I was born and raised in a very small town in northern Minnesota. I came from a non-Christian family. One summer seminary students held a daily vacation Bible school in my town. That was the first time I heard the gospel, and the Lord called me into His family. Just about the time I came to the Lord the Ely Baptist Church was founded in a nearby town. There were several members of the new church who lived in my town. I attended church with them and grew in the Lord. I never cease to thank the Lord for sending His faithful servants to share the gospel.
I attended the University of Minnesota School of Nursing and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1963. During my student years I was very involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship where the Lord provided many opportunities for spiritual growth.
After my college graduation I served for three years on the staff of Nurses Christian Fellowship (a branch of InterVarsity) in the East. This was another wonderful time of growing spiritually, ministering to nurses and nursing students and learning leadership skills.
While on staff with NCF I met my husband, Serge. He was already a member of Wycliffe Bible Translators serving as an electronics technician. He was connected to CrossWay through his sister, Ruth Rudd, and her husband, Floyd. CrossWay (at that time First Wesleyan) partnered with Serge when he first joined Wycliffe as a single. The church continued their prayer and financial support faithfully throughout our years with Wycliffe. (Now fifty years for me!) During one of our furloughs Serge went through a severe health crisis. First Wesleyan provided a place to live and a church home while we went through this tough time. They poured out the love of the Lord to us. I am forever grateful.
I had always been drawn to missions. So I “married into” Wycliffe in August of 1967. We were in our field of service, Colombia, by the summer of 1968. I spent most of our 24 years in Colombia teaching Spanish in our mission school. Our three children, Kathy, Karen, and Samuel were born in Bogota. Kathy and Karen now live in Seattle, Washington, and Samuel went to be with the Lord in February of 2017.
Kathy is a speech therapist in the Seattle school system. My granddaughter, Annika, is in her last year of college. We’re so proud of her as she was chosen to be a resident assistant this year. Her brother, J.J, is going into the fourth grade. He loves all sports, and is a pretty good pitcher for his community team.
Karen is a mental health nurse practitioner and has one daughter, Madelin. She is now 13, and a lovely young lady.
We left Colombia in 1991. Later Serge and I took Wycliffe’s training in vernacular media. We spent four years in Bolivia recording and distributing Bible based radio programs in the minority languages. This assignment drew us into direct contact with many of the language groups in Bolivia. We enjoyed it so much.
After serving in Bolivia we spent two and a half years at our Wycliffe regional center in Portland, Oregon. From there we transitioned to the JAARS center in Waxhaw, North Carolina. At that time my husband’s health began to fail and he went to be with the Lord in 2010. I continued to serve in our personnel department, ministering to our furloughing missionaries.
As I worked with our furloughing members I had a growing desire to serve again outside of the US. The Lord lead me to a perfect fit: teaching homeschooled children in our Wycliffe Mexico branch. I began my service here in Mexico in September of 2013. It has been a stretching and rewarding time. My assignment, in general, is to offer educational support to our homeschooling families. These are families who live for extended periods in isolated areas where there are no schooling options for their children except homeschooling. At times I travel to their village locations and fill in for the mom so she can work on language learning. I also fill in for the parents when they are involved in workshops here at our Wycliffe center in Mitla, Oaxaca. I’m called an “itinerant teacher.” Little did I think that I would itinerate twice to Dallas, Texas to help with two young Mexico branch families who were finishing linguistic studies. Or to Arizona where I took over homeschooling for a couple involved in a workshop.
I love the variety in my service. The families are wonderful to work with and I enjoy the children so much. When I’ve been blessed to invest in these families, and hear of their progress in Bible translation I thank the Lord for the privilege of serving.
I’m sometimes asked how long I plan to serve as I am now in my 70’s. My answer is, “As long as the Lord gives health and strength.” I am so blessed to continue serving.