Notable Missionary Deaths in 2022
C. Duane Edward King (November 9, 1937 – January 25, 2022)
Duane King, a hearing minister who founded a deaf ministry and started work on the first sign language Bible translated from the original Greek and Hebrew, died at age 84. Top of FormKing had no special skills or training to work with the deaf and he had no personal experience with deaf family members motivating him to see and care about this often-overlooked community. “He was a giant,” said Chad Entinger, a Deaf Christian who succeeded King as director of Deaf Missions in Council Bluffs, Iowa. “Through Duane and his faithfulness to God, millions of Deaf people and their families and friends in more than 100 countries around the world have been impacted with the Gospel of Jesus!” King was born outside of Skidmore, Missouri. He attended Nebraska Christian College with the intention of becoming a pastor. He launched Deaf Missions and planted Christ’s Church for the Deaf in 1970. In 1981, Deaf Missions took on the ambitious project of translating the Bible into American Sign Language. Many other materials for the deaf have been developed through this ministry.
George Patterson (1932 – February 15, 2022)
George Patterson spent 21 years in Central America training pastors to make disciples in a New Testament fashion that rapidly multiplies churches. In Honduras he began by training pastors in a traditional, resident Bible Institute with poor results. With the advice of more experienced missionaries and much trial and error, he later saw churches multiply through the instrumentality of “Theological Education and Evangelism by Extension” (TEEE). This non-formal pastoral training resulted in twenty years in about 100 new churches in northern Honduras, the result of the Biblical discipleship and church reproduction principles Dr. Patterson implemented. This model is now used with similar results in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well in the United States.
Patterson returned to the States and became a noted missiologist connected with the US Center of World Missions in Pasadena, CA. A speaker on demand, he taught classes and seminars, especially on Church Growth at multiple locations.
David Morris Howard (January 28, 1928 – May 10, 2022)
David Morris Howard was born in Philadelphia; the third of six children, all of whom ended up in Christian ministry as missionaries, pastors, or teachers. Dave attended Wheaton College (Illinois), majoring in Bible and Theology, and graduated with the renowned Class of ’49, where he met his future wife Phyllis Gibson. Dave and Phyllis served in San José, Costa Rica, under the Latin America Mission from 1953 to 1957. After language school, Dave taught at the mission’s Seminario Bíblico Latinoamericano and eventually was named as an Assistant General Director of the mission. In 1958, Dave was asked to direct the mission’s work in northern Colombia where they served until 1967.
Dave and Phyllis moved to Wheaton, Illinois, where Dave served as Missions Director of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, 1968-78, first in Chicago and then in Madison, Wisconsin, during which time he also directed IVCF’s triennial Urbana Missionary Convention (1973, 1976). Following this, Dave was asked to direct the Lausanne Congress’ Consultation on World Evangelization in Pattaya, Thailand (1978-81). He then served as the General Secretary of the World Evangelical Fellowship in 1982-92, during which time he moved its headquarters to Singapore. After a semi-retirement he kept up a ministry of teaching, preaching, and writing.
Dr. K. Rajendran (Died May 22, 2022)
Indian mission leader Dr. K. Rajendran served more than 15 years in leadership with the Mission Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance. Many of those years he served as Chair of the Global Leadership Council. Dr. K. (as he was known), also served in leadership with Operation Mobilization for 27 years, and the India Missions Association for 12 years. Many of us in North America knew him from his leadership in these organizations. In 2017, Dr. K. founded the GIVA Global Movement, which is a network of entrepreneurs, writers, and Christian professionals. He is remembered as a visionary leader who dedicated his life to serving the global mission.
Andrew Van der Bijl (1928 – September 28, 2022)
Van der Bijl, the founder of Open Doors, and known around the world as “Brother Andrew,” died on September 28 at the age of 94. Known also as “God’s Smuggler,” Brother Andrew ministered to countless persecuted Christians and world leaders through his life. Born in 1928, Brother Andrew grew up in the Netherlands. After enduring German occupation during World War II, he went to Poland with a suitcase full of Christian material. There, he discovered that churches behind the Iron Curtain were isolated, sparking his passion to serve them and ultimately leading him to form the ministry that became Open Doors.
Van der Bijl became famous as “God’s Smuggler” when the first-person account of his missionary adventures—slipping past border guards with Bibles hidden in his blue Volkswagen Beetle—was published in 1967. God’s Smuggler was written and published under his code name “Brother Andrew.” It sold more than 10 million copies and was translated into 35 languages. The book inspired numerous other missionary smugglers, provided funding to van der Bijl’s ministry Open Doors, and drew evangelical attention to the plight of believers in countries where Christian belief and practice were illegal.