Walk My Way is growing. Right across Australia (and hopefully New Zealand, too), the Lutheran family is rushing to be part of this fundraising event created by ALWS to help our members to go and grow as God’s people as we help refugee children in camps in Kenya to go to school. It’s also an opportunity to show our local communities that we are working (and walking) hard to bring love to life. But there’s a problem. After participants walk 26 kilometres in the footsteps of Lutheran Pioneer women through the Adelaide Hills, to raise money for children in Africa, it may be more of a case of ‘go and groan’ on 13 April! So, why would anyone go so far to help a refugee child go to school? ALWS Community Action Manager Jonathan Krause spoke with some Walk My Way advocates and participants to find out.
Education a tool for change
‘I have been blessed to have been a teacher for over 40 years and in all those years in schools that were well equipped and resourced with talented people. So, by becoming a part of Walk My Way, I feel that I can help make a positive contribution by providing resources and people to help young people who find themselves in the unimaginable conditions of being in a refugee camp. By walking 21 kilometres in the heat of the Top End, I can empathise just a little with the plight of those families who have had to flee due to war or fear or famine. By raising funds I can help provide materials, pay teachers and improve conditions. I am happy to do that because education is a powerful tool for change, for instilling hope and for restoring confidence in humanity.’ – Peter Schubert, pictured, a teacher at Good Shepherd Lutheran College, Darwin. He plans to walk from Howard Springs Campus to Leanyer Campus on Saturday 13 April 2019 – his birthday!
A powerful witness
‘Walk My Way brings together all sorts of people, young and old, from our congregations and schools to share in the joy of doing something for others and experiencing that it is “better to give than to receive”. It is also a much-needed witness to our communities, especially at a time when many people are sceptical or cynical about churches. I encourage you all to dust off your walking boots, gather together a family, church or community group, and sign up for Walk My Way 2019.’ – LCA Bishop John Henderson, who will take part in Walk My Way in Adelaide on 13 April.
Church as community
‘Here at the LLL, we’re committed to supporting the mission and ministry of the LCA. We see Walk My Way as a wonderful way to bring together schools and congregations, to celebrate our heritage while showing our community what it means to be church today. It’s a joy to help children in refugee camps go to school now, and encourage the children and young people building a future in our Lutheran schools.’ – Andrew Waldhuter, Promotions Manager LLL Australia
Challenge to pastors
‘I’m happy to do the blessing for the opening of Walk My Way. Can I get everyone to close their eyes so that I can get a 10-minute head start?’ – Pastor Stephen Schultz, Assistant Bishop for Mission, SA–NT District
Please note: Pastor Stephen has declared pastors ‘soft’, and offered a prize to any pastor who beats him down the hill – is your pastor ‘soft’??
‘Will I beat Pastor Steve? It depends who Jesus wants me to talk to, and how fast they walk!’ – Pastor Michael Dutschke, Bridgewater SA
Why we walked your way
Mary Fartak led 15 children from her extended family across South Sudan to safety at the ALWS-supported Nadapal Transit Centre in Kenya. This is some of her story:
‘Raiders came and took our cattle. They come and shoot. They kill people. If you escape, you escape. If you don’t, you die.
‘There are a lot of people on the way. They want to loot. They want to attack. When we see soldiers, we run away. But we are kept safe. God protected us.
‘I want to thank those people who help us.
‘Let me tell the people in Australia that I have escaped from persecution. There are many more who need safety, too. So pray hard that these others can escape.
‘At Kakuma we are hoping we will be safe. We want to stay here, not go back home. I want my children to study.’
walkmyway.org.au * 1300 763 407 *