Building a strong partnership

Wayne Beven is one of four Australians currently working in Papua New Guinea (PNG) through the partnership of LCA International Mission. Many of his life and work experiences— from birth to boilermaker and manager in Broken Hill (NSW), to owning his own businesses in various locations in South Australia —have shaped and made Wayne Beven the right person for the work he’s now doing in PNG.

His in-between jobs have included restoring houses and volunteering on mission teams with St John’s Lutheran Church (Unley SA) and with Habitat for Humanity in Fiji, Sri Lanka and India. Each of these experiences has prepared him amply for his current position in Lae, with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Papua New Guinea (ELCPNG), where he has worked since October 2011 as the building and construction advisor.

In recent times, Wayne and his crew (Leo, Arabi, Charlie, Elijah and Hetrick) have been involved in the construction of a resource centre at Ampo, the major upgrade of the overseas partner church (OPAC) house and the two-stage extension of the finance office.

New projects—including the recommencement of construction of the pastor’s transit house at Ampo, the construction of two new houses for Lutheran Health Service at Ampo, a doctor’s house at Etep and a maternity aid post at Asaroka—will continue to make life full and interesting for Wayne and the team in the year ahead.

The situation in PNG has changed greatly over the years; the need for due care and increased levels of security are called for in much greater ways.

As anyone who’s worked in a culture other than their own will testify, life is not always easy as you cope with the isolation from family and friends.

However, the opportunity of passing on new skills to his team of men, and seeing them grow in their knowledge of the building and construction trade is a real joy for Wayne. In return he is sharing in and learning from experiences that shape and challenge him in new ways. All this in a country that is so close, but in some ways far removed from life in Australia, and in a church where our partnership, past and present, is greatly valued.

This story was also published in the July 2013 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.

If you would like to consider the opportunity to serve as a volunteer in mission, serving in practical ways, teaching English, teaching in the seminaries and institutions of our partner churches, or in local churches, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email For more information, go to

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