Across its 70-year history, ALWS has been blessed with passionate leaders, who take seriously the trust placed in them. Here are their messages of thanks to you …


‘Now my stomach is full’

In the 1980s I got a letter from a chap I’d never heard of. He said: ‘Thank you for the scholarship you gave me in Botswana. I’ve just completed my PhD at Oxford and am going to go back to my people.’ I also think of the man I met in Ethiopia in 1970 and again three years later who said: ‘When you came here three years ago my stomach was hitting my backbones. Now look, my stomach is full.’ It was a great privilege to work for ALWS/LWS.

– Dr Brian Neldner (1960–1964)


Guests, not inspectors

I remember my first visit to the field. I requested permission to have a site inspection of LWS projects. I received a response advising that LWS doesn’t do site inspections, but visits, as guests of the communities. That advice was in my mind as I visited projects around the world. I’ve been heartened by the support from faithful and generous Lutheran people around Australia and New Zealand, especially from Lutheran schools. Thank you and thanks to God who provides for his people.

– Mr Gary Simpson (1991–2000)


Shaky handwriting

In my time at ALWS, a pensioner periodically sent a $5 note with a note in shaky handwriting apologising that this was all she could manage on her meagre pension. Truly the widow’s mite. I felt as great a responsibility in the use of that $5 note as I did for the biggest gifts. ALWS’s donors are the lifeblood that brings love to life through ALWS’s life-saving and life-sustaining programs. May God bless you and the work of your gift.

– Mr Peter Schirmer (2000–2012)


‘It is for others’

During a visit to Queensland, an elderly woman gave me an envelope. Within it was a $10 note and a message: ‘I can no longer give as much as I want but please accept this. It is for others’. I kept a copy as a reminder of the enormous responsibility of making each dollar count. Later that year, I met teachers in Djibouti and told them this story. They said every time they used chalk donated by ALWS, they would think of her. Thank you for all you’ve done ‘for others’.

– Mr Chey Mattner (2012–2018)


Achieving change – together

In January I visited a camp for internally displaced people in Myanmar. Hakim, the leader of a parent-teacher association, told me: ‘In my home, we had no access to education. Here at the camp, our kids go to school. I am very pleased with what we have accomplished together!’ Not only are 2500 children in the camp now safer, learning and ready for the future – but the adults also radiate confidence, hope and pride. Thank you for all you do to make the world a better place.

– Ms Jamie Davies (2018–present)


Two leaders are no longer with us. We thank them for their wonderful service:

Rev Dr Bruno Muetzelfeldt (1950–1960) and Mr Sidney Bartsch (1965–1990).

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