Manawatu Lutheran Parish in New Zealand began a relationship with Rumah Chrestus, a home for orphaned or abused children located in Cheras, Malaysia, in July 2013. The home is run by a Trust Board from Cheras Lutheran congregation of which Rev Eliezer Peter is pastor. Rumah Chrestus is home to up to 15 children, currently […]
Manawatu Lutheran Parish in New Zealand began a relationship with Rumah Chrestus, a home for orphaned or abused children located in Cheras, Malaysia, in July 2013.
The home is run by a Trust Board from Cheras Lutheran congregation of which Rev Eliezer Peter is pastor. Rumah Chrestus is home to up to 15 children, currently between the ages of eight and 16.
Over the years it has been a wonderful journey for us as we have got to know not only Pastor Eliezer Peter but also the children.
In 2015 our Mission Team decided that the relationship would be enhanced if we could personally meet the children and staff. In August that year, my husband Roy and I visited Rumah Chrestus for a week. It was a great experience to meet the young children, staff, Trust Board members, and Pastor Eliezer and his wife Sarah, as well as seeing firsthand how the home is run and the difficulties they experience.
The relationship between Rumah Chrestus and Manawatu Parish continued to develop with parish members making pillowslips for the children, sending numerous cards to them, particularly at Christmas time, and providing financial support each year. Pastor Eliezer told us that this support had been an answer to prayer, particularly when the home was damaged by fire and another time when the Board was considering closure due to a lack of funding.
As well as communication via text messages, the Mission Team sends occasional emails and a quarterly newsletter to the home and the children living there. It was really exciting to hear earlier this year that Pastor Eliezer and his wife wished to visit New Zealand and our parish. This took place in August and it was a wonderful time for everyone.
While in New Zealand, they took part in our Friday night youth group gathering, met with the Mission Team for discussion and to formalise a partnership agreement, gave a presentation in worship, and met socially with parish leaders as well as sightseeing. It was a great weekend during which God blessed not only Pastor Eliezer and Sarah but also the members of our parish.
We look forward to continuing the relationship we have with Rumah Chrestus and pray that God will continue to bless all involved with the home as we journey together.
In recent times, the Australian Government has alerted organisations and churches which support orphanages across Asia to be aware that our first concern needs to be for the children and their families. LCA International Mission is well informed of these concerns and is establishing policies accordingly.
This story was also published in the December 2018 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.
If you, your school or your congregation, would like to know how you can connect to the mission of God through a LCA International Mission partnership, you are invited to phone Erin on (08) 8267 7300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, go to www.lcamission.org.au/join-gods-mission/start-a-partnership/
Read more stories about congregational partnerships at www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/local-partners/congregations/