Stamps for Mission: an update

By Glenice Hartwich

Most of us know about this innovative mission, where used stamps are cleaned, sorted and sold for the best prices, usually ending up overseas. Rita Seidel, a stamp receiver in South Australia, has been saving, cleaning, sorting and packing stamps since she was 15 years old. She is now 86. ‘For some years we have […]

Most of us know about this innovative mission, where used stamps are cleaned, sorted and sold for the best prices, usually ending up overseas. Rita Seidel, a stamp receiver in South Australia, has been saving, cleaning, sorting and packing stamps since she was 15 years old. She is now 86.

‘For some years we have raised $12,000 for mission projects from these scraps of paper, which would otherwise be binned,’ she says.

So please save used stamps! It’s a small action for an amazing outcome. Always leave a reasonable margin around the stamps when cutting them from envelopes, then send them to your local stamp receiver – they are in every state. In 2009, $13,500 was raised, and divided equally between the following six projects:

– Pengmas (community development) programs of the Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP) church of Indonesia, in North Sumatra. Among other things these programs provide education on sustainable agricultural practices and organic farming, “revolving” pigs and cows projects for struggling farmers, a Farmers Field School for live-in teaching for poor farmers, small business development courses and Christian teaching on gender issues and HIV/AIDS.

– Support for the six new evangelists who will be working with Australian missionary Pastor Simon Mackenzie and his co-workers in the Nan Province in northern Thailand. Simon has moved with his family to Nan to live close to the Lua people of northern Thailand. God is moving in the hearts of these disadvantaged people and causing them to want to know Jesus. Many people are coming to faith. The needs of ministering to these people are great. Currently there are 6 young evangelists who are studying at the seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Thailand in Bangkok. In April they will complete their studies and return to the Nan province to begin their ministry amongst their own people. They will need financial support live and carry out their work.

– Bethany Home for children/people with severe disabilities: Located in Teluk Intan about 4 hours travel by road from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bethany Home offers a sense of hopefulness to many people struggling with disabilities (their own, or those of their child). For the 180 children and adults who have the privilege to study and work in the ‘shelter workshop’ at Bethany Home they are given hope, respect and the love of Jesus in such a caring and meaningful way. Bethany Home was established in 1966 by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Malaysia (ELCM). Those who participate in the programs offered at Bethany Home have a wide range of physical and mental disabilities but are not without hope as they continue to receive an education, life and work skills, prospects of employment, and the opportunity to be inspired and challenged to achieve great things.  Most of the people who are supported by Bethany Home do not live-in but are picked up in buses or brought there each day by family or friends. Fifty six staff work at Bethany in a wide range of supporting vocations. Each year the staff members are also supported in their roles by volunteers who come from many overseas countries. The vision is to expand the facilities and offer more opportunities to those who struggle with such challenges for living.

– Scholarships for the children of Pastors in PNG. Many pastors serving particularly in the remote and rural areas in Papua New Guinea receive little or no money as they minister to the people God has called them to serve. This fact places great strain on these faithful people and often affects their ability to send their children to school particularly to receive a high school education. The overseas supporting Churches who have had long relationships with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea have established a fund to provide equitable funding to these disadvantaged pastors to enable them to help to afford to give their children some form of continuing education. Every child deserves an education and the opportunities for employment and a better future that education affords.

– Scholarship support for Rosmah to study at the Seminary Theologica Sabah (STS). Rosmah is one of the indigenous people of people of Malaysia (the Orang Asli). Since becoming a Christian through the ministry of the Lutheran Church Malaysia (LCM) Rosmah has been called by her church to study in Sabah at the STS in order that she can come back and share the gospel with her own people in the Cameron Highlands. Rosmah has had to leave her two boys with her mother in her village and move to Sabah to complete her studies. The LCA continues to provide some support to the LCM to enable Rosmah to study in Sabah.

– International Seafarers’ Mission (ISM) in Singapore. The ports of Singapore are some of the busiest in the world with thousands of ships passing through each year. The sailors on these ships come from the vast corners of the world and are often on board the vessels for up to 18 months at a time. The sailors (mostly men) are often lonely and sometimes all but held captive by the captains. The staff of the ISM support these sailors by bringing them their country’s news on USB sticks, phone cards to call home and a variety of items to support their life on board ship. However the most important part of this exciting ministry is the Christian literature and Jesus DVD’s that they share with the sailors. In the small but comfortable office of the ISM in Singapore harbor the sailors are also able to come in, talk to the Christian staff, call home by phone or internet, or connect to the internet and the outside world. Through this vital ministry the seeds of God’s kingdom are scattered across the world. We will never fully know the lives that have been saved until we meet in heaven.

If you would like to consider the opportunity to donate used stamps or become a stamp receiver, you are invited to phone Peter Nitschke on (08) 8365 7717 or email For more information, go to


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