Hi, I’m Erin
I’m Erin Kerber, your LCA International Mission Malaysia Program Officer. I’m here to help you and encourage you to join God’s mission in Malaysia.
The people of Malaysia are unevenly distributed between Peninsular and East Malaysia, with the vast majority living in Peninsular Malaysia. The population shows great ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and religious diversity. Within this diversity, a significant distinction is made for administrative purposes between indigenous peoples (including Malays), and immigrant populations (primarily Chinese and South Asians). The Malays constitute about half of the country’s total population, they are politically the most powerful group, and, on the peninsula, they are numerically dominant. Unlike the other ethnic groups of Malaysia, Malays are officially defined in part by their adherence to a specific religion, Islam. I’m meeting people who have hope for God’s kingdom to be spread in Malaysia, amongst the majority Muslim community. I’d love to visit your congregation, school or group to discuss ways you can partner with our Lutheran friends in Malaysia.
The ancestors of the people that now inhabit the Malaysian peninsula first migrated to the area between 2500 and 1500 B.C. Those living in the coastal regions had early contact with the Chinese and Indians; seafaring traders from India brought with them Hinduism, which was blended with the local animist beliefs. As Muslims conquered India, they spread the religion of Islam to Malaysia. In the 15th century, Islam acquired a firm hold on the region when the Hindu ruler of the powerful city-state of Malacca, Parameswara Dewa Shah, converted to Islam.
The independent state of Malaysia came into existence on Sept. 16, 1963, as a federation of Malaya, Singapore, Sabah (North Borneo), and Sarawak. In 1965, Singapore withdrew from the federation to become a separate nation. Since 1966, the 11 states of former Malaya have been known as West Malaysia, and Sabah and Sarawak as East Malaysia.
The Lutheran Church of Australia has relationships with Lutheran Churches (LWF affiliations) in West Malaysia (Peninsula) and in East Malaysia (Sabah).
In West Malaysia the LCA has existing partnerships and a long-standing relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia (ELCM), which started as a mission to people of Tamil background and the Lutheran Church in Malaysia (LCM), which began as a result of ministry and mission to people of Chinese heritage.
In East Malaysia the LCA has an established relationship and long-term partnership with the Basel Christian Church in Malaysia (BCCM). More recently through the establishment of the Lutheran Study Centre at Seminari Theologica Sabah (STS) (which has been at the request of the Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Malaysia and Singapore (FELCMS)), this has also opened the door slightly to the establishment of a relationship in Sabah with the Protestant Church in Sabah (PCS).
Projects you can support
- Library of Seminari Theoloji Malaysia
- Mission outreach to indigenous people (Orang Asli) through LCM
- Scholarship of Andry Alang (Orang Asli). Theological student at STS
- Support for curriculum development of Early Learning Centre (Kiara) through LCM
- LCA guest lecturers
- Speech/physical therapy, craft skills, music, sport, nursing, Special Ed at Bethany Home
You already support mission work in Malaysia through your prayers and weekly offerings. But if you would like to work more closely with the FELCM, you could talk to any of these congregations or schools about the blessings of a partnership:
- Immanuel College, SA, with Bethany Home
- Good Shepherd Lutheran School, Palmerston NT, with Bethany Home
- Manawatu Lutheran Parish, LCNZ, with Rumah Chrestus
- SHWALLY (Springhead Woodside and Lobethal Lutheran Youth) with Lutheran Church in Malaysia youth and Orang Asli