Never no one’s, always someone’s

By Nevin Nitschke

To meet James now is to meet a whirlwind for Jesus! Confident, enthusiastic and with a deep warmth of hospitality, James is alive with God’s Spirit and is a pastor in the Myanmar Lutheran Church (MLC). James grew up in a village where 50 houses formed his small community. A village missionary evangelist who was […]

To meet James now is to meet a whirlwind for Jesus! Confident, enthusiastic and with a deep warmth of hospitality, James is alive with God’s Spirit and is a pastor in the Myanmar Lutheran Church (MLC).

James grew up in a village where 50 houses formed his small community. A village missionary evangelist who was prepared to challenge James’ family during difficult times, helped shape and develop a faith in James and his parents.

Over time, three of James’ siblings died to disease. During this time, the evangelist challenged the family about what was important in their lives. “What is it in life that could give you peace?” he asked.

It was James’ mum who came to trust in Jesus first and then his dad. As his dad was dying, he requested that the local evangelist come and pray with him and he told his family of the deep peace he felt. After his dad died, many in the small village turned against the family because of their belief in Jesus. In the mornings, it was not uncommon for the family to find drunk men had damaged their fence the night before. Often they were told to move away to the mountains. Every morning they would wake and spend time with the Lord. James’ mother led them in prayer and devotion, encouraging them as much as she could.

Only five children from James’ village attended school with him, certainly not his sister whose place is was to be at home with her mother. Most of the other village boys worked on their farms and saw little need for education. At school, James was told that there was little hope for James and that his future in life was limited as he was ‘nothing’. James’ mum had a different outlook on life and encouraged him to not see himself as others saw him, but to see what God in heaven could see in him – a hope and a future.

The lure of the army was great for James. Power and control of others was valued and very appealing. He began to head in this direction but was told by his mother that she had promised her husband “James would not join the army”!

In year 9, while at school, James received a message that his mother was very ill. When James arrived home his mother could not talk or move and as she was being taken to hospital, James was told to expect that she would die. As there was nothing they could do for her in hospital, James took his mum home.

It was at this time that James prayed, making it clear that he didn’t know what to do and he didn’t want to live if his mother died.

While reading Mark 12 1-27 the word “living” kept playing on the mind of James and in a moment of emotion James said that if his mother lived, he would serve Jesus.

A month later, his mother was healed. Within a year, James was in Yangon to study the Word of God. James proved a good student and soon found that in exchange for tutoring other students, he did not have to wash his clothes!

James has been in ministry ever since and knows the joy of serving Jesus. He understands that God does indeed have a plan for his children and that hope and purpose are gifts from God.

James received a short-term scholarship through LCA International Mission, to study theology at the Australian Lutheran College in Adelaide for three months in 2012.


Many of our partner churches are working in new territory for the kingdom of God; therefore, spiritual attack is their everyday reality. As a member of a congregation, school, or family, or a couple or individual, you are invited to commit to praying for our partners in mission. For regular prayer point updates, go to www.lca.org.au/international-mission/act-now/pray

Read more stories about our partner churches in Myanmar at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/myanmar/

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About the Author : Erin Kerber


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