A few years ago, the small and elderly congregation of St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Broken Hill began searching for volunteers to carry out maintenance work on its ageing buildings.
However, due to distance and isolation, finding helpers was proving difficult.
That was until September this year, when a group of maintenance angels from South Australia made the trip to the Silver City to assist the congregation with its repairs.
The group of eight adults and three children from Point Pass, Eudunda and Bethel congregations visited for a weekend. They painted the church hall and also repaired the hall and church gutters.
Broken Hill Chairperson Ann Hohnberg said she was extremely pleased and grateful when she learned a group of fellow Lutherans was willing to lend a hand.
“The hall was crying out for help and these people left their own properties to answer our prayers,” Ann said.
“Broken Hill is an extremely small congregation of older women and one man. It had been many years since any maintenance was done, at least since 1996.”
The visiting group consisted of Bethel’s Gary Schmidt and John Sobolski, and Eudunda’s Peter Hoffmann. Craig Hoffmann, Paul and Melinda Schutz (plus children Caitlin, Jacob and Austin), and Bruce and Lyn Schutz all travelled from Point Pass.
Bruce and Lyn were the main organisers of the trip, as Bruce had a connection to the church.
“Bruce had attended the opening of the Broken Hill church back in 1977 with his parents, as the Point Pass congregation received an invitation to attend because they had given a donation to their building appeal,” Lyn said.
“We went back to Broken Hill for the 40th anniversary service (in February last year). With no members in their congregation able to do a few fix up jobs around the building, we knew that if needed, we could help out.”
The trip gained momentum at the SA-NT District Convention of Synod in May, where it was mentioned Broken Hill was still looking for assistance.
When the visitors arrived at Broken Hill in September, they felt very welcomed by local congregation members and attended the Sunday worship service as well.
Lyn said it was an enjoyable and rewarding trip, full of fellowship and laughs.
“This was a great weekend to spend time together with other people and share our skills that God has blessed us with,” she said.
“Even though we are not professionals at doing this fix up work, the chance to do something for another congregation was very rewarding and we thank God for the opportunity to share this.
“Maybe we could help out another congregation someday.”