Acknowledgement of Deaconess Dr Serepina Sitanggang, Principal, Christian Protestant Batak Church (HKBP) Deaconess School (LPD), Balige, North Sumatra, Indonesia, on her retirement.
(Member association: Ikatan Diakoni Wanita Huria Kristen Batak Protestant)
The General Synod of the HKBP had the foresight to establish the Deaconess School (LPD) in 1971.
Under the faithful leadership of Deaconess Dr Serepina Sitanggang, many women have been trained for diaconal service in the community. They have developed skills in order to provide spiritual, physical and emotional support in the community. They offer comfort and care. Their ministry has lifted the lives of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in the community, those suffering from illness and disease, those living with poverty, and given hope when hope has been scarce. The challenges are great!
The Deaconesses have received education for diaconal ministry, and in turn provide education in many ways in the wider community. Through the LPD program, they have been exposed to areas of injustice including child trafficking, migrant workers, fraud and corruption and children’s rights, and learned the positive role of advocacy.
The ministry of the Deaconess in turn inspires and empowers women in the wider community to address issues of concern to them and their communities.
It has been said that the most important qualities of a good leader include integrity, accountability, empathy, humility, resilience, vision, influence, and positivity. Deaconess Serapina has led by example, displaying very fine qualities of a leader, and inspiring, encouraging and equipping hundreds of women for diaconal ministry. A true leader understands the hopes and dreams of others. Serapina has encouraged students to embark upon post graduate study opportunities and internships in other countries, enriching their lives and strengthening the education offered at LPD.
Deaconess Serapina’s steady and unwavering leadership has been a blessing to so many and had a significant impact on the wider community through the Deaconesses who have taken their learning far and wide. Christians are the minority in Indonesia, and still the Deaconesses boldly embody Christ’s love with courage and compassion. They pray for each another, and help and support each other.
I send greetings on behalf of DIAKONIA World Federation and acknowledge with grateful thanks the inspiring and faithful ministry of Deaconess Serapina Sitanggang. I know that the DIAKONIA Asia Pacific Region would also wish to send greetings, and to value her leadership.
I pray God’s blessings on Deaconess Serapina. I am confident God will continue to lead her steps in the future and that her life will continue to inspire others.