About Cathryn Zarnke

Jesus’ love and guidance have always been evident in my life. Being adopted, God protected me and provided for me with a loving Christian family. My Mum and Dad, Helen and Ronald Zarnke, brought me to baptism at Peace Lutheran Church Gatton in Queensland, where I was adopted into my spiritual family. When I was five, my mother died but my dad and church family nurtured in me my love for education and God. My Dad modelled a love for God’s creation and encouraged my creativity. His death when I was 20 inspired me to graduate from the then Luther Seminary (Australian Lutheran College – ALC), following my Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts.

After teaching in Christian colleges in Australia and Germany, a friend suggested I study theology further and serve with him as a missionary in Papua New Guinea (PNG). But my vision of a forever home in Australia blinded me to this possibility and we went our separate ways. However, God continued to gently guide me through a beautiful missionary couple, Pastor Norman and Joy Wurst, who helped heal my heart, clear my mind and prepare my hands for mission. I gained a Masters of Education from ALC and a Masters of Sacred Theology from Concordia Seminary St Louis in the US. I then taught academic English to Indigenous students at the University of Southern Queensland. After a missionary to PNG mentioned that teaching positions there can be vacant for years, I felt my life experiences unite to serve in this way.

Now I serve the Evangelical Lutheran Church of PNG as an English lecturer at Martin Luther Seminary, an English-speaking institution. While this church also has seminaries teaching in Pidgin, qualifications in English are highly desirable as it is the international language. Students from the seminary will be able to serve not only in their own country but in any English-speaking nation. They will be prepared for higher-level studies in institutions across the globe and may publish books, lecture, and hold church leadership positions.

Supporting Cathryn

Download Cathryn’s support card

Donate to Cathryn by clicking on the following link: https://lcamission.org.au/donations/index.php/png.html and select ‘Cathryn Zarnke’ from the list of projects.

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Guided to Teach Others


Please download and print this handy reference, so your congregation and community can learn more about partnering in God's mission in PNG.


Please pray. Sign up to our e-newsletter to receive updates and prayer points. Simply go to www.lca.org.au/enews, add your email address and select LCA International Mission. Done!

Talk to me (Nevin, contact details below) about a Papua New Guinean partnership. You can pray for your partners in mission, raise funds for projects, and receive updates about the exciting work God is doing among the people you support. (You’ll gain more than you give, you know.)

Your financial gifts are always needed and appreciated. Visit our Direct Donate page and select the PNG projects God is nudging you to support. If you don't like donating via websites, visit our Donation information page for other options. Or call me (Nevin) and I’ll help you to donate any way you want.

Want the face-to-face experience? Sure! You can join a mission team or create one from your congregation, school or small group, even your family. Do you think God might be calling you to serve in Papua New Guinea? Call me (Nevin) to talk about it.

Hi, I'm Nevin. I’m here to help you and encourage you to join God’s mission in Papua New Guinea.


Email: nevin.nitschke@lca.org.au
Phone: 08 8267 7300

LCA International Mission