‘The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.’ This quote is often attributed to Martin Luther. When a dog named Scotty forgets his manners inside the house, his behaviour is graciously forgiven as his faithfulness […]
‘The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.’ This quote is often attributed to Martin Luther.
When a dog named Scotty forgets his manners inside the house, his behaviour is graciously forgiven as his faithfulness is unquestioned. In a community where driving down the street requires care, and theft is commonplace, Scotty is a valuable guard dog. ‘But even more, he’s a companion and a listening ear’, his owner says. His owner is Michael ‘Mick’ Hauser, an LCA-employed missionary based in Papua New Guinea.
Being from a social minority is difficult, as Mick is finding out.
When you are a seminary lecturer far from home, teaching students for whom English is a second language, in a country with more than 1,000,000 Lutherans, you need to be a special person.
Mick has been lecturing at Martin Luther Seminary, Lae, for the past 12 months and is amazed by how much he enjoys it. ‘The joy it has given me is a surprise, the surprise of finding joy in the way I’m called to serve people, both in the classroom and in the very different and sometimes difficult situations that arise’, he says.
He has the privilege of seeing students grow in their faith and confidence to be the next generation of people who speak of Jesus’ love. This continues the tradition of Lutherans proclaiming the gospel in New Guinea, which dates from 1886 when missionary Johann Flierl first established relationships there.
‘At the core it’s practical and simple. God works in people through word and sacrament’, Mick says. ‘Jesus touched my life through my baptism and continues to touch my life through word and sacrament. My hope is in Christ. Trusting the gospel is both what saves and makes us, what stills and moves us’.
For Mick, the partnership between the Evangelical Lutheran Church PNG and the LCA means walking side by side and realising that at points in each church’s history there have been stumbling blocks. ‘We all need a hand up at some stage … both ways’, he says.
The growth of believers in PNG over the past century has been an amazing story and, like the Australian mission story, has undergone major challenges.
In Mick’s humble and inspiring way, he has continued the task of answering God’s call on an individual’s life, and is making a difference.
Just for the record, Mick’s favourite local food delicacy is pork. I have a feeling it might also be Scotty’s favourite!
This story was also published in the November 2016 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.
If you would like to consider the opportunity to donate to Mick Hauser, who is serving as a lecturer at Martin Luther Seminary in Papua New Guinea, you are invited to go to http://lcamission.org.au/donations/index.php/png.html and select ‘Mick Hauser (Missionary) – PNG’ from the list of projects.
For more information about Mick Hauser, go to http://www.lcamission.org.au/about-us/who-we-are/countries/papua-new-guinea/papua-new-guinea-mick-hauser/