Nancy Lou Burns
Serving in Peru
Nancy was born prematurely in the Dahl Memorial Hospital in Ekalaka, Montana, on July 12, 1952. She was born hearing but lost her hearing at the age of 2½ due to a high fever Nancy grew up as an only child. The baby calves, baby lambs, baby pigs, horses, dogs, and cats were her playmates!
Nancy attended the one-room Coal Creek country school in Mill Iron for a year but could not advance well in a hearing school as she was deaf. So her parents sent her to the State of Montana School for the Deaf and Blind in Great Falls, Montana. She was seven years old at the time. She lived at the school for nine months and would go home for three months in the summer time. She continued this living arrangement for ten years until she graduated in May 1970.
Nancy attended Gallaudet College in January 1971. Gallaudet is the world's only university for the deaf in Washington, DC. It was established in 1864 by an Act of Congress and its charter was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.
During this time Nancy got mixed up with the wrong crowd—hippies who smoked cigarettes and marijuana, drank, and partied. During Easter break, her hippy friends planned to hitchhike to Florida. She received a letter from her parents suggesting she go visit her Christian cousin in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Nancy decided to go to North Carolina instead of going to Florida with her friends. Her cousin gave her Christian paperback books to read. After reading the books, Nancy was convicted and on March 31, 1972, she believed on the Lord Jesus Christ as her personal Savior. Her life completely changed.
Nancy left Gallaudet her junior year and attended Temple Deaf Bible College in Kansas City, Missouri. It was there she learned about missions. She went to Peru as a summer missionary from June to August 1976 and returned to finish her studies. She graduated from Temple Deaf College in May 1977. After graduation she went on deputation and returned to Peru on February 28, 1978. She was 25 years old.
While in Peru, Nancy helped a deaf missionary couple, Vernon and Velma Miller, who had started the EFATA Deaf School and church in Lima. She worked with them for 22 years and then moved to Chiclayo, 12 hours north of Lima on the coast to help another missionary couple, Lee and Eva Johnson, with their deaf school and church ministry. This was similar to the EFATA ministry in Lima.
Nancy has been in Peru for more than 39 years. Her desire is to see more deaf souls saved and grow in the Lord. She hopes to stay in Peru for years to come.
Understandably, her main ministry is with deaf and hard of hearing people, with a special focus on children who live at the boarding school where she lives and ministers. She also serves as the treasurer for both the mission church and school in Chiclayo.
West Side Baptist Church in Billings, Montana, has financially supported Nancy since 1981, and in 1995 West Side became her home church. Her sending agency is Baptist International Missions, Inc. (BIMI).
Interesting Note: There is a story of Nancy having won a Peruvian national dog show with a Husky she owned when she lived in Lima.