Spring 2011 TRINITY magazine, Called to Go Global
Matthew Lanser ’05
Matthew Lanser ’05 stands at a small wooden table, a Bible open in front of him, as he teaches Nigerian villagers who have gathered beneath the generous shade of a tree to hear the gospel. He and his wife Laura ’05 currently serve in Nigeria with Christian Reformed World Missions (CRWM), the world missions agency of the Christian Reformed Church of North America.
The Lansers live in a fairly remote and undeveloped area and spend much of their time engaging with the people they live among and taking care of daily needs, such as getting food and water.
Matthew teaches at Warari Bible School, a school with approximately 30 students that trains functionally illiterate church leaders and their spouses in reading and writing. He also teaches a basic knowledge of the Bible and various ministry and vocational skills. The goal of this training is to help students either serve as pastors in the area churches or start new churches in areas where the Gospel has not yet been received.
Laura is busy with the couple’s newborn son Micah and their two-year-old son David. She has also taught at the school and, using her skills as a nurse, has trained several of the students and their spouses in basic medical care.
After graduating from Trinity with degrees in philosophy and theology, and nursing, respectively, Matthew and Laura lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Laura worked as an oncology nurse, and Matthew attended Calvin Theological Seminary, earning a Master of Divinity. But their shared interest in cross-cultural work was growing, as was their desire to serve the global church. After talking with recruiters from various missions agencies, the Lansers decided to work in Nigeria with CRWM.
Being prepared to serve globally began during their Trinity education. Both said that Trinity’s proximity to Chicago and its semester abroad programs provided them with cultural and vocational opportunities that they otherwise might not have had.
“I think Trinity’s focus on developing a Christian worldview that reaches to all of life was good preparation for us to think in healthy ways about how we fit into the story of God’s work around the world,” said Matthew.