ church – Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP) or along ethnic/language lines or because of various ‘political’ and ‘religious’ conflicts. The founding missionaries were German (Rev Nommensen) or ‘Reformed’ missionaries from European mission agencies. Financial support from United Evangelical Mission (UEM), and other Reformed European partners remains. The bishops of the 13 LWF member churches have expressed their belief that their churches need to grow in their ‘Lutheran Identity’. This remains a key challenge and opportunity.
Projects you can support
- The training of Indonesian Lutheran teachers and the development of partnerships between Lutheran schools in Indonesia and Australia (LEA) through the work of Mr Ridwin Purba (Education Secretary for the National Committee of LWF, Indonesia)
- LCA guest lecturers at Indonesian seminaries
- Reconciliation scholarships for Rev Firman Sibarani and Rev Parulihan Sipayung from Indonesia to train in Australia alongside Pastor Paul Kerber (Assistant to the Bishop – Reconciliation Ministry)
- A sabbatical scholarship in Australia for Rev Raulina Siagian (lecturer from STT HKBP)
- In-country scholarships for Rev Naomi Simaramata, Rev Esram Kasirebbep and Rev Abenigo Batanghari
- The Prison Ministry established by STT Abdi Sabda Seminary in Medan
- Publication of Lutheran literature for Indonesia
- Publication of ‘Growing as God’s People’ in Bahasa Indonesian
- Seminary libraries to add theological books to the STT GKLI, STT Abdi Sabda and STT HKBP seminaries
- Teach English in one of the many Lutheran schools
- Teach English and supporting students’ education at Mamre Orphanage in Siantar
- Teach English as part of a four-week pre-seminary course in July at STT HKBP – Siantar
- Teach English for a four-week block at teh STT Abdi Sabda (Seminary/Teachers College), Medan
- Teach handcraft skills, music and English at Elim Orphanage
- Work as a child psychologist helper at the HKBP carers house for children with special needs
- Teach English at the Bible Frau school for women studying to become ‘church workers’
- Teach English and gardening (organic farming) at the Debora Orphanage
- Teach English in a Nias Island community
You already support mission and ministry work in Indonesia through your prayers and weekly offerings. But if you would like to work more closely with the Lutheran churches in Indonesia, you could talk to any of these congregations or schools about the blessings of a partnership:
- Freeling Lutheran Parish SA, with Zarfat Orphanage, HKI, Permatang Siantar
- Navigator College, Port Lincoln SA, with SMA GKPS Pematangraya
- Endeavour Lutheran College, Mawson Lakes SA, with GKPI SMK and Mamre Orphanage
- LCA Queensland District with Tanah Alas