LLL Mission Stimulus Grant
by Steve Liebelt
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Hamilton, Victoria, owns and operates Good Shepherd Early Childhood Services. We have 180 children from 151 families attending the service each week with 34 full-time, part-time and casual educators.
Our aim is to share the truth of God’s word with the children – and the staff – so the seed of God’s word is sown in their families as well. The children learn bible stories that are being increasingly forgotten in our wider society. We focus on the simple good news that God created them and saved them from sin, death and the devil through Jesus who died and rose again. Thanks to Jesus, they can be certain that the God who made them loves them, and He is always with them.
“Jesus Time” initially took place three times a week, but it has grown over the past four years and now takes place five days a week. The children are taught God’s word (including the importance of being baptised into Christ), how to pray (including the Lord’s Prayer), and they also love to sing songs that I play on the guitar. Once a month we have a “combined” Jesus Time at the Good Shepherd College Junior Campus hall, with Pastor Dave leading and with the preps joining us. Two church services a year that involve the children and an end of year Christmas service have been very well attended. I also lead devotions at staff meetings and write a mini devotion in the fortnightly newsletter. Left-over meals from the kitchen are packaged and frozen, ready to be given to those who are ill or in need.
It is a blessing to be able to share the love and salvation of Jesus with the children and staff, knowing from comments that come back to us that families are also hearing God’s word and coming to know the hope and love that can only come from God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Thank you LLL for your help in making this possible!
‘HOLY WEEK IN HAND PAINTS’, produced for Easter 2020 by some of the children and explained by Steve. “It is amazing how a few painted handprints and footprints, with a touch of added colour here and there, and short headings can tell the story of Easter so simply yet so effectively.”
Steve Liebelt is the Lay Worker (Pastoral Care and Outreach Co-ordinator) at Good Shepherd. The church received a $25,000 LLL Mission Stimulus Grant through the Vic/Tas District in 2015.