Community Development in Papua New Guinea


A church in a bus, in a plane, in a community.

Story by Mandy Glass

Seeing the church building in his village deteriorating, a carpenter sets out on a mission to build a permanent structure for his remote community.

Hapson Mekpe knows the Lord and wants his people at the remote village of Bomai to hear the gospel without being distracted by a shabby and dwindling church building, a semi-permanent church which was built decades ago by missionaries of the Evangelical Brotherhood Church, EBC, ministering at Bomai.

“I want my people to hear the Word of God so that they can go to heaven,” said Hapson.

Bomai is situated north of the Tua River on the Tive Plateau and has no road link. Hapson estimates that there are about 800 people living in the community. It takes people at least one and a half day to trek to the nearest road where they could get on a PMV, or 3 days in total to walk to Kundiawa, the provincial capital of Chimbu. Getting all the building supplies to Bomai without MAF would not be possible at all according to Hapson.

“I live in very remote place. That’s why there are only aircraft to bring the materials to my home place. MAF is the only service provider to deliver that service. Our school and health centres, all our lives (depend) on air transport,“ said Hapson.

Hapson is a carpenter working at the EBC mission station at Kugark since about 5 years. There, he prepared all he needed for the new church building, cut the timber on length and width, and planed the planks. At his village, he also has some timber prepared.

The day before Christmas Eve, he consigned a total of 780 kg of building supplies, stacked around the seats of the EBC’s 15-seater bus. Cut to size timber, cement bags, steel bars and roofing iron, nails, some paint and even a cut in half gas bottle going to be the church bell.

His hopes for MAF to fly the charter before the end of the year were finally realised on Friday 29 December. For Hapson, time was running as he only had the Christmas and New Years holidays plus an extra week to realise his vision.

Church Build Progress Dec/Jan 2024: 


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