A Mere Struggle to Survive

Document Sample
A Mere Struggle to Survive Powered By Docstoc
					                                                                                                     PO Box 911, Gympie Qld 4570
                                                                                                               +61 7 5482 1435

In Support of Lutheran World Mission                                                             August 2008 No.23

World Food Crisis
                                                                In this issue...
A Mere Struggle to Survive                                         MYANMAR cyclone aid through ASIA FOCUS                p2
                                                                   MYANMAR cyclone aid through LWF/ALWS                  p4
The world is in the grip of a food crisis, though we               GUINEA - progress amongst fear and heartbreak         p6
in the West may not know it. In many countries at                  MISSION and other stories from many places            p8
this time, children have stopped going to school
because of a sharp increase in poverty levels and
millions of adults have bonded themselves to the
rich – preferring economic slavery to starvation.
                                                            going rate - just to pay off a bit of rice obtained at
They have no choice. Food prices have all of a
                                                            half price! After all, the going rate is 50 pesos a day
sudden gone through the roof.
                                                            and the debt 119 pesos. No one wants charity here,
                                                            or sweetheart deals. They are nearly all poor here.
We can do little but we all can do something, like          But they have their dignity. What you get for nothing,
what ALWS has done through the LWF. ASIA                    you may not appreciate.
FOCUS has started a rice subsidy program in the
Northern Philippines and found that people are
willing to do nearly anything – just to be able to
buy rice at a discount.

Sunday, 22 June 2008. After the service members of
the Kasibu congregation waited in expectation to
receive the amount of rice allotted to them. It was
rice distribution day for all the 13 congregations
(2500 members) of the Nueva Vizcaya District of the
Lutheran Church in the Philippines. Excitement had
been building for some weeks. Expectations were
high. Needy members were allowed to buy 7kg of rice
that day for 17 pesos (40c) which is half price. Terrific
offer, they thought. No one worried about having to
pay a bus fare to get there or about the burden of
having to walk for hours. They do that anyhow, just to
worship God!
                                                            Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Kasibu, Philippines (Feb. 2008). For
No one wanted to miss out. Some had saved hard for
                                                            these rice dependent people a few dollars can be gold.
this occasion and had their 119 pesos ready – big
money, a mere $3. Others had to borrow money.
Some would do anything to get hold of this much
needed rice. Some appealed that they had no money
                                                            There are still people in this world, in fact many
but would pay later when they found some. Right then
                                                            millions, who slave away for $1.20 a day, nearly
and there they literally didn’t have a penny to their
                                                            nothing, and they treasure it! After all, it’s a privilege
name, like most times. They wouldn’t admit to it
                                                            to work because it puts a little bit of food on their
because poverty is a shame on their good name but
                                                            table. They know that paid work is hard to come by
living without money does mark much of their lives.
                                                            and they may only be able to work for four or five
                                                            days a month.
So that day, deals were done with the lay leader in
charge, one of the very few members who actually
                                                            In this context the Lord’s Prayers Give us today our
owned a rice paddy. Sir, someone said, I cannot pay
                                                            daily bread takes on new meaning. We in the West no
you now. Please buy rice for me. If I cannot find
                                                            longer mean that. We no longer mean what Jesus
money in the next week or two I will pay you by
                                                            meant when he said those words. We mean, Give us
working for you. You can be fairly certain that he
                                                            today a continued life of comfort in brick homes with
wouldn’t find money. It was all about not losing face.
                                                            holidays and other perks included, like mortgage and
                                                            similar worries being taken care of.
Done deal. So now he will work for the lay leader for
more than two days in the heat of the sun at the                                                                 (continued p.2)
                                         (continued from p.1)       Outside of this spiritual framework, all Christian relief
                                                                    work is less than Christian. It is purely humanitarian
ASIA FOCUS’ sponsored ‘rice sales’ continue and                     on secular lines, a good works enterprise we can do
another one took place mid July. The steering                       together with caring Buddhists, Muslims, agnostics
committee there keeps reviewing things pondering                    and everyone else. Therefore it is important that
how best to do it in the future in the fairest possible             Christian relief organisations are penetrated by a
way and how to make sure that some of the poorest                   commitment to the Gospel and the Living God.
don’t miss out.

How long ASIA FOCUS can afford to keep doing this,
we don’t know. So far it has cost us ‘only’ $3,300. It
is hoped that the spiralling prices will come down. It
was only in March this year that average quality rice               Myanmar Cyclone Emergency
cost 17 pesos in the shops. The price rise is an
absolute disaster for the Philippines when you consider
that 60-90% of the income of the vast majority of
people is used for food alone. Now there is nothing
                                                                     Reaching out with Christ’s Love
left for school fees, the doctor, medication, clothes
and so on.
                                                                    What started out as a small ASIA FOCUS relief
                                                                    effort soon became a major mercy mission
What ASIA FOCUS is trying to do is simply to give the
                                                                    serving 5000 victims supported by five donor
people some hope. It’s about stopping them from
pulling their kids out of school and letting them know
that their fellow Christians in other countries care.
                                                                    Within two days of Cyclone Nargis hitting the coast of
                                                                    Myanmar - killing more than 100,000 people - Pastor
                                                                    Martin Lalthangliana, Lutheran Church of Myanmar
ASIA FOCUS’ approach to aid a heresy?                               (LCM), was on the road with other church members
                                                                    starting to bring relief to dozens of households. It was
Working like that in modern humanitarian aid may                    a quickly organized effort that soon involved a
actually be viewed with suspicion. The heresy is that               number of other Protestant churches in the area as
you’re helping your fellow Christians in the first place            well. They helped with whatever they could scrape
and not necessarily everyone in town who is poor and                together, and bought supplies for the hungry and
needy. Much of church-based modern humanitarian                     helpless in the hope that their overseas friends,
aid prides itself operating strictly on needs-based                 especially ASIA FOCUS, would support them and send
giving ‘irrespective of creed and colour.’                          money as soon as possible. Fortunately, a returning
                                                                    bishop from another church offered to personally
Unbeknownst to us, we have taken over the secular                   deliver some of our money to our friends in cash.
concept of this day and age. In this concept the                    Later in May, someone from Gympie delivered another
people of God in the congregations are not seen as                  $US10,000 - cost free to us. There was no other way.
primary agents of healing - agents of God to bring                  In June we sent another $US8,000 including a large
change to this world. In this concept it is not essential           donation from the USA.
that the relief operations are inspired by Christ and
are done in His name and that the execution of the                  On one level it was exciting but it was also tense and
relief effort is based and built on the Gospel, the hope            nerve-wrecking, with no time to lose. People were
that is within us. The LWF World Service work, from                 dying, and it was raining so many houses had
its very beginning, has been in danger of falling into              collapsed, even in the old capital Yangon (Rangoon).
this trap. This issue will be discussed at a later time.            As usual, the Burmese government was slow to act
                                                                    and we knew that they had confiscated a lot of relief
Of course there is a lot of validity in the needs-based             supplies. So operations had to be low-key and out of
approach but it is only part of the picture. Of course              the public eye as much as possible. Prior negotiations
Christians need to share and give above all to the                  with the generals and asking for permission first
poorest and neediest.                                               would have been self-defeating. No one did that
                                                                    except for the big aid groups who of course have to
But where do you learn that? Where do you learn to                  do all these things.
love, to care and to share? In the family and also in
the church family, under the influence of preaching                 After a few weeks the time had come to pause for a
and teaching and the Holy Spirit! There the self-giving             minute, review, regroup and also launch the first relief
Christian spirit that reaches out to the least of Christ’s          mission deep into the totally devastated Irrawaddy
brethren is instilled in us. There we learn to follow               Delta, a huge region of countless waterways
Christ and care for the whole world. To start with,                 populated by millions. But that could only be done
there we learn to also care for our own, for the                    with others coming onboard bringing in additional
members of the household of faith (Galatians 6, 10).                funds, expertise and oversight. That happened by way
There the people of God are empowered to carry out                  of an ‘Agreement of Cooperation’ being signed in
His mission in the world. If we fail here, our global               Bangkok between the LCM and the Norwegian Mission
mission will fail and we all become mere do-gooders.                Society (NMS).        ASIA FOCUS came onboard

immediately and helped to make it happen,                           our friends purchase, sort, store, transport and
transferring some of its funds to this new venture                  distribute rice, oil, potatoes, chick beans, red beans,
called HELPING HANDS. Words of support and                          salt (in large bags), candles, blankets, tarpaulins,
congratulations were received even from LWF circles                 mosquito nets, and clothes such as men’s and
unable to participate because they work only through                women’s longyis (long traditional skirts).
Action of Churches Together (ACT), just as ALWS does.
                                                                    After much organising and preparation, Delta trips are
The NMS’s involvement immediately gave HELPING                      ready to leave Yangon at last, usually at four in
HANDS some international recognition. After all, NMS                morning. Guidelines and policies are in place,
is a venerable and highly regarded Lutheran mission                 especially with regard to accountability and
society, founded in 1842 and working in many                        transparency. Around ten volunteers and workers
countries. Soon the FELM (Finnish Evangelical Lutheran              from two Lutheran churches and a few Methodists
Mission), JELC (Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church) and              make up the team.
one or two other minor partners had come onboard.
Our own Pastor Martin Lalthangliana became project                  But the real ‘fun’ still lies ahead: heavy rain showers
manager, his church becoming the key local partner.                 most days, army controls on the roads, and then the
                                                                    hiring of a couple of boats – the only way to reach
With this increased support and a budget of                         some of the villages. The cities are easily accessed
$US70,000 - including $US13,000 from ASIA FOCUS -                   and have received plenty of relief but it is a different
it became possible to directly help 900 families (4500              story in some of the more remote villages. You are
people) in the Irrawaddy Delta. This is on top of the               the first team to bring us relief here, one village elder
people helped initially in the Yangon area with ASIA                said.
FOCUS funds.
                                                                    Some team members tend to get into strife at times,
                                                                    like this girl: She slipped and drowned in the river,
                                                                    wrote Pastor Martin, project manager, in fact, another
                                                                    time I myself drowned. It was not a pleasant
                                                                    experience. After initial heart failure the writer of this
                                                                    article recovered and realized that we had a slight
                                                                    linguistic misunderstanding here. Mind you, most
                                                                    people in Asia can’t swim like we can.

                                                                    And there were many truly tragic tales: so many
                                                                    families torn apart like – mother and five children
                                                                    dead, only father left; one child, the only survivor in a
                                                                    family; a mother cannot find the bodies of her
                                                                    children. Tragic stuff multiplied a thousand times.

                                                                    We hear of the long term needs: food, tools, seeds,
                                                                    fertilizers. We hear of a policeman commenting, The
                                                                    Generals only order us around. They know nothing.
                                                                    They don’t even give us food. We here are starving.
Samur Dana village in the Irrawaddy Delta region of Myanmar.
                                                                    You know why this disaster happened? Because they
Emergency relief supplies are being transferred from the boat
including rice, salt and potatoes. Photo: 20-06-08.                 cleared all our beautiful forests! Saying this, the man
                                                                    risked his life. After all, in a dictatorship riddled with
                                                                    spies no one trusts anyone.
One reason HELPING HANDS was formed was to
                                                                    HELPING HANDS is told that helping villages that are
promote cooperation with other Lutheran and non-
                                                                    largely Christian is a must because the government
Lutheran churches and to have a good, balanced,
                                                                    and Buddhist agencies neglect those areas. We are
grassroots approach to cyclone relief all round.
                                                                    surprised to hear of the great number of Christians
                                                                    living in the Delta region, five million Karens alone.
Yes, the LWF through the Mekong Mission Forum had
                                                                    They live peacefully together with their Buddhist
valiantly attempted to make aid and other help
                                                                    neighbours and usually there is no problem. HELPING
available to the small Lutheran churches in the
                                                                    HANDS has formed a good working relationship with
country in a fair way. But eventually it was all to no
                                                                    many local Karen Baptist pastors found in the region
avail. It just didn’t happen, essentially for
                                                                    because their advice and information is crucial. Most
embarrassing, church political reasons.
                                                                    aid goes to Buddhists because they are the majority.

                                                                    On the first aid trip beneficiaries asked, Where does
Live accounts from the frontiers of pain                            this help come from? Consequently Pastor Martin has
and grief                                                           found enough copies of a booklet on Jesus in the
                                                                    Burmese language to go out with many relief packets.
Can you imagine?      Hives of activity, day after day, as          So now they know who inspires is to care and love.

Cyclone Relief - Testing LCA’s claims                         the very small ELCM must be receiving funds from
                                                              around the world quite out of proportion to its size.
                                                              Nearly $30,000 from Australia alone! We know that
Helping Cyclone Victims through                               the LWF tries to find some way out of this
                                                              embarrassing situation but they seem unable to do so.

        the ALWS/ACT                                          The ELCM is a ‘rich’ church as it is and receives much
                                                              support from European sources (even beyond LWF)
                                                              because it is well known, centuries old, and has a
Sending funds via ASIA FOCUS was the best                     German and Scandinavian support base. Indian
choice. Our $30,000 was quickly there and                     immigrant based, it has a beautiful church building
effectively used.                                             and lots of connections. The ELCM has also asked
                                                              ASIA FOCUS for support more than once. To this day
                                                              its leader, the Rev. Jenson Andrews, has blocked the
For the first time ever since its inception years ago,        entry of other Burmese Lutheran churches to the LWF
ASIA FOCUS has felt under pressure and opposed                by making unjustifiable claims about them. So now
from circles within the LCA. It has been a painful            the ELCM keeps receiving lots of international
experience.                                                   attention – and money. Seen in this light, what
                                                              ALWS/LWF are doing is unintentionally increasing in
ASIA FOCUS is strongly committed to the LCA and its           Myanmar disparity and inequality.
overseas work and shares in the vision of impacting in
Asia for Christ. The LCA is our mother church, the            It may interest you that, according to reliable reports,
church we love. We believe that independent                   $10,000US of the cyclone relief funds the ELCM is
information gathering and action should not only be           receiving from LWF sources (ALWS etc) is earmarked
permissible but encouraged in the hope and                    for the ‘restoration’ of their church property in
conviction that ultimately the whole church will              Yangon. Yet Jenson Andrews openly stated that their
benefit and be better off for it.                             Yangon church property escaped the cyclone nearly
                                                              undamaged. Only some tiles were damaged, he wrote
In this case pastors and people were strongly urged to        to ASIA FOCUS.
only work through ALWS and no one else. Of course
ASIA FOCUS was never mentioned by name. The
President, for example, spoke of well meaning parties
who may wish to bypass Burmese government
                                                              Have ALWS funds reached the people?
officials and thereby risk jeopardizing help to the
needy in the long term. [President’s Report, 14 May]          From early June on ALWS officers and the LCA
In effect, he was warning against giving support to           leadership have spread the message that the good
ASIA FOCUS (and whoever else). Similar messages               news is that our funds as channelled through
circulated in the LCA for many weeks.                         ALWS/ACT rather than rather than ad hoc efforts …
                                                              are reaching the people who need it. Using this
In many quiet ways every aid group working in                 system and process … gives us the best means of
Myanmar has to find ways around some government               ensuring aid is delivered efficiently and effectively.
rules and regulations. That’s if something needs to be        [Jonathan Krause, ALWS, 6 June]. Yet on 11 July
done urgently to save lives! Ask even LWF! With               Chey Mattner, Program Manager ALWS, confirmed to
regard to information we publish we have to be a little       ASIA FOCUS that news and updates on the funds had
careful. We don’t want to jeopardize anything.                never been received and that he didn’t know whether
Generally our Burmese friends see no reason for not           any of the funds had actually made it to the people of
printing what everyone knows and deplores anyway.             Myanmar (!). Information from ACT in Myanmar itself
                                                              has indicated that funds sent by donor bodies as
It was actually thought that someone in authority in          general deposits, like ALWS’ initial $10,000, certainly
our church just might make some complimentary                 had not reached Myanmar by mid June. The present
remark about what ASIA FOCUS has been doing.                  situation (mid July or later) is unknown. Simple
After all, our emails and the Newsletter would have           information is difficult to come by. Chey shared that
significantly increased awareness of the issue in the         ACT-Geneva had in principle allocated the $10,000 to
church and probably helped ALWS to reach the level            HBA (Hungarian Baptist Aid) active in Myanmar. In a
of donations it has received to date.                         semi-apology he wrote that it was reasonable to
                                                              believe in early June that our money had got there.

                                                              ASIA FOCUS wants to stress that it tries not to stand
Relief through ALWS/LWF to ELCM                               in harsh judgment. We too can make mistakes. We
                                                              want to stress that in no way financial impropriety is
Mid May 2008 ALWS sent $10,000 as general funds to
                                                              alleged. ACT’s accountability and transparency
ACT-Geneva and a further $29,000 in June. At least
                                                              standards are high. ALWS funds will get there and
$25,000 of this latter amount was earmarked for LWF
                                                              help substantially. What is questioned here is the
relief in Myanmar which, at this point, essentially
                                                              integrity of claims made and the information spread
means the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Myanmar
                                                              throughout the church quite hurtful to ASIA FOCUS.
(ELCM), the only LWF member church there. Surely

Overwhelming response?                                          Dr Adrienne Jericho, Executive Director, Lutheran
                                                                Education Australia, Adelaide has written a spirited
                                                                response to anything published in ASIA FOCUS that
The official ALWS email of 6 June from its
                                                                may be seen as critical of Lutheran Schools. Here are
Communication Manager already referred to came
                                                                his key statements.
with the headline, Overwhelming response to Sudan
and Myanmar. With regard to Myanmar, an
                                                                I want to put the case that Lutheran schools have
underwhelming statement indeed, loose with the truth
                                                                enthusiastically embraced world mission and global
and obviously made for maximum impact. After all, at
                                                                issues in a wide range of diverse ways. Gen Y tends
the time only $27,000 had been received for the
                                                                to want choice in any such engagement. Thus schools
cause while ASIA FOCUS had already sent around
                                                                have supported ALWS in Cambodia, Sudan and
$22,000 to Myanmar by the end of May. This with the
                                                                Mozambique, Habitat for Humanity in the Philippines,
help of half a dozen of parishes, a couple of Guilds
                                                                established partnerships in Papua New Guinea,
and some 40 individuals only! Compare ASIA FOCUS
                                                                supported with personnel and money Board for
with the might of the Church. No comparison! Also
                                                                Mission projects in South East Asia and been involved
consider that by contrast to ALWS, donations to ASIA
                                                                in projects in Africa.
FOCUS are not tax deductible. It is hoped that it isn’t
the job of the Communications Manager, the ALWS
                                                                Lutheran Education Australia has been working very
never needed until most recently, to engage in this
                                                                closely with the LCA’s Board for Mission for over a
kind of image building.
                                                                decade in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to build
                                                                up the capacity of the Lutheran churches in these
ALWS in many ways keeps doing a good job, remains
respected by us and has a dedicated staff excluding
no one. But ALWS needs to remain credible in every
                                                                LEA encourages, promotes and supports Lutheran
way. The same with ASIA FOCUS and all of us. We are
                                                                school partnerships between Australia and these
all in it together. We invite ALWS and the LCA to
                                                                countries.   Our schools are responding positively to
respond, which presumably they would like to do.
                                                                these challenges and exciting things are happening at
                                                                the local level. As someone who travels widely across
                                                                the LCA I am constantly amazed and surprised at the
                                                                engagement of our schools in mission at home and
Discussion from previous issues continued

  Lutheran Schools and Institutions
                                                                    Today - 27 Million Slaves and Rising
             in General
                                                                    According to reliable statistics, there were 27
                                                                    million slaves in the world in the late 1990’s -
The schools issue is very important but not central in              slaves in the traditional sense of people
the ASIA FOCUS context. Therefore the two letters                   having lost all rights over their lives, people
received on the subject will only be reproduced in                  living and working and eating at the mercy of
part. Pastor Tom Reuther, Adelaide, formerly head of                their modern slave owners, land lords,
what we now call Lutheran Education Australia                       money people, rich men. What’s worse:
comments on the Pastor from Queensland letter in                    today slavery on the increase! Even in many
ASIA FOCUS, June 2008, and looks at some of the                     democracies like the Philippines! Democracy
Mission and Purpose Statements of our Lutheran                      by itself is no help in preventing slavery. As
Homes and the terminology used there. He asks why                   the result of the present world food crisis it is
we are simply adopting the terminology of society.                  almost certain that we will see a big jump in
Does the term 'Aged Care' express what the Church                   the number of slaves in the world as more
should be doing? Is the task of the Church 'care' or                people become the property of others simply
'ministry'? Why not call this service 'Ministry to the              to survive, simply to eat and to drink.
                                                                                      Adapted from ABC Radio National
Pastor Reuther points to the danger that the role of
institutional chaplains is seen in isolation from other
staff. No, they must be an integral part of the
management team whether in the School or the
Home. Ministry input must come from the top. He
challenges us as LCA to find and train leaders who
embrace and vigorously support and implement the
                                                                            A Revolutionary Act
Christian ethos of the institution and then asks,
Where is the vision for formal planning for this? He                During times of universal deceit, telling the
concludes, We need to be much more proactive and                    truth becomes a revolutionary act.
far less reactive. It is high time we turn potential into                                     George Orwell, born 1903
reality. We have so much opportunity for ministry
and mission right here on our doorstep.
Guinea – West Africa                                             Laine Church practically demolished
Progress amongst Fear and Heartbreak
                                                                 News came through that people described as ‘rouges’
                                                                 and ‘bad boys’ had taken the roof off the Lutheran
An unfolding epic struggle for survival                          Church at Laine Camp, a real landmark, a historical
                                                                 cornerstone also for the Nzerekore congregation who

      A story of faith and hope                                  had left the camp only recently. Even the walls (mud
                                                                 bricks) were at the point of collapsing but a concerted
                                                                 effort saved the walls and put some sort of roofing on
                                                                 the building again. All quick local action without aid!
“Death and decay in all around I see, help of the
helpless, O abide with me.”                                      ‘Rouges’ take anything that is worth 5c and not bolted
                                                                 down. For rogues often are hungry and desperate.

The words ‘death and decay’ have a special meaning
for every refugee on earth, especially right now for
Pastor David Siaffa. David is that courageous                    The women are amazing
Lutheran refugee pastor in Guinea who some years
ago in Liberia found Christ as his new Lord and God.             Writes correspondent Wilson K Vai about his church
He was Muslim. He is a gifted and effective leader.              group in Nzerekore, Everyone here is busy with their
                                                                 task. There is nothing more sorrowful than to see
In June his wife had given birth to a baby girl but              what these women are doing for themselves and the
within days the tiny babe lay dead. Mother and child             future of their children. They are doing everything
had been rushed to a hospital 140km away, but of no              with empty stomachs. One 50kg bag of rice is now
avail. David had no chance to even come to his little            300 000 GNF [$1.50 p/kg], something very expensive
girl’s funeral. First they couldn’t find even a tiny piece       for us. We want to buy to have enough to eat, all our
of ground for her burial. The authorities kept saying            money could go on food [but we have to save some].
no. Then a huge sum of money was demanded.                       We are struggling and the battle is not easy.
Eventually a solution was found.
                                                                 Everyone thinks of ways of how to survive. The
There was more heartbreak. Not only were David and               church is the nerve centre, the hub, the heart of
his wife Jenneba not well but news had just come                 social life and mutual support, the glue that binds
from Liberia that David’s mother – fairly healthy and            them together and that empowers them spiritually.
relatively young – was found dead. She also had                  Elders and evangelists deal with many issues and
become a Christian while the rest of her family stayed           problems.
Muslim. And she had lived in her son’s house at
Kouankan Refugee Camp. But, led by motherly
instincts and in spite of warnings, she had returned to
her home town Lofa in Liberia just for a visit. And she
never returned. David normally would have rushed
there to find out what really happened but he knew he
could not, because of danger, because of persecution.
Why and how did she die? We dare not ask questions
but we know what can happen when you turn to Christ.

Then there was Grace, a buoyant, energetic woman
leader in the Lutheran community at Kouankan Camp
who had told her friends all about ASIA FOCUS and all
the support we gave. Suddenly she too was dead.

And there was young Peter at Laine Camp killed in the
pursuit of wild honey by a falling tree in the jungle.
See his story on this page. Four terrible deaths within
a few weeks we are aware of.

ASIA FOCUS now has a relationship with Liberian                  Liberian refugee children at Kouankan Camp cared for by Pastor
                                                                 David Siaffa. Few of them have fathers who survived the civil war.
refugees in Guinea living in three different locations:
Laine Camp, Nzerekore City and Kouankan Camp
(near the city of Gueckedou). The Kouankan group of
Pastor David’s is a large group associated with the
Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Guinea while the Laine            Help comes, above all, from themselves and in the
and Nzerekore groups basically belong together, only             second place, from ASIA FOCUS. We are investing
temporarily separated and still identifying with the             some thousands of dollars here in these weeks simply
Lutheran Church of Liberia in their home land. What              because we need to but it’s their own spirit that’s so
unites them is a common faith - and need and pain                amazing and encouraging. Our funds have helped to
and helplessness, their common struggle to survive.              create a hive of activity on a number of fronts.

Out in the countryside bordering Laine Camp the                  are connected with the church. ASIA FOCUS has
remnant group there has managed to lease land for                asked Christian Blind Mission in Melbourne to see
farming – farming nearly exclusively done by the                 whether they could possibly help. They have work in
women. The crop provides some income for everyone                Guinea. Let’s wait and see.
and after the harvest everyone wants to move over to
Nzerekore since the Camp is being closed down.                   Watching the plight of refugees, I come to this
                                                                 conclusion: The human being created in the image of
And it’s all happening in Nzerekore. Writes Wilson,              God and touched by his Spirit is at its best when
Nzerekore remains the focus centre for the WOMEN                 threatened by extinction, when survival is the name
EMPOWERMENT PROJECT. There are presently more                    of the only ‘game’ in town and when there is no time
than fifty women attending the training. The director            to even think about one’s own needs.
is Towon Wombah who has recently approved four                                                                                  end
major courses to be taught when she saw the need
and the ambition of her keen fellow women. These
courses are: Soap-making, tailoring, baking and
embroidery. We have one Guinean serving as
embroidery facilitator, the rest are Liberians                      The Story of Peter and James -
(refugees). The participants are vulnerable women,                   Honey Hunters of the Forest
widows, school going girls. The training will last for six
                                                                    Meet brothers James and Peter, two young adults.
Women are always amazing. Working from dawn to                      Liberian refugees in Guinea, they were advised to go
                                                                    home. They eventually did and went back in 2005 to
dusk and keeping the community together they try so
                                                                    what used to be their father’s coffee plantation. But,
hard to secure a future. The word is, The women are
                                                                    according to James, they were threatened and
making progress in their undertakings. They are                     hunted and always in danger, refugees in their own
saying, no matter what happens (unstable political                  land. So they had no option but to return to Camp
situation, food prices, strikes), we have vowed to our              Laine.
friends to do the training. We must show Pastor
Fricke, ASIA FOCUS and the Lutheran community in                    Here refugees try all kinds of survival techniques.
the world generally what we can do.                                 Some try to get work in the coffee industry, others
                                                                    sell wood, others live off fishing and so on. Peter and
They believe, in the words of a great Guinea proverb,               James survived on honey hunting, a high-risk
that a good name is better than riches, and in the                  undertaking. Every day they ventured into the wild
words of another one, that when someone washes                      forest in pursuit of the honeycomb of the giant honey
your back, you yourself have to wash your stomach.                  bees. The bees are very big, centimetres long, we
And that’s exactly what they are doing in a marvellous              are told. They are aggressive and can kill human
way: While we are washing their back, they                          beings. James and his brother often carried torches
themselves are washing their stomachs – and more!                   made of bamboo to smoke out these bees after
                                                                    felling a tree at night time. But the bees were not the
                                                                    only threat; the trees themselves could kill too. This is
                                                                    how Peter died – in the dark of the night a tree fell on
Evangelism                                                          his neck cutting his spinal cord. It was the end of May
When people are concerned with their very survival, it
is hard to believe that they are concerned about                    Now totally alone, James was devastated and wept
                                                                    for days. He had no family left whatsoever, no
evangelism. There is no money, no food for the table
                                                                    personal friend, no one to care for him, no education,
in that! Nor have they read books on evangelism. But
                                                                    and no money to go back to school. Fortunately his
the truth is that they are evangelists! All their projects
                                                                    Lutheran Church came to his aid and became his
are under the umbrella of the church. We are                        friend and his family, his father and mother, in fact,
informed as follows, The leadership is using the                    the entire congregation did. He joined the Adult
training as a means to evangelise the lost ones. We                 Literacy Program of his church and Evangelist Paul
now have good number of Guineans in the                             and others are now handling most of his affairs. It
congregation and we are praying to win more souls.                  was ASIA FOCUS that had encouraged the church
At the same time, the Lutheran Church [in a house]                  saying, Please take James out of the jungle and
serves as focal point for all members and activities.               settle him in your city. We must give him a life. We
                                                                    know it will cost. We will try to find a sponsor for him
                                                                    or send you some extra funds. Somehow, like a
Never ending challenges                                             miracle, the money is always there.

Here’s just a short list of problems: lack of medical
facilities, lack of education, not enough food, no
training centre and no good storage facilities in                Correction
Nzerekore, some sick people needing costly medical
treatment, more assistance needed for the Kouankan               In the ASIA FOCUS June issue it should read on page
group in particular.                                             2 in the letter by Rhoda Schiller, India was a real eye
                                                                 opener. I was blown away when told of the 1 million
And then this: an amazing group of BLIND PEOPLE in               babies born in India every month, the 300 cremated
Kouankan have approached us for some help. Most                  every day in the 3000-year-old city of Varanasi…
                                                                   police, so we had no problems. We had big group
                                                                   gatherings of our lay leaders and members from our
      A Touching Story from Thailand                               congregations in the Long-Thanh region with people
                                                                   coming from 500 miles away! People from ‘other
                                                                   faiths’ came too to test me out (like Jehovah’s
     “My parents’ house got washed away.”                          Witnesses) ... but with the help of the Holy Spirit
                                                                   we won them all [won them over?]! Our students
   Kok Village in Northern Thailand on the banks of the            were so very happy. So thankful to the Lord! All our
   Nan River was quite an idyllic scene. Then it                   lay leaders are fine. Son Ng … (in the Dong region)
   happened, all of a sudden, in January 2008. Torrential          was still asking me for financial support ... I
   rains washed away much of the village, 120 houses in            have given them a little but don’t have the means to
   fact. Local residents Mr and Mrs Sutta too lost their           give     them     much.    Five     preachers   from
   house and everything they ever owned, most                      different denominations want to join us but I am still
   importantly their pig, their main income earning asset          checking them out...
   they relied on for survival.

   Long before that they had lost their farm, their land,
   their rice paddy. They had sold it to the bank for
   $7000US, or rather; let the bank take over their land
   for that amount until the last dollar has been paid back
                                                                   News from Indonesia
   – hopefully sometime in the future before they die.
   They gave away their farm so that their two children,           Janner Simamora is now an Indonesian ASIA FOCUS
   Nong and Emma, could go to university.                          scholarship holder who has completed his first
                                                                   semester successfully already and started his second
   What unbelievable sacrifice! No matter how expensive            one. He has been chosen to become a lecturer at the
   studies were, no matter how large the sacrifice, they           strongly Christian (Lutheran) Midwife Academy in
   knew that to educate their children was long term the           Doloksanggul, Northern Sumatra. He writes,
   family’s only hope for escaping the poverty that was
   always theirs. So they gave their all even though it            This is my family background. I am the youngest son
   meant becoming landless peasants for a long, long
                                                                   in my family. I have 6 brothers and 7 sisters (!). My
   time. And then the flood!
                                                                   Father passed away when I was three years old and
                                                                   my mother has been a single parent since then. My
   They are now working alongside of other people on
   what used to be their own land and live in a small              mother lives in Doloksanggul as a farmer. She cannot
   shack on that land. To survive they go to the local             support me to continue my study. I really want to be
   Pagoda to eat and drink. The Pagoda serves as a kind            a lecturer in The Midwife Academy in Doloksanggul. It
   of a poor house.                                                is only because of Dr Pantas Silaban’s help and your
                                                                   help that enabled me to continue my studies. It is my
   With house and land gone, their daily struggle now is           dream to be a lecturer and I hope ASIA FOCUS and Dr
   to find money to repay the bank. That’s where Emma              Pantas will help me to make my dream come true.
   comes in. Now a High School teacher, she does                   Thank you very much for giving me the support I
   everything she can for her parents. Every spare dollar          need.
   goes to them. She says, I never eat good food. That
   means, I never eat chicken, meat, pork because they
   cost too much. I save money for my parents. I want
   them to eat good food and have a better life. I want to
   give them nice clothes. If you have old shirts or pants,        News from Cambodia
   you can give it to them to wear; for they work hard in
   the sun. At night I cry for my parents. It is so sad.           Abundant Life Church (ALC), Preah Sdach
   Because a teacher’s wage is low in Thailand, Emma               Frank Muller and Colin Schulz from Immanuel,
   has found a second job to take her through to 9pm on
                                                                   Buderim, have just returned from Cambodia and have
   most days. I am tired of my life, she says, It’s just too
                                                                   a big story to tell. They visited Abundant Life Church
                                                                   (ALC) near the Vietnamese border. ALC is a partner
   Emma’s parents are not on the list of ASIA FOCUS                church of ours we are working with alongside of
   projects but if someone wishes to help them to get              DanMission from Denmark. This year ASIA FOCUS has
   their farm back by repaying a little of the money               helped the church in many ways already but
   they owe the bank, we will gladly pass on those                 Immanuel Congregation has embarked on their own
   donations!                                                      important and exciting project under our umbrella:
                                                                   the erection of a proper Primary School that is to
                                                                   serve at least three surrounding villages. Education is
                                                                   the key, the future of the country. It gives the kids a
                                                                   chance and also gives the Gospel an opening in those
                                                                   villages, says Frank on returning with as much
News from Vietnam                                                  enthusiasm and commitment as ever.

Brother John from the ‘Lutheran congregations in Mission           He is planning to return in January 2009 with a team
for Christ in Vietnam’ has sent us this letter: We had Bible       of six from his church for the purpose of initiating the
class meetings in these two churches … [names                      replacement of the old bamboo and thatch structure
confidential]. This time Hao had taken care of the                 of the school with a proper timber and iron
construction. Total cost: around $5000. The school as
it is now barely lasts three years under the weather
                                                                           Letter from Germany
conditions over there. The Buderim team will not do it
                                                                           The March Edition of ASIA FOCUS greatly interested
all for them but will teach them and work with them.
                                                                           me. I have the impression that this kind of missionary
                                                                           initiative and co-operation is much more fruitful than
Many good things are happening in the church. The
                                                                           the way the great Mission Institutions operate here.
leadership is keen on church worker training, mission,
                                                                           Often the important gentlemen travel around the
outreach. In fact they are excited about the plan to
                                                                           world all perks inclusive, of course, but what do they
start a new congregation in Phnom Penh soon.

                                                                                                  Pastor Herman Lutschewitz, Germany
                                                                                                      Former spokesperson for the German
                                                                                                             Lutheran missionaries in PNG

                                                                           Letter from America
                                                                           I stumbled across your ASIA FOCUS newsletter online
                                                                           a few days ago, and I wanted to contact you to thank
                                                                           you for it. Your newsletter has given me very valuable
                                                                           insight into the state of the Lutheran Church in
                                                                           Indonesia. I can find such information nowhere else -
                                                                           and trust me, I've looked and looked. Thank you so
                                                                           much for your newsletter, and for making it available
                                                                           online. I also wanted to tell you that your newsletter
                                                                           gives me more than information about Indonesia and
                                                                           the church there I love. It gives me hope.
These motorcycles donated by ASIA FOCUS serve a most important
function in the far flung parish of ALC, Preah Sdach, with its eight                                               Mary Beth Forster, Indiana
outreach points. Pictured here is evangelist Sarin Meas (left) with                                              Ev. Lutheran Church of America
bible college student Sao Am.

Plas Prei, Preah Vihear                                                    Letter from Indonesia
Another Australian Mission Team under the leadership                       Thank you so much for Asia Focus March issue. The
Pastor Greg Graham, Bundaberg, has just returned                           first article "Shout Liberation, cry Freedom" opened
from Preah Vihear Province in Cambodia after                               the eyes of readers that the news of salvation in Christ
conducting a further Teaching Seminar at the Plas                          is the most important news that should be shared
Prei. The Centre was originally started by ASIA                            with everyone. All people need liberation and
FOCUS. Pastor Greg lectured on “Christian Worship”                         freedom, not only the poor but also the rich, not only
to over 100 people in all. Some of the 13 Australian                       uneducated people but also educated one. The
team members also gave talks. The focus at Plas Prei                       witnesses of many people in Africa and Asia including
is presently on the Girls Hostel with its 22 most                          Indonesia show us clearly that there are still many
deserving young women boarding there attending the                         people living with discrimination. They need the right
local High School and being offered a future.                              of getting good food, education, housing, safety, the
                                                                           right to speak out (so necessary here) - the right to
                                                                           really own their own lives and live with dignity.
Letter from Africa
                                                                           Asia Focus has kept its vision and mission strong, I
Thousands of questions arise in my mind [when I read
                                                                           think, reminding readers that the most important
ASIA FOCUS]. Where is the source of the funding of
                                                                           thing in life is spreading the Gospel and creating faith
this small handful of people? I can only imagine their
                                                                           in Christ. For that will give us liberation and freedom.
degree of love for Christianity! Oh friends of this land,
your love and care for Christianity is firm and great!                                                                   Melva Barus, Medan
We find you in Burma, China, Sudan and the rest of
the troubled world zone. Your gifts are always
touching our hearts in a unique way. My heart is more
than warm about the gifts you have sent over time.                           Stuart Betlem from INTEGRITY TRAVEL, Brisbane – a highly
                                                                             professional and price competitive travel agent - supports ASIA
I still remember the person who gave me a small                              FOCUS. His business aims at benefiting not only his clients
meal when I was terribly hungry. The smart patient                           Australia wide but ASIA FOCUS as well. Stuart would be happy
who survives his illness will always remember the                            to assist you in all your travel plans including mission trips,
name of the doctor who gave him the life-saving                              holidays and business travel.
injection. He is his (or her) hero and remains his hero
                                                                             Phone: (07) 3375 7201 Fax: (07) 3375 6721
for all eternity. I mean you are heroes. You are                             IntegrityTravelSB@hotmail.com
heroes because you are saving lives!
                                              Wilson K Vai, Guinea
                                                                But then Jojie suffered a serious foot injury and had
    Bones of Saints flown into Sydney                           to go to hospital costing her (and her church) 13,000
                                                                pesos, over $400. Except that they could only raise
Relics – slivers of bone from Rome - of three Italian           $300, after a lot of struggle. The hospital refused to
Saints have been flown into Australia on the occasion           let her go home unless she paid up in full to the last
of the Catholic World Youth Day (WYD) that was held             peso. But she just couldn’t. So they kept her a virtual
in Sydney July 15-20 July 2008. They were in a small            prisoner for over a week. No further food or treatment
coffin initially on display in Sydney for the purpose of        but just locked up in a secure area where friends
what is called ‘adoration’ and ‘veneration’. WYD was            could visit here and bring her food. In the end ASIA
in many ways an inspirational, breath-taking event              FOCUS paid the last $100, reluctantly because we
that can teach us Lutherans a few things as well! The           can’t do this too often. But the kids really needed
event was subsidised to the tune of $160 million in             Jodie back.
total by governmental bodies. The high point of WYD
was the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. A good seat at his          This is life in the Philippines! As a Filipino nurse in
gigantic final Mass sold for $175 each and some seats           Australia commented, In the Philippines, if you get
for $335 catering included.                                     sick and don’t have money, you die. Health care is for
                                                                the rich only. 90% of the population is poor.
All this is fine but the whole context is sobering. It
comes at a time when the Vatican wants to return to
pre-1960’s ritual and restore much of the theology of
that time – things like the cult of relics. In this way
the clock is turned back and the gap between us is              Myanmar Mission Trips
widened. Only last year we Protestants were called
‘not proper churches’.                                          July 2008: Corinne Heintze, Quentin Petering from
                                                                Victoria and Nene Buckland from Queensland have
Early in July the Pope had decreed a ‘plenary [full]            just returned from Yangon. They have held a three-
indulgence’ for those who participate in WYD and a              day seminar teaching the Faith and building bridges of
partial indulgence for those anywhere in the world              friendship to our brothers and sisters in that troubled
who support it with their prayers. An indulgence is a           land. We are keenly awaiting their reports also with
remission of temporal punishment. These kinds of                regard to Immanuel Children’s Home. Sponsors
concepts make us feel that we are still worlds apart.           can expect updates and photos soon. There are now
Yet we also know that some of the most wonderful                20 children at Immanuel, up from 15. Diane and Ian
people and most progressive thinkers, like Father               Kluge, Tailem Bend SA, bear responsibility in this field
Frank Brennan, are Catholics and are our brothers and           and are doing a marvellous job promoting the cause.
sisters. Many think, live and love like we do.                  Thank you so much! Feel free to contact them at (08)
                                                                8572 3823.
What is Catholic these days? Catholic, it seems, is
what you fancy to believe in as long as it is ticked off        January 2009: Pastor Jim Prenzler, Adelaide, will
by the Holy Father and hallowed by tradition. As a              lead another Mission Trip to country Myanmar (Tahan
cursory look at Roman Catholicism worldwide                     District). Again, we are teaching the Christian and
confirms: Catholicism can mean anything – from                  Lutheran Faith! There may still be a couple of spots
medieval, superstitious, in fact pagan practices to             for anyone who may wish to come along. All inclusive
most enlightened expressions of authentic Christian             cost probably a little over $2000. Please contact
Faith. This, however, is not truly Catholic according to        Pastor Jim at (08) 8263 0042. Dates: most likely 18-
the Creed. The Roman Church needs another Martin                28 January 2009.
Luther, the Luther we Lutherans fail to provide.

                                                                Letter to the Editor
            And there was Jojie…                                Dear Pastor Fricke,

Jojie lives in Bislig City, Mindanao in the Philippines.        Thank you for all the work and research you put into
She is a simple but bright girl of poor background with         preparing Asia Focus. It is a breath of fresh air and
a good heart and love for God - and for street                  opens our eyes to how, where and why we can help
children. Her charismatic church had gathered 20                and gives us real opportunities for first hand
street children literally from the streets and sent them        involvement in mission. So much to do, so many to
to school, that is, paid for their school fees, bought          help. And Asia Focus brings these realities to us in a
them school uniforms as required and supported them             personal and ’human’ way, showing us struggles and
otherwise. Of course, everyone who has a chance in              successes openly and frankly.
the Philippines wants to go to school. Jojie helped
looking after the street children who so far had                I appreciate your honest critique from time to time of
roamed about doing nothing useful. Her pastor,                  various facets of the work and life of our church. We
Junrick Delapena, befriended ASIA FOCUS and we                  need a lot more of such straight talking which
helped them just a little, $300 worth.                          challenges us.

I am sure many join me in thanking God that you and             Christel Metzner, Tewantin, for her important
your wife have put out this important newsletter for            contribution, my son Martin for technical help and
five years by covering all the expenses of preparation,         layout and our Gympie support team that assists in
printing and postage yourselves until now. Thank you            many small ways. Thank you all!
for being honest and open enough to say that you
won’t be able to do this without help in your                   Yours in Christ,
retirement come July.                                           August Fricke

Please use the enclosed donation towards the cost of
continuing to produce this informative and inspiring
paper. We pray that God will continue to use you,
guide you and give you the courage to speak out in
His name.
                                                                “The Wisdom of Years”
We wish you well in your retirement and may God’s
blessings continue to be with you.                              Even if I had received a superior theological education
                                                                at some famous overseas Seminary, I would have had
                                Con Schlenk, Adelaide SA        to learn this about life: whatever may have made my
                                                                ministry blessed and effective was not because of my
                                                                theological education but more likely in spite of it. I
                                                                am a graduate of Luther Seminary (Australian
Editorial Notes                                                 Lutheran College). But nevertheless by the grace of
                                                                God I am what I am, and his grace has not been in
                                                                vain in me. I had to learn that it is illusionary to build
How would you like ASIA FOCUS to progress and                   my self-worth and ministry on my knowledge, my
develop in the days to come? What thoughts and                  authority, my degrees, even my ordination. I am
possibly constructive criticism might you have? What            never more as a pastor than I am as a person, just a
kind of organisational base should we adopt or move             child of God, a sinner saved by grace.
towards? How could closer links be established with
official overseas LCA mission outreach? Would you                          Pastor August Fricke on his retirement 27 July 2008
like to help ASIA FOCUS in some way?

I ask for your input because there need to be changes
in the future. Production and circulation costs soon
need to be covered in different ways. The cost per
issue is around $800. By comparison to the cost of
production and distribution of a free LCA publication            Donations by ASIA FOCUS Jan - July ‘08
like Border Crossings, this is negligible but donations
towards costs will have to be accepted from now on.
The next issue is already paid for. Thank you for the           Liberian Refugees in Guinea, West Africa: $9,200 in
stamps that have been sent for a long time. In all this         total having gone to three different settlements.
it will be important to maintain the principle of
general donations to be used for projects in full.              The Philippines: $3,300 for rice project of Nueva
                                                                Vizcaya District of the Lutheran Church in Luzon;
ASIA FOCUS keeps growing and consolidating. The                 $1,600 in small grants, musical instrument, seminar,
support received often is amazing, even ‘frightening’.          street children – work in the North and on Mindanao.
Thank you. On the other hand, the needs overseas
are just endless. When transferring funds directly into         Myanmar: Immanuel Children’s Home and various
the ASIA FOCUS account, please state clearly donor              other ministries in the Lutheran Church of Myanmar:
details. We would like to thank you. Often entries are          $20,400. Plus Cyclone aid: $30,000 ($16,100 LCM,
a mystery.                                                      $13,900 Helping Hands).

ASIA FOCUS only has a simple, basic website but                 Thailand: $2,100 relief for poor; evangelist support
please have a look: www.asiafocus.org.au.                       through Evangelical Lutheran Church of Thailand.

In principle I am happily available for speaking or             Mongolia: $3,300 for mission and ministries.
preaching engagements. In October, for example, I
am looking forward to speaking in Sydney. And please            Cambodia: $5,100 for Abundant Life Church, Preah
let’s have your email! Email is the power of the                Sdach in consultation with DanMission, Denmark.
future. Our Myanmar action was made possible on the
basis of little more than one bulk email. Email is              Indonesia: HKBP – $2,100 Seminar on Family Crisis
essential for instant and effective communication!              Care; $2,600 sponsorships including those funded by
                                                                private donors; GKPI School - $600.
As I am facing considerable changes in my life I would
like to thank no one more than Karen Schiefelbein as            Thankfully acknowledged is the involvement of the
co-worker, treasurer and mailing lists secretary for            congregations in Minyip Vic, Gawler SA and Buderim
the incredibly long hours of hard work she puts in              Qld and the generous support of some other parishes
cheerfully every week. As well, thank you so much to            as well.

 Current ASIA FOCUS Projects                                        ASIA FOCUS Mission Statement

Myanmar                                                       ASIA FOCUS aims to be a source of information on
                                                              Asian Christianity from a Lutheran perspective. It
   Support for the building up and nurturing of               endeavours to promote friendship and true
   the body of Christ through the ministries of               dialogue between individual Christians and
   the Lutheran Church of Myanmar, also with
   the help of some LCA congregations.
                                                              churches beyond cultural divides. ASIA FOCUS
                                                              supports holistic mission and service ministries
   Key project: ‘Immanuel Children’s Home’ in                 hand in hand with our Asian brothers and sisters.

   Preah Sdach: Abundant Life Church near
   Vietnamese border – various projects.                        A big thank you to all donors!
   Water wells and school building for a village
                                                         ASIA FOCUS does not appeal for money in the way churches
   of new settlers near Thai border.
                                                         do and probably must. ASIA FOCUS hopes to help revive the
                                                         mission spirit in the church. We believe that it should be
Mongolia                                                 possible to make available greater resources for mission
                                                         and relief through official LCA channels and
   Support for mission work           of    three
                                                         congregational and other independent ventures such as
   courageous church workers.
                                                         ASIA FOCUS as well.
Indonesia                                                Obviously ASIA FOCUS projects depend on the continued
                                                         flow of donations. We know that the Spirit guides and
   Sponsorships: blind student Ida Rosari at Abdi        provides.
   Sabda Seminary; Mr Janner, post-graduate
   studies; Luther Matheus Saogo, Mentawai               ASIA FOCUS wants to say thank you so much to all
   Islands studying in Java; others privately            donors. We thank you for your engagement in this
   funded through ASIA FOCUS friends.                    rewarding venture of faith and mission.
   Support of impoverished Nias people in Riau
   province, Central Sumatra.
                                                            ASIA FOCUS is a free publication distributed in printed
                                                            and electronic format. Unless otherwise indicated, Pr
Thailand                                                    August Fricke (fricke@netspace.net.au) is the author
                                                            of all items.
   Sponsorship of evangelist Mr Tosapol Lapimol
   in the north, some aid to some needy people              You are invited to order multiple copies of this
   and at times congregations.                              newsletter. ASIA FOCUS may be reproduced freely.
                                                            Individual materials may also be reproduced but
Philippines                                                 please make appropriate acknowledgements.

   Support for church work and evangelism in                Unless otherwise earmarked, donations go in full to
   the Cordilleras, Northern Luzon.                         projects supported by ASIA FOCUS. Receipts issued for
                                                            all donations. Don’t forget: letters can be lost. So
   Rice project in the same region                          please always put your address on your mail.
                                                            Donations of 50c stamps are much appreciated.
                                                            Cheques to be made out to ‘Asia Mission and Relief
Vietnam                                                     Fund’. Bank transfers welcome but please state clearly
   Some support     for   parishes   and   church           the source of the donation.
                                                            ASIA FOCUS bank details:              Correspondence to:
                                                                                       Treasurer: Mrs K Schiefelbein
Africa                                                      Bank:    Suncorp                Editor: Pr August Fricke
                                                            BSB#:    484-799                        p +61 07 5482 1435
   Guinea, West Africa – helping Liberian                   A/C#:    600321060                      m +61 0409 477 040
   refugees to survive in Nzerekore City,                   ‘Asia Mission and Relief Fund’
   supporting their remnant flock at Laine Camp
   and newly assisting a large group in                                                                    PO Box 911
   Kouankan Camp near Gueckedou City.                       editor@asiafocus.org.au          Gympie Qld 4570, Australia


Shared By:
Description: A Mere Struggle to Survive