A change of season is taking place in tropical Lae. The wet is about to become wetter. Seasons come and go, unnoticed at first, creeping up on us. A new season in my life has crept up on me recently too. It is the call to ordination and the ministry of word and sacrament. Just […]
A change of season is taking place in tropical Lae. The wet is about to become wetter. Seasons come and go, unnoticed at first, creeping up on us.
A new season in my life has crept up on me recently too. It is the call to ordination and the ministry of word and sacrament.
Just as the icy blast tells of winter and the blooms broadcast spring, I can only tell you of the call once it was upon me. It is in no small part due to the new context in life that has been given to me by living and serving in Papua New Guinea (PNG). Locals give honour to people by giving them a voice. Indeed, visitors are often asked to speak just because they are a visitor. Speech is emphasised and the praise of the outsider very much valued, as in Proverbs 27:2.
Personally I have always been uncomfortable as a public speaker. But my painful shyness has had to be held at bay to speak in a classroom or public forum in PNG. Students, seminary staff members and respected officers of the church have continued to ask me about a call to ministry and given me encouragement. The people of PNG have given me a voice when I did not have or deserve one.
Over time, my once-sound answer of ‘no’ to the question of a call to public ministry, became no answer in the light of God’s promise to not only step with me, but also to step for me when I couldn’t. The amount of times that my preparation for class was the 100m walk to the classroom from home has helped prepare me for the unexpected – including the answer of ‘yes’. A resigned willingness has risen in my heart. Somehow, God does it. He changes people, grows them.
I am thankful for the opportunity to work towards ordination while still being able to work here in PNG.
A change also has occurred with my name, thanks to the local people. They seem most comfortable calling me ‘Maik’ (pronounced like Mike). I am already formally named ‘Michael’ and informally ‘Mick’. I also have a namesake, ‘Myk’, my live-in gardener’s son. Called ‘Haus’ around the seminary, he is ‘Myk’ when he goes back to the village. This is perhaps another example of how PNG people give honour. They have named him after me, but not in front of me, in case it confuses me. How can I not be confused? I answer to ‘Haus’ too!
This story was also published in the August 2018 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/