Just as the Apostle Paul shared how Timothy’s faith first dwelt in his grandmother and then in his mother, ABWE Missionary Kathleen Weber’s grandmother, Erma, was also the root of a significant spiritual legacy.
At a young age, Erma felt the Lord’s calling and she dedicated her life to serve in foreign missions. But her plans were changed when an Iowa farmer asked to marry her. Erma prayed for months until the Lord gave her peace that this was His will for her life.
While she got married and stayed in Iowa, her heart for missions never waned. She dedicated each of her children to the Lord before they were born and continually prayed for God to lead them. Kathleen’s mother remembers a time when an airplane flew over their farm and her younger brother said he would never go in one. Erma just smiled and said, “You never know where God might take you someday.”
Erma was right. Her passion for the Lord and for missions led four of her six children to follow the Lord’s leading to become missionaries to Brazil. Twenty-two of her grandchildren grew up in Brazil, learning Portuguese and loving the Brazilian people, and 10 went on to become full-time missionaries there. The seeds Erma planted were then passed on to her great-grandchildren, 11 of whom answered the call to missions in Brazil, Africa, Portugal, Spain, China, Indonesia, and Guatemala.
Four missionary children, 10 missionary grandchildren, 11 missionary great-grandchildren later, Erma miraculously sparked a missions movement without leaving her farm in Iowa.
“It was not I the Lord desired on the mission field, but my children,” Erma later said.
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