Every school day around 45,000 young Australians pass through the gate of a Lutheran school or early childhood service somewhere in Australia.
Many come with parents or grandparents who stay for chapel or get involved with other activities around the school.
They become part of the school community and give school leaders and staff wonderful opportunities to minister and touch people’s lives with the gospel.
Here’s just one such story from Lutheran Education Australia Executive Director Stephen Rudolph:
‘Recently I attended a Lutheran school’s 30th year reunion. I was a special guest – the founding principal! The weekend’s activities included a reunion dinner and a Lutheran church service. Arriving at the dinner, I was confronted by many young men and women – all graduates of this Lutheran school. They excitedly told me their life stories – marriage, jobs, courses, children, memories.
‘Lucy* was one of them. But she wasn’t bubbly – she just wanted to tell me her story. And she wanted to thank me and the people of the Lutheran school of the early 1980s.
‘After high school, Lucy went back to Sydney. She got involved with the wrong crowd. As she spoke, her weak smile showed her poor teeth. She told me that due to her teenage drug taking, her teeth had been damaged.
‘I noticed her wedding ring. She told me of her husband, her three children and of her reformed life.
‘She also told me of her Christian faith and reminded me of my guitar and singing skills during devotions. She remembered the musical Sam the Good Samaritan – and could still sing the songs.
‘Lucy then reminded me of her mother’s death and her funeral. I had forgotten. The upper primary class had all attended her mother’s funeral. The students said I played the guitar. I had forgotten. Lucy had this memory etched in her heart for the past 30 years. She just wanted to say thank you for the care shown to her and her family. I had forgotten.
‘And while I forgot the care shown to Lucy 30 years earlier, she hadn’t.
‘Let us all acknowledge the principals and staff of Lutheran schools and early childhood services as they care for and minister to their communities – especially their students.
‘The constant of Lutheran schools is to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Let us never forget that.
‘And Lucy, thank you for helping me remember this truth and how God uses each one of us to care, lead and serve.’
*Not her real name