Mike & Cindy Helvie
By: Dezaray Barr
Mike Helvie graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University, then Marion College, with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Christian Ministries in 1981. His wife, Cindy, graduated on the same day as Mike with a B.S. in Nursing.
Mike and Cindy met in the dinner line at Baldwin, “so we can say, ‘Our love began in Baldwin!'” Mike shared. “God brought Cindy all the way from Oregon to Indiana where we met, had lots of long walks and talks about life and missions, fell in love and married in the middle of our senior year. God knew who I needed in a wife, and He brought her to me at IWU!”
Aside from meeting his wife at Marion College, Mike said that his time at the school helped him discover what ministry really looked like for him. “I had good and godly men and women professors that took personal interest in me and help me grow where I was weak,” he said.
Cindy transferred to Marion College from another university to be in the nursing program. “I was grateful to be at IWU; there was attention to each student and their needs. On the first day of orientation, I met my friend and roommate, we have stayed friends all these years. I became an RA and ARD at Shatford and was able to plan many fun activities,” she shared.
Cindy knew IWU trained nurses to work cross culturally in Nepal. At the time, there were not many organizations working in Nepal, but the Wesleyan Church had a nurse serving there. This drew Cindy because of something she’d experience at a young age. “When I was 11 years-old, our sixth grade teacher had invited a man, the world ping-pong champion, from Nepal to speak to our class. As he shared, I was fascinated by what he was saying about his country. He said that 95% of the people were Buddhist and only 1% would ever even hear the name of Jesus. At that point I thought of my Sunday school and church and felt so sad, I then sensed God impressing on me, ‘Cindy, I want you to go there and tell them about me.’ From that point on, I knew I wanted to go to Nepal,” Cindy said.
Mike discovered IWU while attending Fairmount Camp when he was 13 and received his call to ministry. “Soon after that,” Mike said, “a man by the name of Howard Noggle from Marion College came to our home and visited with our whole family. He told my parents, ‘I think Mike would do well at Marion College.’ God used him to guide me along the right path I needed to take and was so encouraging to me all along the way.”
Mike just finished 20 months of Nepali lessons. He and Cindy will begin as the Dean of Students at a Seminary. They also plan to give Member Care to others serving in Nepal.
From 2009 to 2012, Cindy and Mike lived in Zambia and taught at the Pilgrim Wesleyan Bible College training Pastors. “I told my students ‘Three of my favorite words are Read, Read, Read.’ I told them you are here to learn and you will read many books, but don’t forget to read God’s Word. Let it be your treasure and delight to read, apply it and let it be the foundation of your life,” Mike said, and this is the same advice he would give to IWU students.
Cindy would like to remind IWU students: “Don’t be afraid to live out the dreams and calling that God has placed on your life. It may take time… it has taken me almost 50 years to fulfill my calling in Nepal, but it is so rewarding to be in the place I was called to.”
Mike and Cindy’s children, Eric and Melody, graduated from IWU, along with each of their spouses, Megan and Jared. “We had a chance to be on campus last August,” Mike said. “We went into the prayer chapel. We met a young man who had just arrived on campus. First, he asked us how he could pray for us, and then we asked him how we could pray for him. He shared that this was his first time away from home and that he wasn’t sure he could make it. We had prayer together. It was a deep and meaningful time. As we left the prayer chapel I thought, ‘Only at IWU could we so quickly be sharing at this deep spiritual level.'”
Written by Dezaray Barr, PR Specialist for the Alumni Office. Dezaray is a junior Strategic Communication, Journalism and Honors Humanities triple major at Indiana Wesleyan University in the John Wesley Honors College. Visit Dez’s website at www.dezaraybarr.weebly.com.