Lee and Becky Ward
I was born in Caribou Maine on July 27, 1957 to Glen and Mary Ann Ward. Dad was a line mechanic for Boeing at the time. Dad, Mom, and I moved across the states shortly after I was born. The Ward family settled in Idaho where four more children were born. Dad became a farmer and a small dairy man. Life on the farm was a busy time for all and everyone was expected to help out. Mom led me to the Lord in our living room when I was eight years old. I farmed and worked on the farm until I felt that the Lord was leading me to help the missionaries in the Congo. The Robert Grings family were long term missionaries who were know by the Roswell Church. I remember listing to the hard ships of fixing flat tires with out modern tools and equipment. I bought tire wrenches, patches and supplies and sent them to the Congo and little did I know that I would be using those same tools on a permanent basis.
My Dad was born to a missionary family serving in the Congo in 1920. He was raised on the field and began serving the Lord himself at a very early age in life. God sent Mom to Congo where they met and were married. I was born in the States on their first furlough home to meet Mom’s family and visit supporting churches. We returned to Congo on a boat with my parents when I was only three months old.
I accepted the Lord as my Savior at an early age but often doubted my salvation. At a boarding school in Kinshasa, one night after we had had devotions I asked my sister how I could be sure I was saved. Ruthie explained salvation to me and shared verses which opened my understanding and I have never doubted my salvation since.
I thank the Lord for the wonderful Dad and Mom he gave me. I would never exchange my childhood with anyone. We grew up sharing in the missionary work, had very few worldly possessions, but we had something money can not buy…folks who loved us and loved and served God. My parents involved us in the missionary work. At ages ten and older we were expected to take part in services and share Bible stories with other children. Mom home schooled us most of our life. We did go to a boarding school but not for long.
I knew from my teen years that I wanted to serve the Lord in what ever way He could use me. I graduated from Western Baptist Bible in Salem Oregon after completing two years of Bible. My brother and I returned with our parents to the Congo and worked in the bush. All other fundamental groups had pulled out of the Congo but my parents felt the Lord still had a work for us. Those years were great years of learning to trust God and seeing Him supply our needs and protect us. I returned to complete my college education and graduated from Washington Baptist Bible in Tacoma Washington in 1982. The Lord lead me to Tillicum Baptist Church were I became a member and part of the church family. Tillicum Baptist Church took on my complete support after I graduated from College and I was able to leave that summer for the mission field. They asked how much I thought I’d need on the mission field and I said $400 should cover my needs. I returned to work with my folks in the bush, lived in a leaf roof house and worked in a jungle ministry.
The Lord brought Lee into my life at the end of my first five years on the mission field. I honestly doubted I’d ever marry but God brought the love of my life to our little village of Yassa. We came back to the States not sure if God wanted us to serve together but God clearly lead in that direction and we were married in 1987. Tillicum Church raised our support and a number of others churches began supporting us including you folks if I remember correctly. God again wonderfully cared for us and gave us five wonderful years on the mission field our first term. Lee did mechanics and helped in our Christian Technical School and I worked with children and was the administrator of the Technical School. We continued serving the Lord in a bush type of ministry until 1998 when our mission station was looted and we relocated to the Mega city of Kinshasa. We honestly never thought we’d end up in a city ministry but God changed things.
City ministry was very different then bush ministry but the spiritual needs were much the same. We became involved in building churches, and working with Christian Schools in our area. It was much more expensive living in the city and we contemplated returning to the States to raise support but the Lord provided part time jobs for us at the American Embassy in Kinshasa. We helped some friends in the Embassy begin a home for street boys in 2002. More and more children were taking to the streets of Kinshasa daily and the longer they stay on the streets the more difficult they are to work with. The Lord continued to burden our heart for these children and in 2005 we finally had our own home for boys. God wonderfully provided a grant through the Embassy which allowed us to purchase a property and we were able to finish constructing a home for the boys. The first boy to enter the home was Orlic who is now our eldest adopted son. Adopting children once a person has passed fifty years of age probably is not the best idea but we have a number of examples in the Bible of folks who began their families in their golden years.
We appreciate your support and prayers all these years. This past year has been one of the most difficult years in our lives. The devil has used health, a very corrupt government, lack of infrastructure and much more to wear us thin but God is our strength and our hope and with Him all things are possible.
Lee, Becky, Orlic, and Paul
Pray for our missionaries in the India.