National Magazine of the Lutheran Church of Australia

Jesus wants you for a sunbeam

June 2018

Going GREYT!
by Helen Beringen

Shining God’s light into the world can happen wherever you may be, whatever your skills, and whenever you least expect it.

It may take years to see where God is calling you, where God wants you to shine his light. In the case of Sunshine Coast retiree Arthur Hall, it was a 62-year long journey that began when he was a nine-year-old boy. It was 1956 when his family moved to the Papua New Guinean paradise of Rabaul, a township on the island of New Britain. Arthur’s father was posted to Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a magistrate, serving in a country that was a mandated territory of Australia until 1975.

Arthur fell in love with the place, enjoying an idyllic childhood of freedom, canoeing and fishing for tuna and red emperor near the wharves in the town’s renowned harbour, and also out from nearby Matupi Island, where his dad had some local friends. ‘It was a wonderful place to grow up’, Arthur reminisces.

He returned to Australia for his secondary schooling, as a boarder at Brisbane’s
St Peter’s Lutheran College, Indooroopilly, which set a foundation for his Christian faith journey.

After school, Arthur remained in Australia, developing a career at the now-defunct Ansett Airlines as a customer services officer.

However, who would have imagined that his childhood connection to PNG would lead Arthur, now aged 73, to accept an opportunity to share his God-given talents in the country of his youth? It was a notice in the LCA International Mission publication Border Crossings in late 2016 and early 2017 that kept niggling at him. The notice called for a volunteer to help train volunteers for the Lutheran radio station in Lae, PNG. Fortuitously, Arthur had spent the past 30 years producing and hosting Christian radio programs on Caboolture Community radio station 101.5, in Queensland, as a volunteer!

This experience provided his mission opportunity in November 2017, when Arthur travelled to Lae in PNG for two weeks to lead staff training sessions at the Lutheran radio facility located at the Martin Luther Seminary.

Through Kristen Radio 89.1, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea is ‘the voice of the gospel’ in Lae, shining the Christian message to the people of Morobe Province.

Arthur’s volunteer trip included supporting a weekend conference for new recruits and training up the local volunteers to develop their broadcasting skills. ‘What
a privilege it has been for me to be able to serve God and the people involved with the radio program at the communications centre at Martin Luther Seminary at Lae’, he says.

Arthur was supported to undertake the mission trip by the prayers and financial support of the Lutheran congregation of St Paul’s at Caboolture, for which he is greatly appreciative.

When asked if he has another broadcast training trip in him, Arthur says, ‘We’ll see where the Lord leads’.

‘It comes back to knowing that all things are possible through him’, he says. ‘Frequently I didn’t appreciate it at times when I was younger, but now I’m getting long in the tooth, I realise it more than ever.’

In Going GREYT! we feature stories of some of our ‘more experienced’ people within the LCA, who have been called to make a positive contribution in their retirement. We pray their examples of service will be an inspiration and encouragement to us all as we look to be Christ’s hands and feet wherever we are, with whatever gifts and opportunities we’ve been given.

Helen Beringen is a Townsville-based communications advisor who has been richly blessed through a career as a wordsmith. She is inspired by the many GREYT people who serve tirelessly and modestly in our community. She hopes by sharing stories of how God shines his light through them, others will be inspired to share his light in the world.

Know of any other GREYT stories in your local community? Email the editor lisa.mcintosh@lca.org.au

Your chance to volunteer in mission
If you are interested in volunteering in international mission, serving in practical ways, teaching English, teaching in the seminaries and institutions of our partner churches, or in local churches, contact LCA International Mission Program Officer for Volunteers, Nevin Nitschke on 08 8267 7300 or email nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au
For more information, go to the LCA International Mission website.