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Better Than a Cruise

“This trip will be remembered and will be referred to for years to come.”

No, it wasn’t a cruise, a trip to Disney, or a visit to exotic foreign destinations. It was just four Gimi church leaders flying in an Ethnos360 Aviation helicopter to the isolated Mihi people group to encourage and strengthen the believers there.

More than 15 years ago, an unusual church planting team reached out to the Mihi people. Balus and Hana, indigenous believers from the Gimi tribe of Papua New Guinea, were sent by the Gimi church as cross-cultural missionaries to the Mihi people group. Seong and Mina Mun, Koreans sent from New Tribes Mission Australia, joined them.

After considerable study, Balus comprehended the culture and achieved fluency in the language. Seong and Mina, at 60+ years of age, were determined to learn Mihi, and learn it they did – a remarkable feat when you realize that they both had already learned English and Melanesian Pidgin, the trade language of Papua New Guinea. Though Seong had serious health problems and nearly died twice, he didn’t let that stop him. Mina reconciled herself to the very real possibility of someday bringing her husband out of the jungle in a body bag.

Though the team sensed that the Mihi language might be similar to a dialect already under translation, the Mihi people couldn’t understand it. So, undaunted, the church planting team began a fresh translation of scripture and developed Bible lesson material specifically for the Mihi people.

The unlikely Gimi-Korean team persevered, and the Mihi people heard the transformative truth of the gospel in 2015 and 2016. Now, a group of faithful men lead the fledgling Mihi church. But they and the other believers still have a lot of growing to do before they can thrive as a church. They need outside encouragement from stronger believers, but since they live in an isolated location, it is not readily available.

And that’s where the “memorable trip” comes in. The four Gimi believers, part of a fellowship of national church leaders, determined to visit the Mihi tribe to encourage the believers and assess the ministry of the Mihi church. Sounds like something out of the New Testament, doesn’t it?


These Gimi believers are not men of means. They are accustomed to days-long hikes and to less-than-comfortable road journeys. But because you, as a part of the Flight Crew, help provide affordable flight, these indigenous believers flew to Mihi in the Ethnos360 Aviation helicopter! The flight freed them to take time from their daily work and go to a hard-to-reach area to do extra ministry – rather than spend days upon days in travel.

Missionary Bill Michaud works with the national church leaders to coordinate trips like these. He said this particular outreach was “timely for the ongoing growth and maturity of the Mihi church.” The Gimi men were able to teach and give advice, in addition to discussing a plan for the ongoing equipping of the small group of men currently trying to lead the Mihi believers.

“These opportunities are rare in the more remote places,” Bill said, “and I assure you that this trip will be remembered and will be referred to for years to come.”
Without viable and practical transportation, discipleship trips like this one might never happen. Thank you donors for seeing the need and undergirding flight costs for faithful and equipped believers to build up God’s Church. “These men will likely never have the opportunity to express their gratitude to you directly,” Bill added, “but I will speak on behalf of them and the people of Mihi and say ‘Thank You.’”

Tags: Gimi People, Mihi People, Helicopter, Papua New Guinea
POSTED ON Sep 07, 2021 by Wonita Werley