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Beverly Lewis

Retired Missionary to Bolivia
"He Has Opened the Doors"
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, July 2012

“I finished teaching the six subjects of the first semester of 2012 in the Bible institute before I left Paraguay on June 5 to travel to the States. I was there until the end of June when I went back to Bolivia to teach at Bolivian Evangelical University during the winter term in July and August. I was back in Paraguay again in late August to begin classes.”

Beverly Lewis’ 2012 summer plans would be exhausting for anyone, but 83-year-old Beverly seems impervious to age or ending her service with World Gospel Mission anytime soon. First appointed as a missionary to Mexico in 1952, Beverly has ministered in five Latin American countries for an astonishing 55 years.

Beverly was born in Portland, Oregon, on June 12, 1929, and made Portland her home base in the United States while serving in Latin America. Raised in a Christian family, Beverly was sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit at an early age and became interested in missions in high school when she heard a missionary from Bolivia speak and share a slide presentation. She attended Cascade College in Portland to major in education and minor in both Spanish and history. She earned a master’s degree in education from Azusa Pacific University (California) in 1983.

Although she was convinced the Lord wanted her to go to Bolivia, WGM asked her to consider the Texas/Mexico border where there was a need for teachers. She spent six years teaching at Taylor Institute before arriving in Bolivia in 1962. In between leaving the border and arriving in Bolivia, she was involved in the literature ministry for the Latin American fields, producing a magazine in Spanish to acquaint these fields with one another.

Beverly was a teacher and dean of women at Berea Bible Institute in Santa Cruz and later was given the role of director. Beverly was also involved in radio ministry, working with the national church in preparing programs that were broadcast all over Bolivia. She introduced and trained Bolivians for camping ministries; today thousands of children, young people, and adults enjoy the camping ministries throughout Bolivia.

Beverly founded Wesley Evangelical Seminary (Bible College) that later became part of Bolivian Evangelical University, which was founded by fellow missionary Meredythe Scheflen in 1981. The university was the first private university in the country, with over 2,000 students attending each year.

In 1982, Beverly was invited to serve in Argentina to design a plan for training students for the World Gospel Church in the city of Salta. In 1988, she returned to Bolivia to teach at BEU and was named director of the Theology Department.

Beverly officially retired in 1995 and remained in the U.S. for five years to care for her mother. In 2000 she returned to Bolivia to teach again at the university. She wanted to do what she loved most—invest in young people in Latin America. Since 2009 she has been based in Paraguay, where she teaches at Wesley Bible Institute in Asunción. Her classes include theology, Bible, and other subjects to prepare leaders for the World Gospel Church in Paraguay.

“I am so grateful to the Lord and to WGM for the opportunity to continue to serve on the field,” Beverly said. “I first responded to a mention in a slide that if someone doesn’t go to teach these people, they’ll not have the opportunity to learn. On each field, there has been an urgent need for a teacher; He opened the door for me to go. He still gives me the opportunity to fill the need of teaching others. I love the promise of 2 Corinthians 9:8: ‘His grace abounds, and He generously provides what I need.’

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