Halo, yu orait ah? (Hello, how are you?)
I’m Nevin Nitschke, your LCA International Papua New Guinea Program Officer. I’m here to help you and encourage you to join God’s mission in PNG.
Papua New Guinea is a truly beautiful country. Outside of its key cities, the people are subsistence farmers living off plots of land scattered throughout spectacular mountains. Over 600 couples and individuals representing the LCA have worked among the people in PNG over the past 100 years. These numbers have declined since independence 40 years ago. Now we have only two people working full-time in PNG. While the Lutheran church in PNG has over 1 million members, the teaching of the gospel faces many challenges. I meet people who have a deep love for Jesus and a strong desire to walk in partnership with the LCA. It’s an exciting time to be involved in God’s mission in PNG. I’d love to visit your congregation, school or group to discuss ways you can partner, or reconnect, with our nearest neighbours and be encouragers of our Lutheran friends in PNG.
The LCA has a long and deep connection to the ministry and mission in PNG (see Program History). Many people within the LCA have some connection in one way or another to people who have either served in PNG or supported this ministry and mission in significant ways in the land of our nearest neighbour.
Current membership in the ELCPNG is estimated to be 1.2 million baptised followers of Jesus.
Today some businesses set up in former times by overseas partners and their staff to assist the church and its members have now become a cause for concern. The ELCPNG suggests that the business arms of the church will most likely require some overseas advisors to ensure that they can operate in the best possible way again. However, as an overseas partner with ELCPNG, the LCA will always need to access whether this is ‘core’ to the mission and ministry relationship and responsibility it has with the partnership in the gospel shared with ELCPNG.
In recent times the new leadership of ELCPNG have expressed a deep desire to focus on the development of the theological capacity of the seminaries and the training of pastors and laypeople in theology. Bishop Jack Urame has asked for the overseas partners to focus on helping to provide these resource people and on providing scholarships to assist them in this key area.
- Mick Hauser: Lecturer at Martin Luther Seminary, Lae
- Hanna Schulz: Bible translator, linguist, Wycliffe/SIL
- Ian Hutchinson: Highlands Audio Project Manager, Wycliffe/SIL
- Lutheran Women of Australia: support for women’s ministry training, birthing kits and Solar panels for rural and remote health clinics
- LCA Parish Nursing: Rev Robert and Mrs Lynette Wiebusch conducted a parish nursing course in Goroka in 2013 and 2014
- LCA Reconciliation Ministries: Rev Bruce Zagel (former director of LCA Reconciliation Ministries) conducted courses on reconciliation ministries in 2013
- St Paul’s, Hahndorf SA, with Heldsbach
- Good Shepherd, Ringwood Vic, with Siassi High School
- Golden Grove, SA, with Asaroka
- Glandore, SA, with Logaweng Seminary
- Grampians Parish Vic, with Gaubin hospital
- Trinity, Horsham Vic, with Ogelbeng Seminary
- Concordia (St John’s) Primary School, Highgate SA, hosted visits to Australia of four teachers from Siassi in April/May 2014 and 2016. In the intervening year Concordia teachers visited Siassi to conduct courses for the training of teachers from all the Lutheran and agency school on Siassi Island.
- Tatachilla Lutheran College, SA: Chaplain Jon Goessling and staff member Greg Hettner made a week-long visit to their partner school in Banz/Milep in July 2014.
LCA volunteers in PNG in recent years have included:
- Stan and Gwen Dudgeon who helped in the reconstruction project at Gaubin Hospital on Karkar Island
- Nicole Graham who served as the home-school teacher for the daughter of Madagascan doctor serving on Karkar at Gaubin hospital
- Rev Roger Whittall and Mostyn and Maxine Roocke who served at Martin Luther Seminary
- Nick Schwarz who served as Research Assistant and Assistant Director of the Melanesian Institute in Goroka PNG (for seven years) on a local salary
- Peter Ellis who served as a short-term lecturer at Martin Luther Seminary.
Volunteer program assistants
LCA International Mission Program Assistants (volunteers), Colin and Ruth Hayter, are very willing to share the inspiring stories of God’s ministry and mission in PNG. If you would like to invite them to speak in your congregation, school or fellowship group to learn how you can partner in God’s mission, call or email the office of LCA International Mission.
More about mission in Papua New Guinea
Stories to inspire you
- View all the PNG stories on this website, or start with these latest three below.