Dale and I were asked by Garland and Reba Cofield (our former pastor) to assist them while they were beginning the construction of a year round youth camp (Camp of the Woods) in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. While we were helping at Camp of the Woods, the Lord called us to do full-time mission work in Northern Canada. Upon our return to the United States, we joined BIMI in July 1966, raised our support, and entered Canada as landed immigrants in June 1967.
We worked with the Cofields for the next three years at Immanuel Baptist Church in Dryden, Ontario, and Camp of the Woods. Dale was in charge of the bus ministry and I worked in the nursery. We worked with the teenagers of the church and participated in a Tuesday evening kid's program. We also were house-parents for native teens as they attended high school in Dryden.
In 1970 the Lord led us to start a new ministry in Thompson, Manitoba, 500 miles north of Winnipeg. When we first moved there, it took 22 hours to travel this distance. Five years later Highway 6 was completed and now it takes 8 hours. Even though Thompson is remote, it is the Hub of the North for trading because it is a mining town. It is like a mirage in the desert, only the city emerges from trees—not sand. We started the Burntwood Baptist Church. During the first few years we rented an elementary school for services since no older buildings were available for our use. In 1972 after much prayer, we purchased a home for us and our five children. We used the basement for church services and the upstairs for Sunday school.
Thompson was a very transient community at first. The average age was 21 years old. As more families moved in, it became more stable. We also had outreaches into other nearby communities. Dale conducted weekly Bible studies in three northern communities. I led ladies Bible studies, did visitation, taught Sunday school, and held Child Evangelism Fellowship classes in the public elementary schools. In the summer we held neighborhood Bible Clubs. In 1994 we purchased an older building to renovate for a church. Different churches sent up work crews to help with this project over the years.
In 1995 Dale was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma—a rare form of leukemia. At that time there was no cure. We continued to minister in Canada until September 1998. Dale graduated to heaven on December 1, 1998. Since that time, I have been living in the Holland, Michigan, area and attending Calvary Baptist Church.
My pastor asked me to work with the older widows of Calvary Baptist Church. This involves sending cards, visiting shut-ins, offering prayers, and reading the Bible. I also help prepare food for the sick, run errands for them, take them to appointments, etc. I visit those in nursing homes.
I enrolled in classes in 1999 to become a volunteer and an advocate for the local crises pregnancy center. It is a Christian ministry led by prayer and the Bible. We are encouraged to share God's Word and offer prayer for our clients if they agree. These young ladies are hurting and in need. I also taught ladies Bible classes at the ladies' rescue mission for 12 years.
Also in the same year, I started the "Apples of Gold" ministry for Calvary Baptist Church. This is a program where the older ladies mentor the young married ladies of the church. I conducted these classes for about eight weeks each year for 12 years. I have turned the leadership of this program over to another lady. I do, however, still teach and mentor one of the classes.
My desire is to continue these ministries as health and strength permits. It is a blessing and a privilege to serve the Lord under BIMI through the ARM Personnel ministry. Your continued prayers and support are deeply appreciated.