God’s Hand in New Experiences and Challenges

The hand of God has been evident throughout my life. Born into a Christian family in the Wimmera in Victoria, I grew in faith following the example of my parents. The growth of that faith has continued, and many things have happened to ensure that.

I was sent to Luther College in Melbourne for my secondary education and it was while there that LTC (Lutheran Teachers’ College) students visited and spent time telling us about the study and work done there. I went home for the next holiday and told my dad that I would like to go there for teacher training. His comment was “You’ll marry a pastor!” “No way”, was my emphatic reply. Well, that became an eventuality! 

Then began the journey in ministry and we have travelled widely throughout Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

We were sent to PNG, to Aseki, in Morobe Provence, straight from Seminary graduation. It was challenging travelling with two children and one more on the way. It was also a bit of a joke that the Kuchels were sent to the Kukakukas. We spent four years there and four years in Mt Hagen at Ogelbang Seminary. Returning to Australia at the end of 1989, many things had been put in place to make our transition as easy as possible.

We were to return to Australia for Geoff to commence a Master’s degree, and then to return to PNG. Accommodation and a car were already organised for the 12 months. However, before we were due to leave PNG, we were attacked on the road back home after attending an evening event at the high school our daughter attended. Consequently, we left PNG early.

It was at the time of an airline strike in Australia and we required seven seats from Mt Hagen to Adelaide. Tickets home were usually booked and paid for months before to ensure travel dates etc., so to change them in two days was basically impossible. Due to the work of a young national, on his computer, he got us home, providing seven seats over about five days. We got to Port Moresby with the help of MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship), then to Brisbane where we stayed for two days and then to Adelaide via Sydney and Melbourne. Good friends were on hand to help us through this process, both on the plane, and the overnight stay in Port Moresby and the nights in Brisbane. God had all of this planned. He made our rough way smooth.

Since then we have served at Our Redeemer Warracknabeal, Vic; Luther College, Melbourne; Peace Gatton, Qld; St Luke’s Albury, NSW; Top End Lutheran Parish, NT and now Light Lutheran Congregation in SA. Each place has added experiences that are useful in the areas we have served. God’s hand leads us using these experiences for the benefit of those we serve. We have grown in our understanding of disability services, parenting, and being a part of the community, we are planted in, both spiritual and secular. The blessings we have experienced are enormous, and his grace is always present.

About the Author

Chris Kuchel

I am the wife of Pastor Geoff Kuchel. We have five children and 17 grandchildren. I trained as a teacher, including the internal LTC year, which has been useful over the years with home schooling and helping in classrooms. We are currently in Freeling, SA, once again enjoying a rural lifestyle.

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