by Zonda Haase
Tim and Phyllis began their missionary journey in 1966 with an appointment for ministry in Paraguay and Mexico through the years ending in 2013. Their skills of Bible school, church planting and carpentry made them valuable to the spreading of the gospel to many people. They balanced their careers and travels while rearing four children, Beth, John Mark, Timothy and Karla. The latter two are twins who were born in Paraguay. All four are serving the Lord in their local churches.
This couple from Ohio had God’s call in their youth. Tim’s calling came as a result of being chosen by his conference youth leader to go on a two-month summer missions trip to southern Mexico preceding his senior year in high school. As he lived with an Aztec tribe God affirmed the calling. He is skilled in carpentry, language, Bible teaching and working with church planting. Upon retiring from overseas ministry, Tim pastored five different Free Methodist church in Ohio. He also made a trip back to Paraguay and Mexico. He has maintained secular employment along with the pastoring.
God called Phyllis to missions as a young child. Her mother helped her make a scrapbook of missionaries’ pictures. In a missions meeting when Phyllis was of junior age the mission’s speaker told Phyllis that she sensed God working on Phyllis’ heart.
Phyllis and Tim met at Spring Arbor College while they were members of the missions club there. Phyllis’ major ministry developed as their children grew and she could travel more. She translated Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) materials from the Children’s Ministry Bible on leading children to Christ and follow-up lessons for spiritual growth. She has shared those lessons with Kay Stotts Godoy in Chile. This ministry has touched many lives. She is also translating into Spanish the Child Evangelism Fellowship teacher’s manual. Currently Phyllis has come along side the pastor’s wife of our Dayton Compassion church who has asked for some help in their children’s ministry. This church serves the refugees from African countries who are starting a new life in America. At Legacy Village where the Shumakers live, Phyllis has made wheelchair bags for the Joni and Friends organization. She is also leading a support group of physically challenged seniors and their care givers. She has been diagnosed with Parkinsons which limits the missions travels they would still like to do.
So … being a missionary does not experience “retirement.” Parksinsons has not distracted their reaching around the globe to bring the message of God’s love to precious souls. In November 2016 Tim and Phyllis received the Ohio Conference Distinguished Service Award for exceptional ministry in every opportunity given to them. One wonders what God has in mind for 2017!