Wiens, Evelyn R. (Evelyn Ruth) 1943-1998
- 12 November 1943-11 September 1998
Evelyn Ruth Wiens served as a missionary for the International Church of the Nazarene in South Africa (1970-1981) and Papua New Guinea (1987-1994). She was born November 12th 1943 and died on September 11th 1998. She received a Bachelor of Theology degree from Canadian Nazarene College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in 1965 and went on to graduate from the Royal Alexandra Hospital School of Nursing in 1968 with an R.N. degree.
Before beginning her missionary work Wiens worked as a nurse in Alberta with a First Nations community from 1968-1970, in order to fulfill requirements for the grant that covered her training expenses. After finishing that work, she applied to the World Mission Division of the Church of the Nazarene to work as a missionary nurse and was appointed to a position in Acornhoek, E. Transvaal, in the Republic of South Africa. She served in South Africa from 1970 until September of 1981, when mental health issues resulted in a doctor and the mission board recommending that she take a medical leave of absence. She returned home to Canada, where she stayed with her family. In 1982, after several episodes of distorted thinking and actions, she requested to be hospitalized.
In 1987, confident that God had healed her schizophrenia, Wiens reapplied to the Board of World Missions to be reappointed as a missionary nurse. After some deliberation, the board decided that the severity of her previous breakdown was due to extenuating circumstances and that she was healthy enough to serve again. She was appointed to a position in Papua New Guinea, where she helped to train nurses and establish a community based health care program. She served there until 1994, when she suffered a major seizure, which resulted in significant brain damage.
After hospitalization she was sent home to Canada, where she was placed in a rehabilitation program for brain damage in the Chedoke-McMaster Hospital in Hamilton. She was honored with a Distinguished Service award from Oakville Church of the Nazarene in 1996 for her work in missions. She passed away on September 11th 1998 of a brain seizure caused by her pre-existing brain damage.