Michael Guy Henderson

Michael Guy Henderson passed away peacefully on May 3, 2024 after a brief battle with melanoma cancer.

He was born on February 6, 1947 to Alice Henderson and Serber Henderson in Atlanta, Georgia. At 7 years of age his parents moved the family (including now his younger brother Dan) from North Georgia to the Florida coastal town of Cocoa Beach.

He grew up spending every spare minute surfing the waves and living the “beach life”.
Soon after graduating from Cocoa Beach High School, Mike served for several years in the Military Police near White Sands, New Mexico.

After his military service ended, his passion for surfing only grew, as did his attachment to the things of this world. Little did he know how God would turn a passion for catching waves and things of this world, to a passion for catching souls
and things NOT of this world.

In the early 70’s one of his surfing buddies came to know the Lord, and soon after, led Mike to the Lord. His life was radically changed. No longer did he live for the waves, but he began to pursue God with all his heart. When he heard that many people groups around the world had never had an opportunity to know God, he felt challenged to join New Tribes Mission (now Ethnos 360) to be trained in missionary service.

During his training he met Diana Friesen, a farmgirl from Northern Manitoba, Canada. They could not have come from more opposite backgrounds, but their deep love and commitment that lasted 50 years, and produced three children: Philip Lee, Barry Dean and Leslie Alice.

Together, Mike and Diane dedicated their lives to the Aziana people of Papua New Guinea, translating and teaching them the Word of God, and loving and caring for them in a deep and special way. Up until the end, Mike was still working on revising existing passages and translating more of the Old Testament for his dear Aziana friends.

Not only did he serve the Aziana people, but he also spent many years as a consultant. He travelled to many remote parts of the world helping and encouraging teams involved in church-planting.

He will be remembered for his jokes, his stories, his friendly kindness to everyone he met, his deep commitment to family and above all his passion for his Savior. No one left his company without hearing about the God, who reached down and took a wave-catching surfer and turned him into a soul-catching missionary.

Mike was preceded in death by his wife, Diana, his parents, Serber and Pearl, his brother, Dan, and grandson, Taran Cork, as well as numerous souls he “caught” for the kingdom among the Aziana and around the world.

He is survived by his children: Philip, his wife Elin, and their
children Callie Missey and Elias; Barry, his wife Liz, and their children Reece and Jacob; and Leslie Cork, her husband Ben, and their children Rowan and Haven.

As waves of grief wash over those of us left behind, we are thankful for the even greater waves of grace that bring hope, strength, and peace. Mike was loved and will be missed.

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