Teaching Jesus

By Nevin Nitschke

James Zebbeddy is a young man who teaches students at Amialu Primary School on Siassi Island in Papua New Guinea. James’ surname is his father’s first name. Married to Catherine and a dad to 2 children, James grew up in a Lutheran family. His faith continued to grow when, in year 10 at school, he […]

James Zebbeddy is a young man who teaches students at Amialu Primary School on Siassi Island in Papua New Guinea. James’ surname is his father’s first name. Married to Catherine and a dad to 2 children, James grew up in a Lutheran family. His faith continued to grow when, in year 10 at school, he was involved in a Christian study program. He repented and started to intentionally practice being a Christian. James led prayer teams and shared his faith with friends. He began to encourage people who were going through problems and he especially enjoyed being with children.

His love for children grew as he realised that children provided many blessings to a community. It was a logical step for James to become a teacher – a teacher passionate about sharing his love for Jesus.

I met James in Lae after he had taken a 12 hour journey on an unreliable boat to the mainland of Papua New Guinea to take part in the third education training session between the 32 Lutheran schools on Siassi island and Concordia College, St John’s campus, Unley, SA.

The partnership began in 2011. James’ first involvement was in 2013 after being invited to take part in presentations as part of Concordia’s visit to Siassi Island. James saw immediately the benefits to the sessions he attended and his classroom teaching skills began to include more use of phonics and a wider spectrum of writing genres. His classroom also developed a stronger focus on English- a subject he has fallen in love with. For James, English opens access to knowledge, knowledge found in English through books and on websites.

James sees the future of the partnership between Concordia and Siassi Island Lutheran schools as continuing to grow stronger. Developing a spiritual strength is a must for his school on Siassi Island and James knows that the partnership is not only helping with educational strategies and practices but is based on building each other up as brothers and sisters in Christ, not only with Concordia but with other schools on Siassi Island.

James would like to continue his studies at a university level at the University of Goroka and study Christian Philosophy and Education.

And Jesus is at the heart of James’ life. “Jesus is God’s grace that makes me feel free as a Christian teacher,” he says. “Through the partnership, we take discussions back to our communities and inform them of the importance of walking together in partnership.”


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 church in Papua New Guinea at https://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/papua-new-guinea/

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About the Author : Erin Kerber


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