“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8 In my work as volunteer consultant in Lutheran Schools, I often talk with teachers about how God works with his two hands in our schools: with his right hand […]
“Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” 1 Thessalonians 2:8
In my work as volunteer consultant in Lutheran Schools, I often talk with teachers about how God works with his two hands in our schools: with his right hand through our sharing the gospel and with his left hand through our provision of an excellent education.
Ridwin Purba is a faithful, Christian servant leader whose role as Education Secretary of KN-LWF, Indonesia, demonstrates how this two-handed work of God is done. He is a man of deep personal faith and a leader in his own Lutheran church (GKPS) who has been devoted to helping Lutheran schools of all 13 Lutheran synods in Sumatra to share the gospel faithfully. The development of the teaching of Christian Studies in line with the principles of Lutheran theology is a project dear to his heart.
Ridwin has always been keen to foster partnerships between school and church, making sure that meetings and discussions take place with educators, pastors and bishops whenever possible.
At the same time, he has been committed to helping Lutheran schools improve the education they offer so that their work will be sustained into the future, and their students will be best prepared to serve the world. To this end, he has modelled distributed leadership, working with a team of principals and teachers, to provide workshops and conferences for staff across Sumatra, making sure that remote and regional schools were represented.
He has continually researched teaching and learning approaches, and networked with government and university representatives, to make sure that material offered in workshops is up-to-date and relevant to the participants, and taught by expert presenters (including Lutheran classroom teachers).
These conferences (including specialised ones for Christian Studies teachers) have also served to develop networks among the teachers who can then continue sharing with each other, in between face-to-face meetings.
During the pandemic, Ridwin coordinated the Indonesian side of our school partnerships’ efforts to provide practical support to school communities who were badly affected. He also organised several seminars to help teachers adapt to on-line learning.
Ridwin is best known to us in Australia from his exemplary leadership in fostering and enabling school partnerships (now nine in total) between Lutheran schools in Australia and in Indonesia. He has been a meticulous organiser, a gracious host and a reliable coordinator for many partnership visits over the years.
Ridwin and his wife Rita have been wonderful ambassadors for Indonesia and, in particular, Batak culture, helping us to become deeply respectful of our brothers and sisters from this close neighbour. No one comes away from meeting with our Batak Lutheran friends without feeling our own faith has been enriched, our ideas inspired and our perspectives broadened.
Ridwin has become so loved to many of us that we regard him as part of our family. We want to thank him with all our hearts for his friendship, hospitality and humble servant leadership.
To echo the words of St Paul, Ridwin and our Batak friends have shared with us the gospel and their lives as well. For this, we are grateful to God.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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/