Bethany Home caring for special needs in the community

I was born into a Christian family and grew up in a church in the heart of Kuala Lumpur city. I am the only child of a pastor of a conservative Pentecostal church and my mother is a full-time church worker helping in the church’s evangelistic ministry.

I joined the full-time ministry focusing on social work at the age of 21 when I joined a Street Evangelism organisation, that ministered among the people living on the street. I realised at a very young age that my ministry was going to be among people discriminated for their social status and those needing support to start life anew. As such, I served among different churches and mission organisations in the area of social concern.

I am married to Sarah Paul, a primary government schoolteacher, and we are blessed with four sons, Elisha Sathyanesan, Blesson Thevanesan, Bleston Anbunesan and Abishek Jeyanesan.

In 2007, I felt the need to do theological education and enrolled in Seminari Theoloji, Malaysia, to do my Bachelor of Theology. It was during this time that I met Rt Rev Dr Solomon Rajah, Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia, who was then a lecturer at the seminary. He was instrumental in educating me and my father on Lutheranism and bringing us into the Lutheran fold.

In July 2018, I was assigned as the Director of Bethany Home. Here I began to observe the challenges and difficulties faced by persons with special needs, as well as the staff and teachers providing training for them. I also witnessed the challenges and worries of parents of the children. I realised that my journey in social work had prepared me for the ministry in Bethany Home. Bethany Home is not only focused on the needs of the people with special needs, but is a wholesome ministry which encompasses the needs and challenges of parents with special needs children, teachers who train and care for the students with special needs and the staff who are part of the Bethany Home ministry.

Bethany Home provides training for persons with special needs from a very young age and prepares them for life within their community and society at large. It is also a source of livelihood for them. If a Bethany Home trainee is unable to secure a job after their training, the home seeks to create a job opportunity for the student within Bethany. We have approximately fifty persons with special needs working in Bethany Home as class assistants, café assistants, in sheltered employment and in various different supportive roles.

I am currently spearheading the upcoming Bethany Smart Homes project. This is a development project specifically catering to independent persons with special needs to have their own home, with facilities such as a 24-hour guarded compound, 24-hour clinic with ambulance service, cleaning service, canteen, laundry, Wi-Fi, teachers to monitor etc. This project is very important as many of the parents are worried about their children’s welfare after their demise.

I firmly believe that the love and compassion of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is conveyed through our effort to empower the weak and the powerless. As we read in Isaiah 40:29, He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Therefore, Bethany Home, as an ambassador of Christ, will continue to empower persons with special needs, as well as their parents and teachers. This will enable them to enjoy the beautiful gift of life and experience the joy of living.

I, along with the Bethany Home Management Committee and all of Bethany Home teachers, staff, parents and children, thank the Lutheran Women of Australia for your continued love and support for Bethany Home for all these years. We pray and hope that our relationship continues to further empower persons with special needs and through them, the community at large.

Rev Eliezer Peter

If you would like to consider the opportunity to serve as a Volunteer in Mission at Bethany Home, or with any of the LCA International Mission partner churches, you are invited to contact Nevin Nitschke, LCA International Mission program officer on (08) 8267 7300 or email:

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