Whose plans?

Emmanuel had planned to become a doctor. But his father, Pastor Walter Yalemu, had another idea.

‘My father shared his wish for me to become a pastor’, Emmanuel says. ‘His words cancelled all my plans for life, and eventually brought me to Martin Luther Seminary in Lae, in 1999, where I graduated with a Bachelor of Theology in 2005.’

Emmanuel then served as a pastor for five years in his home district, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELCPNG), on the island of Siassi. His abilities to teach and share the faith were noticed by the ELCPNG leadership, and Emmanuel was offered an LCA scholarship for Masters of Theological Studies at Australian Lutheran College (ALC) in 2013.

He returned to PNG and to Martin Luther Seminary in December 2014 and has commenced his ministry as a lecturer at the seminary, sharing the deep learnings he gained in Australia. Emmanuel’s plans to become a medical doctor didn’t eventuate. But today he brings the healing message of Jesus Christ to the seminary students and the people of the ELCPNG.

The LCA scholarship program is a collaborative effort with ALC, and is supported by individuals, congregations and Lutheran Women of Australia. Each year approximately five new scholarships are provided for varying lengths of stay and types of study at ALC, together with a number of in-country scholarships for study in seminaries in Asia.

Through this vital scholarship program, Lutherans in Australia and New Zealand are building up our brothers and sisters in the faith in our partner churches. The program is not just a one-way experience, however. In the LCA we are blessed through the life and ministry of these men and women. We learn from them, are built up in faith, and experience the joyful enthusiasm for the gospel which is so evident in their lives.

This story was also published in the March 2015 edition of Border Crossings, the magazine of LCA International Mission.

If you would like to know more about opportunities to personally support a scholarship recipient in your congregation during their stay in Australia, or ways in which you can financially and prayerfully support LCA International Mission’s scholarship program, you are invited to phone Nevin on (08) 8267 7300 or email nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au

Read more stories about LCA International Mission scholarships at http://www.lcamission.org.au/category/stories/scholarships/