Newsletter of David Wilson

APRIL 2022

"Teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." Psalm 90:12

Dear Friend,

ELAINE, my beloved wife, wrote in our last newsletter about our sick friends and co-workers, and her own condition, saying: “As we have poured out our hearts for them in prayer, and I have pondered my own diagnosis earlier this year of chronic, low-grade leukemia, I am completely grateful that these things are not unknown to God. He truly does hold the key to it all and through it all. We can have such peace, knowing this.”

Yes, God knows the future, and we can have peace knowing that His way is perfect. So, when He called Elaine home to heaven, although this was very painful, I had to say, “Not my will, but Thine will be done.” It is hard to let go after 59 years of being married to the most beautiful wife in every way. I meant what I said in my wedding speech about Elaine, and still do, that God had answered my prayers for a wife “exceedingly abundantly” (Eph.3:20). Soon after we met, I told her that if she married me, she would end up on the mission field as God had called me when I was 14. She said that she had told God at 15 she was willing to do anything He wanted her to do. A year later we were married, and 4 years later the Lord called us to come and follow Him (Mk.1:17). We left everything and sailed from our homeland of New Zealand with our two little children to become missionaries. Neither of us ever regretted that decision.

Elaine, my beautiful wife   at 19
Elaine, my beautiful wife at 19

Elaine was willing to let me leave home and go to different countries for a total of 13 years. As a result, today our national evangelists in 12 developing countries can reach over half a million people each year with the gospel because of her sacrifice. She also held the fort when I was away, as well as raising our 3 sons. She always had a full ministry. Sometimes with me in open air evangelism on beaches and inner-city streets, and sometimes on her own proclaiming the gospel to hundreds of women in special evangelistic meetings. Most of all, for over 32 years she taught the Bible and ABCs to many children in Christian schools. She never retired.

Elaine’s greatest desire was to lead children to Jesus
Elaine’s greatest desire was to lead children to Jesus

A year ago, she was diagnosed with leukemia. Just after Christmas, it became acute. I canceled all trips and spent 24/7 with her for over 2 months. When offered chemo with no cure and bad side effects, she refused and opted for Hospice home care. One of my sons (Mark), came and lived with us, while continuing to teach Math at the State College nearby. He was a tremendous help. Elaine and I spent precious time together, especially as we meditated on God promises in the Scriptures. She knew so many by heart. Her two favorites were the words of Jesus saying, “My peace I give unto you…Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27), and God’s promise: “the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Jos.1:9). Several of the Scriptures we studied spoke about the glories of heaven for those who trust Christ as Savior.

On March 2nd., just 17 days short of her 79th birthday, and after 51 years of serving as a missionary, the Lord called Elaine home as I held her hand. Mark was also there. The nurse, after putting the stethoscope on Elaine’s heart, quoted the Scriptures saying, “Absent from the body… present with the Lord.” (2 Cor.5:8) Her pain and suffering were over forever as she passed into heaven to behold the glorious face of her God and Savior. Many came to her memorial service.

Memorial Service for Elaine  (no relatives from New Zealand)
Memorial Service for Elaine (no relatives from New Zealand)

I spoke about the wonderful way the Lord had used her life and ministry. Mark also spoke sharing how he had received the same gift of teaching, and had followed her example as a teacher. Hannahlee, the principal of the last church school where Elaine worked, said, “I promise to keep your legacy going by teaching the children about Jesus and His love. I promise to share your songs and stories with children for the rest of my life. We will forever love you.” The music pastor led the hymns and the senior pastor gave an excellent message. Elaine had arranged the service with us all shortly before she passed away.

I am receiving letters and spoken words from a constant stream of people, both here and around the world. They testify to how much Elaine helped them spiritually through her love, example, words and gracious spirit. She never promoted herself, but was always ready to point people to Christ. It was the fruit of the Holy Spirit in her life that truly made her beautiful… love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Gal.5:22-23). She always gave God the glory. She finished well in His plan for her life.

Elaine wrote a letter to each member of our family, to be opened after she passed away. Some of what she wrote to me was: “I love you so much and cherish every memory of the adventure of being your wife. I would do it all again! ... Until we meet again, may God bless and keep you. Keep on serving faithfully – I know you will.” Yes, I will until my last breath. And I also cherish every memory of our adventure, and would do it all again. Of course, I deeply miss you… part of my heart has been torn out… but I know we will meet again in heaven, where there is no more sorrow, pain, or death, only fullness of joy forever. See you soon, darling, at the Eastern Gate.

I was privileged to share at the service about the life and ministry of my precious wife
I was privileged to share at the service about the life and ministry of my precious wife

RUSSIA  Although we are seeing a terrible war against the innocent people of Ukraine, not all Russians are for the war, including our evangelist Constantine and our Chairman. In February the Mayor of Anapa, a town by the Black Sea, personally watched Constantine sharing the Gospel in the open air with his set of famous Russian Biblical paintings and a sketch board message. He was very glad with what he saw. After that many secular social and community organizations began inviting Constantine to come and preach. He is very busy.

 Russia: Constantine preaching in one of the former Communist Cultural Centers
Russia: Constantine preaching in one of the former Communist Cultural Centers
Russia: Constantine proclaiming the Gospel on a promenade at the Black Sea
Russia: Constantine proclaiming the Gospel on a promenade at the Black Sea

UKRAINE  Anatoly, our Ukrainian evangelist, was able to escape with his family from Kiev, where his suburb called Bucha came under attack, and Russian soldiers murdered civilians there. They took refuge in a Baptist church basement with many others, and then he drove Yulia & Anastasia (wife & child) to the Polish border. A missionary, whom we know, took them to the airport and we paid for their flight to the US. They are now staying with Anatoly’s brother. Anatoly continues to bring refugees to Poland and humanitarian aid to those suffering.

Ukraine: Anatoly (top center) with volunteers unloading humanitarian aid
Ukraine: Anatoly (top center) with volunteers unloading humanitarian aid

PLEASE PRAY

  • For Anatoly to be protected and used by the Lord as he ministers in a terrible war.
  • For Constantine as he publicly proclaims the Gospel in the open air and at every opportunity.
  • For our national evangelists in Congo, Kenya, South America, Jamaica, etc., as they are now reaching thousands in the open air and schools again

THANK YOU to those who have sent cards, emails, called and most of all prayed for me. The Lord’s grace is sufficient for all our needs, even to heal the broken hearted.

I do thank God for you, our supporters, as He continues to meet the personal and ministry needs of us all in this frontline ministry of evangelism. We all live by faith. Gifts to “Where Most Needed” go to the greatest needs. May the Lord meet your needs also, and richly bless you.

Compelled by His Love,

David Wilson