|This season of Thanksgiving is a great time to pause for a few minutes to look back and reflect on God’s goodness and faithfulness in our lives. In going through boxes for our move to Florida in the spring, we came across this memento of our Jungle Camp in the summer of 1981. It’s the only list we have of the classmates with whom we did our missionary training in Baker, Oregon. If you’d indulge us, may we do a little roll call of our August 1980 class of trainees? |
Owen & Audrey Baker were a big family from northern Canada. She used to bake a big batch of fresh bread every weekend, filling the downstairs of our dorm building with that delicious aroma. They served for some years in Papua New Guinea.
Tim & Charlotte Denning lived down the hall from us and were very helpful. A bit older than we, they had teenagers, good kids. Tim served as an airplane mechanic in our mission’s aviation branch.
Larry & Barbara Howell’s daughter was Art’s playmate. They served here at the Home Office for a while.
Trudi Kempton is an educator. She had to evacuate from ministry locations in West Africa several times, fleeing political violence. She’s become a specialist in helping people with learning issues, children and adults.
Harold & Loretta Kislewski were asked to serve as training program staff. If I’m not mistaken, a couple of their children are also career missionaries.
Jim & Dorothea Lander worked with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Africa. Jim has suffered for many years from serious chronic illness, but he’s still serving fulltime, using his skills as a Greek scholar to develop helps for translators.
Ron Lindsey married Carrie Denning, daughter of Tim and Charlotte (above). Our little son, Art, was their ring bearer. They served in Papua New Guinea. Ron is now the director of our Ethnos360 Bible School. Laurie Powell married Randy Steel; they serve in Paraguay, encouraging the Paraguayan evangelical churches to participate in the Great Commission. Her parents, Bob & Glenda, were veteran missionaries in that country.
Barbara Russ has served as an elementary teacher in the Philippines, Colombia and Mexico. Our Esther was her Spanish language helper. Barb was instrumental in starting a little rural church in her patio in Chihuahua.
Doug Lotz couldn’t do Jungle Camp with our class. He was drafted early to work in the mission’s print shop. A Bible-formatting specialist, he’s prepared MANY Scripture translations for printing. Doug suffered a stroke earlier this year, but is recovering well and eager to get back to work on the Bibles waiting for him.
Verl & Lois Koons were on training staff. He was a retired postmaster, both of their daughters are career missionaries. We worked with Jeri and her husband Virgil Holt getting the national training program established in Chihuahua.
Other students whose training time coincided with ours:
Mike & Diane Hartman— Diane is the other Koons daughter. Mike grew up in Brazil. They served in that country, first in a tribal village, then in support. Mike now heads up maintenance here at the Home Office building.
Ron & Terresa Hiebert— Ron is a gifted builder; he directed the total remodeling of this donated six-story building which serves as the Ethnos360 Home Office. Terresa helps out as an admin in the International Ministries Office.
Jim & Judy Burdett went to Papua New Guinea and served the Dom people. He translated the whole New Testament and they got it printed! They’ve moved to Sanford recently to help out with Assisted Care. Jim plans to continue working afternoons on the Old Testament and Bible study aids in the Dom language.
Mark & Sue Brunemeier lived across the hall from us in training and very kindly indulged the curiosity of our young son, Art. They went to Bolivia where he served as an airplane mechanic. Mark has gone before us to heaven already.
Roger & Eva Dockum served in a tribal village in Bolivia. Roger is now the computer hardware support guy here at the Home Office. He’s saved my bacon more than once.
Dan & Debbie Huntting served in Bolivia. Dave & Ann Emsheimer served in Brazil.
What a blessing to be part of this group of faithful people, and to think back on how He has guided and sustained each of us since the early 80’s, a testament to the truth of Jesus’ promise to always be with us as we go into all the world. If we didn’t know it might be embarrassing, we would also do a roll call of all of you who have been such encouraging partners with us. May our loving heavenly Father receive all the gratitude, honor and praise that He deserves and may you and your loved ones have a blessed Thanksgiving Day!
Steve & Eida Irwin
Spanish Language Resources