by Rosie Schefe
Seven years after his first visit, Michael (also known as Mick) Hauser will soon return to the coastal city of Lae, in Papua New Guinea. His return will complete one cycle of learning for Michael, just as a new one begins.
In 2008 Michael was a participant in a study tour to Papua New Guinea. In Lae the group stayed in a guesthouse where LCA Mission International program officer (now interim director) Glenice Hartwich was also staying.
Glenice remembers meeting Michael: ‘It was on the steps of the guesthouse. We talked about volunteering, and Mick asked me if there were opportunities for volunteering through the LCA. I was able to tell him that, yes, there were. The following year he was off on a three-week trip to Sabah, in Malaysia, as a Mission International volunteer.’
Life’s experience is perhaps the great teacher, particularly when it comes to being a multicultural Christian
When Michael returns to Papua New Guinea, he will do so as a lay theologian, appointed to serve at the Martin Luther Seminary (initially for two years) as a lecturer in systematic theology and historical studies. His appointment is part of the LCA’s 129-year ongoing partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELCPNG).
But Michael’s story begins much earlier than 2008. He describes his background: ‘I was born into a very German Lutheran background, on both sides of the family. I was educated at every turn by Lutheran institutions: Faith Lutheran College at Redlands, St Peter’s College Indooroopilly and then Australian Lutheran College (ALC).’
But as a young adult he strayed away from matters of faith. He eventually returned to Lutheran schools, as a residential supervisor at Yirara College in Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and then at his old school, St Peters College;