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Missions (A Few Memories)

My wife Bessie was in Japan for four years. Our daughter Heather was in Egypt for eight months and in Turkey for five years. We have had a long interest in praying for missions, giving to them, and encouraging people to go.

In the early 1960s, I gave a book written by a Wycliffe Bible translator to a University of Maryland student name Ron Metzger. Ron recently finished his second New Testament translation with Wycliffe. The first was the CarapaƱa language for people in the Columbian headwaters of the Amazon River. The second is in the English Creole of St. Andres Island in the Western Caribbean.

Ralph Toliver came to Christ in our home in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1970. He and his wife Marilyn translated the New Testament into Ambo Paseo, a dialect of Quechua in Peru. Our close friends Csaba and Lisa Leidenfrost finished translating the New Testament into the Bakwe language of the Ivory Coast in August 2017. Mark and Rachel Miller are working with the Lono people in Sabah, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo. Craig and Sarah Marshall have completed the New Testament in Fordata in eastern Indonesia.

Missions have been a major part of our life, even though they were not a major part of our time. Bessie was with Inter-School Christian Fellowship in Canada from 1944-1948 in Toronto and Calgary. In 1948, Bessie went to Japan with the Women’s Union Missionary Society to reopen the Bible School for Women, of which she became Principal. She was there in that capacity until we were married in April 1952. She continued as principal until my ship returned to the states later that year.

While I was on active duty, I was with the Officers’ Christian Fellowship from 1947-1956. From November 1956-1961, I was the East Coast and Service Academies staff member for OCF. From January 1962 through June 1968, I was the local representative for OCF at the Naval Academy and the bookstore manager for Christian Books in Annapolis.

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