In 2004 the SRC became aware of a Lutheran School in New Guinea that had lost everything through fire, caused by a tribal war. The students initially sought books to replenish some of the 10 000 books that were lost, but gradually, the offer of goods became so great that their project expanded into collecting sporting equipment, linen and furniture as well as thousands of books. We were very grateful to the wider community who came forward to offer goods. It was a wonderful experience for the students to be able to feel that they could really offer service to others through their actions, not just by making a monetary donation, but through spending time, shoe leather and effort in bringing the project together. We were very fortunate to have had the offer of free freight for our goods through Hastings Deering, who shipped all of the donated goods to Lae, where it was collected by the staff of the school. This was a marvellous opportunity for the College to demonstrate living the value of compassion and accepting the mission of working for others.
World Vision Sponsor Child
In 2003 we began sponsoring a young boy from Vietnam, Van Tam Chu. Each week, our offering from our Thursday Chapel service is collected to provide the funds to continue this sponsorship. Over the last couple of years, we know that Van Tam, and members of his family and village, have benefited from this sponsorship. This is another demonstration of Christ’s love through action and service.
In 2004, we began a visitation program to the Finlandia Village Hostel and Retirement Villas, which are located across the road form the campus. Each fortnight a Yr 7 class visits the residents and shares time with them in a number of ways. The students have established gardens, shared photos and family stories, gone for walks with the residents, shared morning tea, and generally bridged the gap between the generations. These experiences provide enriching opportunities for both our students and the residents and enable them all to enjoy the company of someone outside their regular circles. We thankfully have continued this program in 2005 and look forward to its further development in the future.
Finlandia Easter Basket
Another initiative of the SRC was to launch a project to collect Easter chocolates to present to the residents of Finlandia at Easter time in 2005. They conducted ‘‘THE GREAT CLASS EASTER CHOCOLATE WEIGH IN’, where each class collected a basket full of chocolates. On the final day, a weigh in was held, where the donations were weighed. The winning class was presented with a tray of Easter eggs and chocolates to share, whilst the proceeds of the competition were presented in three large baskets to the residents of Finlandia on the Thursday prior to Easter. Again, this project demonstrated to the students, the joy of giving and doing something for others.
Operation Christmas Child
Each year we support the Samaritans’ Purse project and collect decorated shoe boxes full of trinkets and small gifts for distribution to children in Third World countries. This is a joyous project which gets families involved in collecting items for children, including toiletries, articles of clothing, stationery, confectionery and small toys. This is another real life practice where we can live the teachings of Jesus, and one which gives enormous satisfaction and pleasure to all involved.
Congregation Christmas Hamper
Over the closing weeks of Term 4, a collection is made of non-perishable food items and Christmas goodies, which are then donated to the St James/Faith congregations. This hamper is then distributed to needy members of the community, as determined by our Parish Pastor, Pastor Maurie and our College Pastor, Pastor Robert.