Equipping Servants of God

Nese Nongi is a teacher. But, unlike many people who work in a classroom helping to shape young lives, Nese didn’t grow up with a dream to be a teacher.

Nese, who is a member of LCA oversees partner church Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELCPNG), grew up with the reality of her parents telling her that teaching was what she was going to do.

She completed school to Grade 6 level. Then, at the age of 21, Nese left her village and attended ELCPNG’s Baitabag Wok Meri Trening School, near Madang on Papua New Guinea’s north coast. ‘Wok meris’ are women who serve as evangelists to their communities and ‘trening skuls’ are training schools etablished by the ELCPNG.

Nese graduated in 1993 and worked in Biliau village in the Rai Coast area of Madang Province for the next seven years. After further training, she returned to Baitabag as a teacher in 2004. She became Head Teacher in 2015.

We often hear about pastors needing to move from community to community to serve their Lord and their church, but often in positions not seen and rarely celebrated are other servants of God who also commit to his call on their lives. In Nese’s case, it has meant forgoing a husband and children and working as a volunteer training women to be wok meris.

In such women, I often see a hard life reflected in their eyes. Their roles are not glamorous. Their work is not well paid and they don’t usually make the headline stories of church publications.

Nese didn’t yearn to be a wok meri teacher, but she has responded in faith and humility to a call. Her work has touched hundreds of women who go back to their villages equipped to support their communities to be places where Jesus’ hands are at work.

I suspect that in the villages of PNG, as in the communities in Australia, God is using the hearts and strength of women to build his faith communities.

I thank God for people like Nese in the church.

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 http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/international-partners/papua-new-guinea/