When tasked with bringing a new church to an isolated community in PNG, the man in charge knew that, with MAF, the sky was the limit.
Story by Ashley Leyenhorst
Mamusi is a rural village located near the Yuat River, in a valley bordering Enga, East Sepik, and Madang provinces. Richard Jacob, the SDA Area Supervisor of Western Highland Province, worked with MAF to overcome the distance and difficulty of reaching the area.
“We’ve been doing a mission trip there,” said Richard. “When I started as the area supervisor, they gave me a mandate to put a church there, and so I said let’s go where the airplane can.”
The current church was a temporary measure located a long walk away from the airstrip where the village receives support. Centrality was a challenge, and for the still growing church that was something that needed to change.
“I spent almost three weeks there to explain what the Bible is like,” said Richard. “Slowly people started to accept [faith in God], so I realized they need a church building where they can stay.”
The new church building project began in March of 2023. The land was cleared before a team of carpenters was brought in. Some were flown by MAF, but others walked over to Mamusi from Mt Hagen.
“They took the PMV (Public Motor Vehicle) all the way to Ruti. From there they walked, and had to cross the Yuat River,” said Richard.
At the beginning of this year, MAF flew multiple chartered flights to Mamusi to deliver materials for the new church, including corrugated metal sheets, timbers and plywood, and a large amount of cement bags.
“Everyone was very, very happy when the plane came. Everybody came down to help and they all carried something and brought it to the site,” said one of the locals present for the final flight.
The carpenters had started working on the foundation the week before, with hopes of finishing the church in less than two months to be ready for a dedication in April. The new church will be led by Andrew Gee, an SDA missionary from the Baiyer.
The SDA mission is active throughout PNG to support remote areas like Mamusi.
“We plan to go out and reach the unreached areas like your mission MAF is doing,” said Richard.
As the community of Mamusi continues to grow in God’s word, it is important to have a church located somewhere that can be easily accessed. MAF flying in building materials is helping this become a reality. In the future MAF will be able to continue supporting this congregation in its closer location and will also aid the movement of missionaries and materials for further SDA mission work.
See below a video of the first MAF landing in Mamusi on July 21, 1995.
The video was kindly provided to us by Jorma Greijus, who, together with Keith Southcott, did the first landing at Mamusi.