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Sawin, John Staples (1915-2003)

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  • 1915-25 November 2003

Dr. John Staples Sawin was born in 1915 in Wakefield, Mass. Sawin graduated from the Missionary Training Institute (now Nyack College) in 1935. He went on to study at Gordon-Conwell College (formerly Gordon College) where he graduated from in 1938, the same year he married Woneta Forest. John Sawin proceeded to pastor churches in Marblehead, Mass., Muncie, Ind., and Cleveland, Ohio during which time he did graduate studies and earned his master of divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He began pastoring Christian and Missionary Alliance churches in 1942. In 1947, John and Woneta left for Vietnam, where they would spend the next 15 years as Alliance missionaries. John Sawin’s responsibilities in Vietnam included active participation in evangelism, church planting, pastoral training, seminary teaching, music, radio and literature. John Sawin also served as pastor of the International Church in Saigon and as an auxiliary chaplain to U.S. service personnel in Southeast Asia. Upon returning to the United States in 1962, Sawin served as professor of Bible and missions at Simpson Bible College in San Francisco (now Simpson College, Redding, Calif.). The Sawins went on from there to lead churches in Washington, D.C., Lombard, Ill., and San Jose, Calif. In 1976, Sawin began a six-year commitment to organize the A. B. Simpson Historical Library and Archives in Nyack, N.Y. He also co-authored All for Jesus: God at Work in the Christian and Missionary Alliance over One Hundred Years (1986), and compiled an extensive collection of the C&MA’s work in Vietnam from 1911 to 1975. From 1983 to 1992, John consulted with Canadian Bible College and Canadian Theological Seminary (CBC/CTS, now Ambrose University College and Canadian Theological Seminary in Calgary, Alta.) to lay the groundwork for the archive collection there. He donated his library and research work to the CBC/CTS archives. For his outstanding service for Christ in the ranks of the C&MA, and his generous and laborious efforts to preserve the history of the C&MA, John Sawin was honored with a doctor of divinity from CTS. He passed away on November 25, 2003.

Moore, Barry (1925- )

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  • 10 November 1925-

Dr. Edwin Barry Moore, generally known as Barry Moore or E. Barry Moore, was born in London, Ontario on 10 November 1925. He attended primary and secondary school in London. Before being drafted into the military, he briefly considered playing professional baseball. When he was given the choice between post-secondary education and military service, he spent a year at London Normal School. In 1945 he began teaching primary school in London, and the following year began a B.A. at the University of Western Ontario (UWO). In 1947 he began volunteering with Youth for Christ (YFC). A year later he married Audrey Snelgrove, whom he met at Wortley Church in London. Over the next decade they had three children, Kerry Jane, Barry Mark (Mark), and Timothy Lee (Tim).
In 1950 Moore took over full-time leadership of the London YFC. In 1951 he graduated from UWO with a degree in education, after six years of extension and extra-annual study. During the 1950s he investigated the possibility of serving in France with Greater Europe Mission, having traveled to France in 1950, 1952, and 1953. With this in mind, he left YFC in 1956 to pursue studies at Columbia Bible School, Columbia, SC (now Columbia International University) from which he graduated in 1958 with an M.A. in Biblical Education and Missions. The Moore family moved from London to Columbia for these two years, returning to London after Barry’s graduation. The Greater Europe Mission board officially accepted Barry and Audrey as missionaries in 1957.
In 1959 or 1960 Moore discovered that the opportunity to serve in France in his desired capacity no longer existed. He therefore began Crusade Evangelism of Canada, the first inter-denominational Canadian-based evangelistic association. He travelled throughout Canada and the United States conducting “crusades”—multiple-day and sometimes week-long events involving music and preaching. In 1967, the organization became Crusade Evangelism International (C. E. I.), reflecting the widening geographical scope of its efforts. That same year, C. E.I. produced an award-winning gospel film featuring Barry, Man of Steel, in association with Ken Anderson Films. In 1971 C. E. I. hired an associate evangelist, Alf Rees, who also conducted crusades. The organization’s first major overseas thrust was a three-month mission to India and Sri Lanka in 1973. In 1976 C. E. I. opened an office in the United States, led by Howard Brenneman.
In 1977 Moore received an honourary Doctor of Divinity from Winnipeg Theological Seminary for his work in evangelism. In 1979 the first Barry Moore School of Evangelism, an occasional week-long seminar, took place. On 16 October 1981Crusade Evangelism International became Barry Moore Ministries Inc. When Alf Rees returned to the pastorate in 1982, Walter DeSousa assumed the position of associate evangelist, which he occupied until 1990. In 1989 Moore was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Columbia International University. He continued hholding crusades both overseas and at home until his retirement in 2011.
Upon his retirement, Barry Moore Ministries endowed a Chair of Preaching and Evangelism at Ambrose University in Calgary, AB, for the purpose of “promoting and resourcing the vital function of biblically-based preaching and evangelism in the 21st century.” Moore’s youngest son, Tim Moore, serves at Ambrose as Associate Professor of Youth Ministry and Director of Field Education.
Notable members of Barry’s crusade ministry have included J. D. Blackwood, Lyall Conlin, Harvey Schroeder, Herb Bock, Don Jost, Don Kroening, Ken Baer, Ken Carter, Steve Boalt, Bernard Camper, Art Perri, John Laari, and Barry’s son Mark Moore.
Altogether, Barry Moore has conducted over 700 evangelistic crusades in more than 50 countries, and his publications have been translated into several foreign languages. Hence his nickname, “the Canadian Billy Graham.”

Frost, James (1931- )

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  • 1931-

The Rev. James Frost was born on 18 July 1931 in New Brunswick. He attended Canadian Bible College (then Western Canadian Bible Institute) in Regina, Sask. from 1953-1957. There he met and married his wife, Loreen (Galenzoski), with whom he had five children. During their ministerial career Rev. and Mrs. Frost pastored a number of Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches: Wheatley, Ont. (1957-1960); Thorold, Ont. (1960-1963); St. John, N. B. (1963-1968); Montréal, P.Q. (Alliance Community Church Pie IX, 1968-1971), Midland, Ont. (1971-1982), and Gibbons, Alta. (Sturgeon Alliance Church, 1982-1995). Rev. Frost also served as a member of the Eastern and Central Canadian District Ordaining Council, the Director of Maritime Alliance Family Camp, and the member of a committee that organized the sponsorship of Vietnamese boat people. He currently resides in Edmonton, Alta.

Funé, Jean (1902-2000)

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  • 18 May 1902-5 January 2000

Rev. Jean Émile Roger Funé (1902-2000) served as a missionary and pastor in the Christian & Missionary Alliance (C&MA) for nearly 50 years. He was born on 18 May 1902, in Ville Favard, France to Eugène & Rachel (Gargot) Funé, and died on 5 January 2000 at his home in Hamilton, Ontario. Funé spent 42 years in Vietnam and Cambodia as a C&MA missionary and five years in Quebec as a missionary and pastor before retiring in 1975.

From 1922 to1925, Jean Funé attended the Nogent Bible School in France. While at Nogent, he received a call to become a missionary to French Indochina. With this in mind, he enrolled at Nyack (N.Y.) Missionary College in 1925. He graduated in 1927 and began his service in Vietnam the following year. Funé used his French citizenship to good advantage. For example, he was instrumental in purchasing land at Dalat, on which the C&MA later built a school for missionaries’ children, and several other strategic properties elsewhere in the country.

Jean married a Canadian, Myrtle Hall (b. 3 April 1905, d. 1 February 1992) in 1935, and together they had two children, George Eugène (b. 25 March 1938) and Esther Marie (b. 30 September 1942). In 1944, the Funés and their children were taken to Hanoi and then Xieng-Khouang, Laos, where they were interned for eight months by the Vichy Government. In 1966, the elder Funés left an increasingly dangerous Vietnam for Cambodia, where they served until 1970, when they began their retirement in Canada. Their retirement was short-lived, as Jean became both the coordinator of C&MA work in Quebec and the pastor of Belvedere Church in Quebec City for five years. In 1975, the Funés moved to Regina, where they worked with Vietnamese refugees.

Oldfield, Mabel Dimock (1878-1965)

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  • 1878-1965

Mabel Dimock Oldfield (1878-1965) and her husband Walter H. Oldfield (1879-1958) served as missionaries to Guangxi, China during the first half of the twentieth century.

Patterson, Ruth (1924- )

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  • 1924-

Ruth Patterson was born in 1924 just outside of Toronto, Ontario. She took her post high school training at Toronto Bible College, Windsor School of Nursing and Nyack Missionary College. Ministry and missionary service were no strangers to her as she was brought up in a home with parents dedicated to serving the Lord. So it was no surprise when she headed off to her first missionary assignment in Zaire where she served for four terms from 1952-1972. She assumed nursing and administrative duties at the Kinkonzi Hospital and also gave direction and taught at the nursing school.

In 1973 Ruth responded to a call for nurses in Cambodia that was issued by World Vision and ministered in Phnom Penh and in refugee camps. In 1975 when Cambodia fell, she relocated to Thailand teaching English and English Bible at Bangkok Bible College. She continued to assist Cambodian refugees with transitioning from camps to other countries. France was next on her journey. Moving to Paris in 1978 she worked with the Boulogne Cambodian Church outreach to Cambodian refugees and then moved to Pau in 1983 to work with French, Asian and Angolan refugees. Her final term from 1986-1991 was spent helping to plant a church in Martiques and also working in church planting among Cambodians in Marseille.

After forty years of service, Ruth retired to Ontario, Canada where she continued to minister in missionary meetings, Bible studies, prayer lines, and chapel services at a nursing home.

The fonds are from the experiences of Ruth over 40 years. Missionary letters and prayer requests highlight the activities she was challenged and blessed with on this journey. Numerous personal letters from family, friends, colleagues and those she so capably ministered too in spiritual and practical ways through her nursing skills, theological knowledge and servants heart, bring to life a missionary’s life.

Reimer, Reg (1940- )

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  • 1940-

Reg Reimer was born in 1940 on Vancouver Island, B. C. When he was four, his family moved to the Chilliwack area, where they began attending the German-speaking Mennonite Brethren church in which Reg was later baptized. After graduating from high school, he moved to Omaha, Nebraska, to attend Grace Bible Institute (GBI). During his second year, he met LaDonna (Donna) Rose Goodwin from Hutchinson, Kansas. They married in the summer of 1961. Reg and Donna have two children: Jay Reimer, born in October 1964, and Jill (Kila) Reimer, born in May 1966.

Reg was expelled from GBI for defending the supposedly deviant theological views of one of his professors. On the advice of this same professor, he decided to pursue further studies at the University of Nebraska. He graduated in 1964 with a B.A. English Literature and a certificate in secondary education.

Reg and Donna were called to missions at the Omaha Gospel Tabernacle, a flagship church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). As one of the conditions of their appointment as missionaries both pursued further studies in Nyack, N.Y. – Reg at the Jaffray School of Mission and Donna at Nyack Missionary College. In 1966 they received an assignment to Vietnam.

The Reimers served in Vietnam from 1966 to 1975. Their first assignment after language study was to the coastal town of Phan Thiet, from which they were evacuated almost immediately during the Tet Offensive of 1968. In 1970 Reg took a leave to attend Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of World Mission, where he earned his master’s degree.

During the fall of Vietnam, Reg was sent to Guam to assist the United States military in caring for the thousands of Vietnamese evacuees who had been sent to the island in anticipation of being relocated. His job was to oversee missionaries who were serving as translators and trouble-shooters. For this he received high commendation from a US Navy admiral.

In 1975, Reg spent a year as the missionary-in-residence at Canadian Bible College and Canadian Theological Seminary in Regina, Saskatchewan. Since 1980, he has made frequent visits to Vietnam, during which he has kept careful record of religious freedom abuses against Protestants. He also served as the representative for Vietnam at the 1974, 1989, 2010 Lausanne Congresses. Since 2009, Reg has returned to Vietnam yearly to give lectures on Protestantism in Vietnamese to government religion and security officials.

In 1976, Reg and Donna were sent to serve as missionaries in Thailand. Reg became the Director of CAMA Services, which did relief and development work among Indochinese refugees. Until 1983 he also served as the director of World Relief US’s work in Southeast Asia, as well as chairing a committee composed of NGO’s, UN agencies, and representatives of the Thai government. During the Cambodian refugee crisis of 1979-1980 he helped lead a relief effort that provided Cambodian peasants with seed and agricultural implements, thereby decreasing their dependence on aid from the West. At the same time he worked with the Mennonite Central Committee and World Relief US to resettle Vietnamese refugees in in Canada and the United States. For his humanitarian work Reg was awarded the Order of the White Elephant medal by the king of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej (r. 1946-2016).

In 1983, the Reimers moved to Toronto, so that Reg could become the first president of World Relief Canada (WRC), the relief arm of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. He was seconded to serve as the senior staff member of the World Evangelical Alliance; in this capacity he worked to facilitate reconciliation and healing in Rwanda and Indochina.

In 1997, Reg helped organize the Strategic Vietnam Partnership (SVP) an informal organization dedicated to helping mission agencies in Vietnam coordinate their efforts. In 1998, he joined Interdev (later International Partnering Associates) as the coordinator for mainland Southeast Asia. Reg is now the senior mentor for SVP, and he also serves on the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada’s Religious Liberty Commission. In 2000, he was invited to brief President Bill Clinton on the eve of Clinton’s historic visit to Vietnam.

Reg is the author of Vietnam’s Christians: A Century of Growth and Diversity (Littleton: William Carey Library, 2011) and also co-authored and co-edited Sorrow and Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution, and Martyrdom (Littleton: William Carey Library, 2012).

This biographical description is a condensation of an autobiography that can be found here

Wiens, Evelyn R. (Evelyn Ruth) 1943-1998

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  • 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.

Post, Viola Mae (1903-1998)

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  • 3 September 1903-2 July 1998

Viola Mae Post (nee Griebenow) was born in Minnesota on 3 September 1903 and died on 2 July 1998. Ms. Post became a Christian when she was 12. During her teenage years her family moved to Salem, Oregon, and after a few years she began attending Simpson Bible Institute in Seattle, Washington. She finished her studies at the Missionary Training Institute. While there, she applied for missionary service. She had initially wanted to serve in China and Tibet but when presented with two possibilities for service, China or the Netherlands East Indies, she chose the latter field. She departed in September 1931 to assist Dr. R. A. Jaffray in the C&MA’s Netherlands East Indies field office. There she met Walter Post, and a year later they were married.

The Posts worked in East Borneo (Kalimantan) for a year and then were sent to Makassar to work in the Bible school there. After their first furlough, they pioneered a mission effort in New Guinea (Irian Jaya), but in 1943, with the advance of the Japanese forces, they were evacuated to Australia. While there, they were asked by the Netherlands Forces Intelligence Service to assist in translation and interrogation work.

They were flown to Makassar in September 1945 to assist in post war rehabilitation. For the next few years Walter served as chairman of the field and taught in the Bible school. In 1952 the Posts were able to return to New Guinea (Irian Jaya) and work in the Bible school there. They ended their missionary service in 1972.

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