Sponsored by the Protestant Church of Hesse and Nassau in Germany and at the invitation of the FRM, I was able to serve at Hermannsburg/Central Australia, working for the Bethlehem Lutheran Congregation.
Although it was a very new and different experience for me to live in a remote outback Aboriginal community, I could still feel the old German traditions coming through in the Sunday service liturgy. Many of the hymns sung by the congregation at Hermannsburg are still being sung in Germany today. So, it didn’t take long for Bethlehem church to feel more like home than I expected.
Christmas was very interesting for me because of the hot weather and the traditional Aboriginal ceremonies being conducted near the community at the time. In the New Year, I started getting to know a lot of wonderful people: Pastor Marcus Wheeler and his family, who tried hard to look after the congregation without a support worker, Selwyn Kloeden and all the other staff from the Finke River Mission Store who do a great job. Not only do they run the store efficiently but they do it with Christian ethics and a strong desire to help improve the community of Hermannsburg.
We had a lovely time together with a lot of laughter and funny moments. Even in that short time I became part of the community and congregation. They gave me a big farewell and it was really hard to leave new friends and family behind.
My last wish for everyone I came to know at Hermannsburg was: Be strong in faith and never give up caring for each other no matter how hard life gets! God will always carry you through.
Special thanks to the Finke River Mission Board who gave me the opportunity to work in the ‘Red Centre’. Very special thanks to support pastor Robert Borgas, who fulfilled the duties of the vacant Arranda Support Worker’s position at the same time as he looked after the Pitjantjatjara area. Rob also took me for one week to visit the Mutitjulu Congregation at Uluru where I came to know and appreciate more strong believers in Jesus Christ.