Peter Ravikumar from India, have visited Sweden and Hammaro/Åmål for about one month in order to experience the mission and ministry here in Sweden.
Tell us about yourself!
I am a Dalit man from Madurai, south India and have a history of belonging to Christianity for three hundred years in our family. I am married, my wife works in the seminary as a Manager in bookshop, and have two grown up daughters. I am 57 years of age and have two researcher degrees and a honorary Doctor of Letters degree. I am interested to interact and involve with peoples struggle, care for the poor and sick, teach and travel to learn.
We all live together as joint family in the seminary. In the seminary we have 210 students studying theology who will become priests. We are going to celebrate golden jubilee in this academic year.
What ave you done here?
I was observing, helping in Holy Communion, giving sermons, sharing in youth and confirmation groups, reading during the worship, having discussion about sermons, sharing in bible study groups, travelling and excursions with Church leaders and lay people, attending funerals, baptism services, music worship, playing flute, attending board meetings, meeting Bishop and Priests, witnessing celebration, wedding services, taking part in fikas(Tea) groups, meeting non formal study groups and meeting people from other countries and so on.
My main goal was to learn about Church and its ministry so that I could see the possibility of coming back to serve in the Diocese. It is also to recollect my past experience(22 years ago I was in Rättvik, Sweden).
Which are the main differences between working as a priest in India and Sweden?
Main difference is that the Church here in Sweden is free to plan and implement the mission projects and serve people. In India we are minority and have to be careful in planning and implementing mission activities. Here, you have good facilities we lack those in India. Less people come to Church here in Sweden and there are more people in India every Sunday and every meetings. Other differences is that it's very cold here and very hot in India. Also the economy, financially strong here and poor in India.
What do you like most about beeing a priest?
I love to meet people, visit them and share God's word with people and care their needs as far as possible.
What experiences will you bring?
I will keep in mind the freedom, creativity, responsibility and accountability of Priest, Leaders and Lay people.
On the whole we are all people of God and land belongs to God and we have learn to share what ever we have with each other with out any distinction. We should be interested in people and their situation and not in the projects, programs and publicities. God's mission is sacrificial and less public. We have to do everything for the glory of God.