Read letters from Nathaniel Veltman
Nathaniel ended mission service with the PC(USA) in 2011.
Nathaniel was appointed in January 2009 to serve as development consultant with the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (meaning “home of Jesus”), the longtime partner church of PC(USA) in Ethiopia.
Nathaniel first felt the call to service in Africa after a semester in Ghana and brief service in Malawi. From January to May 2006 he had an internship with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee’s partner organization in Malawi, “Save Orphans Ministries.” Since then he’s felt a strong desire to use his skills in community development to help people in Africa help themselves.
“Than,” as he’s known to friends and family, feels that his hearing loss has given him insight and abilities that will be useful during mission service.
“While I was growing up,” he writes, “I struggled with my hearing loss and wanted it to improve. Yet, I never grew frustrated or angry, but instead used the abilities God gave me to excel in all that I did. My hearing loss has developed in me many skills and deeper emotional strength that I may not have developed otherwise. As an outsider in an audio-normative society, I have been forced to communicate cross-culturally. The challenges I have faced and overcome have given me a strong trust and faith in knowing that God will provide for all my needs, just as He provided me with new hearing. [Nathaniel has had two successful cochlear implants.]
“My hearing loss and its recent renewal have produced in me a deeper faith and dependence on God. I see the restoration of my hearing as a glimpse of what God is doing in the world: God is at work restoring it and making it whole, healing broken relationships and broken bodies. I have come to understand that my experiences growing up with hearing loss were the ‘refining fire’ that has made me who I am today, equipping me with the skills I need to serve Him in the area of international development.”
Nathaniel holds a master’s degree in international development from the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His bachelor’s degree is from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he put together an interdisciplinary program in geography, economics and political science, all focusing on international development in Africa.
Nathaniel is a member of Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Birthday: October 5