I have already posted a page, that at this point, contains basic information about Indonesia, as well as a page about the global mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Here I will give some background about the work that I will be doing, though most will be discovered and shared with you as I live through it.
First, a little about naming this site. I have chosen the name missio dei, because it is Latin for “mission of God.” God is a missional God, creating, redeeming, and sustaining all life. Our vocational callings lead us to participate in this missio Dei of in relationship with the world around us—communally, locally, and globally. Although I have accepted a unique position in the church, to walk alongside sisters and brothers in another part of the world, the missio Dei is not solely the work of Pastors, Deaconess, Missionaries, or other trained ministers. It is God’s work, alive in the work of all God’s people in all areas of life and creation. Or, to borrow a phrase from the ELCA, “God’s work. Our hands.” Therefore, this blog is the written journey of one small piece of the whole; an exploration and sharing of accompaniment through my eyes, recognizing that so many people all over the world are also a part of the life-giving, reconciling work of God.
So, what will I be doing? To sum it up: teaching English at the Deaconess School of the Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP) in a small town of Balige, on the island of Sumatra in western Indonesia. The HKBP is a Lutheran church body of 4 million members that has been in existence for 150 years. Read more about the HKBP as well as how the ELCA has accompanied them in ministry here. As I teach English to young Indonesian women, themselves preparing for lives of ministry and service, I will live with them at the school and share in the communal life.
Also important, is that I will be learning much as well. Here, you will read stories of the journey, of the people, the things I learn about Indonesian culture, language, and life at the equator in Southeast Asia. It is important to stress that in this relational process, that there is much mutuality of giving and receiving.
So, dear readers, my hope is that you, too, may be transformed in this process—as I will be and those with whom I work. I believe this is the nature of our God.