Shelley Launa is a devoted social development worker and an unstoppable Haggai leader, glorifying God and empowering women in Papua New Guinea. With an impressive leadership track record, she has served as vice president for the National Council of Women, principal facilitator for the Haus of Prayers for Nations, advisor of the Women’s United Fellowship, and women’s development officer for AusAID development funds. Additionally, she is the founder and facilitator of Starbrook Inc, a faith-based organization seeking to equip others into godly leadership for prudent management of people and wealth. Shelley has used her field to serve women in the 23 provinces and 89 districts of PNG, including national programs covering the entire country.

“I believe the time is right to expand the Kingdom of God without church borders to all mankind. Only that can remove Gospel poverty…”

Shelley is most passionate about reaching women and girls with the love of Christ, specifically in places like Papua New Guinea, where the highest level of domestic violence is against females. Shelley can be found praying intently for Melanesian women every week, as she has done for over a decade. Nearly eight years ago through Haus of Prayer for Nations, a community of women began to join her on Thursdays to seek counsel, present requests to the Lord, and bear this burden together.

“There is so much abuse and violence against women and girls. On the other hand, our men are also limited in their understanding and appreciation of women as mothers, wives, life partners, and burden bearers of society.”

In Papua New Guinea, women and girls are the most common victims of domestic violence.

Shelley is devoted to every individual’s right to the Word of God. The Bible is “transformational, breathing life eternal and salvation for those who read and understand.” Because of this, she is dedicated to bringing higher rates of literacy to her country. She notes that the challenges are real, as Papua New Guinea still currently has four million illiterate women and girls, and two million illiterate men.

Shelley completed the Haggai Leader Experience (HLE) in 2005. Of her many takeaways, she notes her realization that the Gospel is not confined solely to a church building. This has empowered her to intertwine her Gospel advancement with her social work and business life. Her eyes were also greatly opened to the life-changing power of prayer and its ability to empower her in her work.

“My ability as a social development worker was enhanced by Haggai’s equipping. My interventions in sustainable livelihood have become a catalyst to meet socio-economic and spiritual needs,” she says. “I learned the power of prayer, and I believe God will move through me as a vessel to transform my country.”

Her time at the HLE also prepared her to set tangible goals and enhance her influence in a meaningful way. As she brings justice to violated women and provides fresh opportunities for marginalized groups, she is diving wholeheartedly into her social development work to advance the kingdom of God.

Written by Gwendolyn Reed