Served with MMM from 1954 till his passing in 1999
March 13, 1916 - February 17, 1999
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Served with MMM from 1954 till her death in
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Served with MMM from 1954 till her passing in 2002
Passed into Glory - May 21, 2002
Melba Unruh.- married Linden Unruh on October 15, 1954. Immediately they left for Santiago Etla, Oaxaca, where MMM was starting a Bible school even though evangelical missionaries were not welcome in that area. Although she was a good pianist, she didn’t have a piano in Oaxaca, so she taught herself to play the accordion and began teaching music at the Bible Institute. It was a hard life without running water and no electricity for a washing machine or refrigerator. She had attacks of amoebic dysentery, malaria, and hepatitis. She never knew whether her husband would return from village evangelism since attempts had been made to kill him.
In 1958 the Bible Institute moved to Monclova where she continued her music ministry at the school and in churches. She also helped open the first Bible book-store in Monclova in 1973. Her great, great passion was to get the Bible into the hands of people. In 1985 they moved to Pharr where Linden served as president of MMM till 1997 when they moved to Pachuca, Hidalgo, where he oversaw the construction of a new seminary.
In all of her life Melba was an exemplary wife and mother, continually praying for her children and grandchildren and rejoicing in their salvation. She always encouraged her husband to be faithful in the Lord’s work.
In 1995 she suffered a major stroke but did recuperate sufficiently to continue on with her husband Linden in Mexico until her second stroke when the Lord took His faithful servant home on May 21, 2002.
Served with MMM from 1961 till ill health forced her to leave in 2001
Passed into Glory - January 21, 2003
Elma Voth. served a term in Ecuador under Gospel Missionary Union. Poor health caused the Mission to ask Elma to seek other employment. She applied to work with MMM. Rev. Gomez got some medical help for her, and she began working in Monclova as a teacher in 1961 and then was soon assigned to direct the Bible correspondence department and moved to Monterrey. Because of ill health she retired in 2001 in Hesston, KS, near her childhood home. Over 50 years of service for someone thought too ill shows the grace of God in her life. Elma witnessed wherever she went and led many people to the Lord. She nurtured them through the correspondence studies and in home Bible studies. A fellow missionary said Elma went to places to witness where he himself was afraid to go. She led many to salvation who will spend eternity with her. Elma passed to her heavenly home Jan. 21, 2003.
John Herbert Koop and Agnes Martens Koop
John : Served with MMM from 1961 till his passing in 2007
Agnes: Served with MMM from 1961 till her passing in 2009
John :Passed into Glory - March 27, 2007
Agnes : Passed into Glory - April 17, 2009
John and Agnes began their first assignment with MMM in 1961. They did a lot of village evangelism work early on and were involved in film and jail ministries. In 1965 they planted a church in Primero de Mayo, a neighborhood in Monclova. For 19 years Agnes taught the children of MMM missionaries so they could dedicate themselves to other missionary work. In the 70's John started building church pews for the churches. He would always involve the brethren of the church in the building projects and usually had film showings in the evenings.
In 1977 mission leaders asked them to begin working in Monterrey. It wasn’t long before he was knocking on doors and handing out tracts. The Koop family was used of the Lord to plant a church in Celestino Gasca on the outskirts of Monterrey. This was turned over to the nationals in 1982 when John and Agnes were asked to take over the Bible Bookstore in Monclova, and they were there until 1987. After that he had more time for church planting and building pews and helping some on the construction of the new Seminary in Pachuca.
In 2000 they moved to Pachuca and he continued to build desks and closets for the dorms at the seminary until his stroke in October 2004. But his great compassion for the many lost who were moving there from Mexico City continued. A mission was started near the seminary by the teachers and students in a rented building in Colonia El Venado. But John’s vision was to build a church. That vision became reality. The Eternal Refuge Church was built near the seminary in memory of him. The Lord took him to his heavenly home on March 27, 2007, at the age of 83. He passed away very peacefully at home in Pachuca, Mexico.
Agnes continued to serve God in Pachuca living in a home next to her daughter Eunice and son-in-law Paul Unruh. During her lifetime Agnes made many wedding cakes and flower arrangements. Agnes was also well known for her excellent culinary skills and didn’t like to purchase prepared foods but rather spent much time in the kitchen making wholesome meals.
After several months of declining health, while on what was supposed to be just a four-day stay in Pharr, she went peacefully to her heavenly home on April 17, 2009.
Bill Served in Mexico from 1971 - 1993
Ruby Served in Mexico from 1971 - 1996
Bill :Passed into Glory - April 30, 1993
Ruby : Retired in 3 years after the passing of her husband in 1996
Bill and Ruby Stevens served a term in South America with Gospel Missionary Union. After their first term they moved back to their home in Washington State and Bill worked as an electrician for a short time. The Lord convinced them they should return to the mission field and they applied to serve with MMM. They went to Monclova in 1971 where they served as church planters and both taught at the Seminary. They also started the work at Sabinas, a town north of Monclova. They were asked to go to Ciudad Juarez to begin a church in 1976. Both Bill and Ruby were very effective at witnessing from door to door. They held home Bible studies and soon had enough converts to start a church. They had an effective ministry in the Emanuel Church they started and nurtured to good health. They remained active in this church till Bill had a heart attack and passed away April 30, 1993. Ruby continued to work in the church and held many home Bible studies till she retired in 1996. She purchased a home in Belton, MO, near several of her children.
JoAnn Gillson Just
JoAnn Served in Pharr from 1963 - 2005
Howard Served in Pharr from 1966 - 2005
JoAnn :Passed into Glory - May 5, 2007
Howard : Retired in 2005
Howard and JoAnn Just served with the Mission faithfully for some 40 years. JoAnn came to the mission first in 1963 as JoAnn Gillson. She worked in the offices as a secretary. Three years later in 1966 Howard Just joined MMM as comptroller. The two met at the mission and in 1975 were married. After they married, JoAnn took over the care of the apartments at the Pharr headquarters. Howard was comptroller until they moved to Tahlequah, OK, in 2005. JoAnn passed away May 5, 2007, with complications after heart surgery. Howard continues to work with the Bible correspondence ministry of Christ For Me Mission.