Todd and Connie Aebischer - Missionary Spotlight

Jan 5, 2023 6 min read
Todd and Connie Aebischer - Missionary Spotlight

Todd and Connie Aebischer currently coordinate the distribution of supplies and missionary pilots' schedules within Papua New Guinea. God has used them to reach remote villages and has answered their prayers in a most exciting way.

Country Spotlight

Papua New Guinea

The Flag of Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea (PNG), the world's third largest island country, refers to the eastern side of New Guinea and its surrounding islands. A beautifully diverse country, PNG displays a variety of geographical features (mountains, highlands, tropical rainforests, coastal beaches, wetlands and marshes) and is home to many reptiles, freshwater fish and birds.

Photo taken along the Magi Highway towards Central Province, in Papua New Guinea

Scientists are convinced that undocumented species of flora and fauna exist within PNG because of its limited accessibility. Within the past twenty years, three new mammalian species have been discovered in PNG--a wallaby, a large-eared mouse, and a shrew-like marsupial. In addition, there are several species of kangaroos and possums that are only found in PNG. 1 For example, the Tenkile is a species of tree kangaroos found only in the Torricelli Mountains of PNG. 2

Dendrolagus Scotae 3

Surrounding Papua New Guinea are beautiful coral reefs, making snorkeling a common pastime. As PNG sits on the Ring of Fire (an area surrounding the Pacific Ocean where volcanoes and earthquakes are common due to the movement of plate tectonics), it also experiences frequent seismic activity of varying degrees. Some have caused severe devastation and loss of life. 4

Ring of Fire

Communication is particularly challenging because PNG is one of the most linguistically diverse and rural countries in the world. Papua New Guinea's 17 million people speak more than 835 languages, with most languages having fewer than one thousand speakers, and most live in rural areas only accessible by foot or small aircraft (only 13% of the population lives in urban areas). English is the official language used in the government and education but is not accessible for the majority of the population; instead Tok Pisin is the common language.

Nearly forty percent of the population are subsistence farmers whose staple crop is sweet potatoes. Because such a large portion of the population is not dependent on the economy, PNG is classified as a developing country. Cannibalism and head-hunting were practiced even into the 1970s; though these practices have essentially dissolved, there are still traces found in remote regions.

Hagen show, Papua New Guinea

PNG is part of the British Commonwealth and, as such, Charles III is King. Papua New Guinea also has a Prime Minister and Governor General to lead the nation more directly. Because of its location, PNG has many communities of people from around the world now living within its borders--Chinese, Africans, Filipinos, Polynesians, Australians, Europeans, and Indonesians. Each community has created its own culture, form of art, dance, weapons, music and language. The life expectancy in Papua New Guinea is the mid to late 60s as healthcare is difficult to receive because of the remote nature of many villages.

In the latest census, more than 95% of the population professed Christianity, with 70% specifically claiming to be Protestant and 25% to be Roman Catholic. However, most of the population combines Christianity with traditional religious practices of animism, veneration of the dead and belief in evil spirits. 5


Todd and Connie Aebischer have served in various missionary positions throughout their married life. Shortly after their 1988 wedding, Todd and Connie were able to participate in short-term missions, which made God's calling clear to them. The Aebischers have served in Micronesia (as a pilot/wife missionary team), in the Ivory Coast (as a pilot to seventeen west African countries and manager of the aviation radio base and mission guest house), in the Philippines (as coordinators for the Asia-Pacific Mission team), and now in Papua New Guinea. Between each assignment, Todd and Connie spent time back in the United States where Todd completed additional aviation training and certificates and medical degrees. The Aebischers have four children. One of their daughters and son-in-law, Courtney and Landen Kelley, have recently been approved to join them in ministry in Papua New Guinea as well. 6

Current Ministry Opportunities

Todd and Connie currently serve as MAF's country director and program manager for PNG and lead more than 130 missionaries and staff members to reach isolated communities for Christ. While this is a daunting role, Todd and Connie are encouraged by 1 Timothy 1:12, a verse that has reminded them of God's faithful goodness.

"[We] thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened [us], that He considered [us] faithful and appointed [us] to service."

As organizers of physical resources and pilots within PNG, Todd and Connie endeavor to direct medical supplies and assistance, education and literacy tools, and transportation where needed. 7 In addition to the daily responsibilities of coordinating resources throughout the country, Todd leads a Wednesday night gathering. Most recently, the group has been viewing and discussing The Chosen while enjoying times of food and fellowship. 8

Prayer Requests

Please pray for the protection of missionaries and native families as tribal violence has increased significantly in nearby areas. Pray for the daily safety of the pilots as they navigate very difficult landing strips. Special prayer is needed for the Koher family, that God would intervene in their situation and provide safety and peace. Finally, please pray for Landen and Courtney Kelley, Todd and Connie's son-in-law and daughter, as they adjust to their roles within the ministry. 9

Additional Information

For additional information, please see Todd and Connie's MAF Profile, Blog, and other Media Resources.  

Mission Organization

Mission Aviation Fellowship

MAF - Mission Aviation Fellowship

For more than seventy-five years, Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) has been endeavoring to reach isolated peoples throughout the world with the Gospel. From the Waorani people of South America to the Dani people of Papua, Indonesia, missionary pilots have coordinated the demonstration of God's love to the most remote. By eliminating some of the physical barriers of isolation such as jungles, mountains, and deserts, missionaries are given opportunities to enrich communities in the following ways:

Community Development – MAF missionaries often supply remote villages with food, clean water, and other necessities.

Education – From transporting students to schools or teachers to remote areas to begin schools, MAF missionaries ensure that educational opportunities are met and that supplies are delivered.

Church Support – MAF missionaries meet the needs of transportation of Western missionaries, pastors desiring to attend conferences, or even local Christians desiring to share their faith with neighboring people.  

Disaster Response – MAF pilots provide disaster relief through delivering supplies and providing communication to isolated villages.

Technology – Assisting villages with technology encourages every facet of missionary work; from theological training to medical consultations, the introduction of technology through MAF's efforts is assisting those serving remote villages with the demonstration of God's love and faithfulness.

Making Disciples – MAF pilots fulfill Jesus' command to make disciples both personally and in assisting others as they reach isolated peoples.

Bible translation – Whether delivering shipments of newly translated Bibles or transporting those with translating experience, MAF pilot missionaries are an integral part of this critical process.

Training – MAF pilots also provide mechanical training to locals, often providing them a reliable source of future employment.

Medical Care – Pilots are often asked to transport patients to the nearest clinic, foregoing long treks over difficult terrain. In addition, MAF pilots will convey other medical supplies, personnel, and medication to otherwise inaccessible locations. 10

Nate Saint and four other missionaries make contact with the Waorani people. Please see History - Mission Aviation Fellowship ( for more information.

Because of the ingenuity of some World War II veterans and the faithful service of God's followers, such as Betty Green and Nate Saint, among others, Mission Aviation Fellowship has been God's hands and feet to people living in the most remote regions. 11




3. chenhuixian, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons





8. Aebischer-August-2022-final.pdf




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