The bywords of living overseas are adaptability and flexibility. These are essential just to handle all of the changes in culture and ways of doing things one encounters regardless of where they decide to move to.
They are also essentials for my unique position in the Southeast Asia Region, as I’m deployed as a regional resource. This means I’m available to assist literally anywhere in Southeast Asia we have deployed staff or partner church opportunities. This is very exciting, but it means things can develop quickly.
We are already slated to visit Sri Lanka in March as a family to care for staff in Sri Lanka and for me to preach and do an intensive teaching session on the Augusburg Confession for a group of local men hoping to be ordained as pastors for the Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church (CELC). The LCMS began work in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) back in 1927. Although there was an absence of LCMS workers there during some of the years of intense civil war, our people began to return in 2013. Rev. Steven Mahlburg now works with the CELC, assisting them in developing metrics for assessing fitness for ordination into the Lutheran Church there.
Another worker was slated to visit this month to teach on Luther’s Small & Large Catechisms. But scheduling difficulties made that impossible, so today I was asked to step in and teach in his place. Fortunately February is light on travel and I was able to immediately agree and start making the necessary preparations. The training will take place in the capitol city of Colombo, on the western coast of Sri Lanka. Much of the ministry work of the CELC takes place in the highlands at the center of the island, amidst the lushness of Sri Lanka’s legendary tea plantations.
Although Medan is a great city to live in, it isn’t exactly an international travel hub. Which means in order to get anywhere else I generally have to fly from Medan to either Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia or Singapore. From either of those two spots I can get literally anywhere in the world. So in just under two weeks I’ll be en route to Sri Lanka for the first time, arriving about midnight Monday night, recovering Tuesday, teaching Wednesday through Friday, and then flying back homewards around midnight Friday. While getting to Sri Lanka is pretty simple – just over 8 hours of travel from wheels up in Medan to wheels down in Sri Lanka, on the way back that timeframe jumps to almost 16 hours (including a red-eye, overnight flight from Colombo to Kuala Lumpur). Woohoo!
I’m excited for this first full teaching opportunity and to meet the men helping serve in Sri Lanka. It will also be good to reconnect with the Mahlburg family after meeting them for the first time just a few weeks ago in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Then I’ll be back out in March to teach on the Augsburg Confession.
Please pray for travel safety for me and also that the men I’ll be teaching (via an interpreter) are equipped by the Holy Spirit to continue serving the people of God in Sri Lanka faithfully. Christians make up about 8% of Sri Lanka’s population so it’s not a large group but there are sooooo many opportunities!
5 thoughts on “First Teaching Gig!”
div>Praising our Lord for safe travels and th
Huge opportunities on short notice! God be with you and may your travels be safe and on time. Holy Spirit, act upon these people to make them receptive to your Word! Keep your family safe in your absence. Prayers abound.
Putting this in my prayer journal to hold you in prayer during travel and teaching. Is the Monday of your arrival the 13th?
Yes – thank you!
Praying the Holy Spirt works strong faith in the hearts of those you teach.
Blessings on your ministry.