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By Eric Bohman
Baptist International Missions, Inc. (BIMI), recently had the privilege of celebrating
the 90th birthday of one of our most beloved missionaries, Martha Kunberger.
Martha has been with BIMI since its inception in 1960. She has served the Lord
in Congo, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Although she is a decade away from living a
century, she is still serving the Lord in missions today! Her smile and kind words
are always a blessing to everyone she meets.
In 1956 Martha boarded a ship for Africa. After 16 days on an ocean liner and
four days on a riverboat, she arrived in the small village of Kinchwa to begin her
life in missions. Her first challenge was language. She knew no French (the official
language) or Chiluba (the local dialect). She started language study by learning the
phrase “What is this?” in Chiluba and from there developed her own vocabulary.
Martha’s main job was teaching the missionary children of several missionary
families who lived together on a compound and wanted one school for their
children. Besides being the schoolteacher, she also served as the mission station’s
nurse. Even though she had no medical training, except for first-aid in college, God
gave her wisdom and a good dose of common sense. She handled a wide variety