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Annie Riley

Missionary to Texas/Mexico Border Ministries
"Reaching Out in Central America"
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, 2011

“It has been a joy to walk in obedience with the Lord.”

Annie Riley, retired missionary with World Gospel Mission, wrote those words in a 1988 testimony as she and her husband, David, were about to embark on their last mission field, the Texas/Mexico border. At that time, they were already veteran missionaries from two countries—Burundi, Africa, where they served from 1958 to 1974 with the Friends Mission; and Haiti, where they served for four years with WGM. She passed away on June 28, 2011.

Annie was born in Texas, the sixth of eight children. Her mother died when Annie was very young, and at age 11, she went to live with one of her older brothers in Kansas who was already married. She began attending church, and at the age of 12, she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior at an evangelistic campaign. As she grew into her teenage years, she could sense the Lord calling her to Christian service.

After attending Friends Bible College (Kansas), she earned a BA in education at Greenville College (Illinois). While at Greenville, she met David, who had grown up in South Africa as a missionary kid. They were married in 1954. While David was organizing the radio ministry in Burundi, Annie served in bookkeeping, editing educational materials, and teaching and raising their four daughters. They returned to the U.S. for an extended time to help their children through college and become settled.

In 1980, David and Annie were appointed by WGM to go to Haiti, where David again put his radio expertise to use in working with Radio Lumière. Annie served in bookkeeping and was involved with local church Vacation Bible School outreach. After one term in Haiti, they transferred to the Texas/Mexico border and were based in McAllen, Texas. Annie taught many grades and subjects at Taylor Christian School. In addition, she held Bible clubs in her home, which was always open for guests and neighborhood children to stop by. “My heart is filled with wonder as I look back to see the goodness of the Lord, His leading, and His provisions,” Annie wrote. “He helped us with the languages and cultures and gave us fruitful ministry.”

In 1997, David and Annie retired from service with WGM and settled in Bradenton, Florida.

“Life has not been without its problems,” Annie concluded in her testimony. “But I can truly say with the apostle John in I John 5:3, ‘His commands are not burdensome.’ I love Him.”

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV). Annie truly fixed her eyes on the eternal, and we rejoice that she is in the presence of her Savior today. World Gospel Mission joins with Annie’s family and friends in celebrating her life and service to our Lord.

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