Lutheran nurses from around the world gathered in Alice Springs recently, as part of an international study tour. The group of seventeen people spent six days in the Centre, with nurses from Australia, the USA, Singapore and Palestine (Bethlehem) taking part. Lutheran Parish Nurses International (LPNI) runs the annual study tours, which take place in countries where parish nursing has been established. The tours allow participants to learn about the history and mission of the local Lutheran Church and about the health structures and parish nurse ministry in the countries visited, as well as providing fellowship opportunities.
While in Alice Springs the group visited Hermannsburg to learn about early mission history and to hear members of the Aboriginal women’s choir sing. They visited the Royal Flying Doctor Centre, the School of the Air, and the Overland Telegraph Station. At the Saturday seminar, local Ministry Support Workers introduced them to the scope and cross-cultural ministry of the Finke River Mission, and local nurses described health issues facing people living in Central Australia. On the following day they joined the Alice Springs congregation for bi-lingual English-Pitjantjatjara worship and visited Yirara college.
The group also visited Standley Chasm, Simpson’s Gap, and the Desert Park, where they saw small desert marsupials they’d never heard of before!
Sue Neff, from California, summed up the response of participants, when she wrote: ‘We had such a lovely trip. What a wealth of information we learned. I am still trying to digest it all!’.
You can read more about parish nursing (also known as pastoral care nursing) at this link.
Photo: Rear, from left: Darlene Rueter, USA; Nick Weber, USA; Aimee Jambor, USA; Dianne Weber, USA; Dr Marcia Schnorr, USA; Sigrid Burford, Australia; Carol Wehland, USA; Bronwyn Wilkinson, Australia; Rev Khoo Lok Yew (Jimmy Khoo), Singapore. Front: Cathie Buckland, Australia; Sue Neff, USA; Rev Bob Wiebusch, Australia; Raeda Mansour, Palestine; Margaret Voigt, Australia; Karen Eck, USA; Jennifer Chua Bee Kiaw (Khoo), Singapore.