Andrew Buchanan reflects on his family’s time in Sydney and tells us what is ahead.

  • 17 May 2022
  • Andrew Buchanan
We are very thankful to God for all the care that we have received from SHAP over the four years we have been back in Australia. We felt it particularly around the time Timothy was born (now nineteen months ago!), and again at our very warm farewells last Sunday. But we also know that we are prayed for regularly, and we are looking forward to sharing what God is doing in our part of Indonesia.

This time has been an exercise in patience for us. Andrew has been in Toraja since 2002, supported through CMS to teach biblical studies to theology students. Abi has lived there since she was born. We married in 2015, and the plan was two years in Australia so that Abi could go through the CMS preparation process and we be sent out as a couple. At the start of 2020, about six months before we were due to go back, Abi fell pregnant. Then Covid hit. That slowed down processing of Abi’s permanent residency (which ended up taking nearly three years) and made entry to Indonesia impossible for Andrew until recently.

During the “extra” two years, we have been living with Andrew’s parents (members of the 8 am congregation). We made the 10 am service our home for the first part of that time, where Andrew enjoyed being a member of the singing group. As Timothy got older and needed some peer interaction, we moved to the Little Sheep service. This is a warm and welcoming community with people from diverse backgrounds.

Abi has a passion for children and was running a Fun English group for primary aged children in her village before we came back. Her experience with Little Sheep has inspired her to start a similar ministry when we get back. We are greatly encouraged that Little Sheep wants to partner with her in this. The new ministry will be called “Domba Kecil”, a direct translation of “Little Sheep”. As we will be living at the edge of Abi’s village, she already has many contacts, some of whom she ministered to in youth group or even Sunday School in former times. So her ministry will also provide opportunities to help the mothers in their Christian growth. 

Andrew is looking forward to teaching face to face. Before we came back, he was offered a position to teach theology students at the masters level. The Covid situation that caused our delay also enabled him to teach online, which he has now been doing for two years. However, face to face teaching will provide many more opportunities to interact with students and with other lecturers. 

Timothy’s twelve cousins are also looking forward to meeting him in person. Most of Abi’s immediate family lives nearby and they are a close group. Do pray for us as we settle in. Pray also for God to use us there, both in the more institutional setting where Andrew will be working and in the day to day interactions in our community. As we continue to pray for your ministry at South Head.proclaimed.