About this time last year the Noarlunga Corps took a mission team to the Jelambar Corps in Jakarta, Indonesia. We had the privilege of meeting some awesome people and engage in a variety of mission activities which exposed us to The Salvation Army from a very different cultural perspective.
For the past four weeks, a member of the Jelambar Corps reversed the mission experience by visiting the Noarlunga Corps. Jason Kandari came to Australia during his university holiday break with the desire to experience as much as he could about Salvation Army mission from an Australian context. It has been an absolute joy to host this young man and have him engage with our Corps and community.
I call Jason's visit to Noarlunga a "reverse mission trip" as it has been as much a mission experience for us as it was for him, without us leaving home. We had the privilege to invest into his mission experience by providing an environment for him to learn and grow, while using his interaction with our Corps as an equal opportunity for us to learn and grow from his different cultural perspective.
Having experienced Jason's world for a short period of time laid a helpful and challenging foundation for his visit. It was helpful because it enabled us to connect with him at a more personal level and demonstrate an informed cultural sensitivity to his experience. Yet, it was challenging because we couldn't help to compare our contrasting cultural realities. From bringing Jason into our middle class home to exposing him to our Community Support Services, we knew our worlds were very different. The resources we have access to for mission, the assistance at our disposal for welfare and our sanitised city are in stark contrast to the environment in which Jelambar Corps ministers. It has provided us with a sobering perspective of the blessings and challenges of Salvation Army mission in Australia compared to Indonesia.
From Noarlunga to Jelambar and Jelambar to Noarlunga we have been mutually enriched by our interaction with the internationalism of The Salvation Army, where Salvationists who are united in spirit pursue a "passion for the LORD, the LOST and LEADERSHIP!"