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Carol Wonch

Retired Missionary to Texas/Mexico Border Ministries
"Anticipating God’s Promises"
By Stacy Hall, Intern, adapted by Jace Martin, Staff Writer, August 2022

Whether teaching kids English, crocheting, or piano, or taking a casserole to a needy family, Carol Wonch’s life can be described as love in action. For thirty-nine years, Carol served as a missionary with World Gospel Mission on the Texas/Mexico border. 

Carol Elaine Wonch was born on October 14, 1928, in McBride, Michigan, the oldest child of Kline and Viva Wonch. Her early years were spent on the family’s Michigan farm. At the age of eight, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Carol answered, “a missionary,” even though she didn’t fully know what that meant.  

When Carol was in high school, the pastor of her church became ill and WGM missionary Mary Gaillard filled in temporarily as pastor. Mary introduced the congregation to the Call to Prayer magazine and shared missionary stories. That summer, a group of Mexican Americans lived near Carol’s home and she began to feel a kinship with Spanish-speaking people. During that time, she heard the message of salvation and accepted Christ as her Savior.  

After graduation, Carol spent a year in a teacher training school and then transferred to Chicago Evangelistic Institute (later Vennard College) in Iowa. She received her bachelor’s degree in religious education and went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree from Elmhurst College (Illinois). At Elmhurst, she heard the message of entire sanctification and desired to please God with her life. 

Carol applied for missionary service with WGM in 1956 and was given a career appointment to the Texas/Mexico border to teach in one of the schools. God truly gave her the desire of her heart when she was appointed to minister to Spanish-speaking people. She attended language school in 1957 and arrived on the field that fall. 

Carol spent her first thirteen years on the border teaching at Taylor Christian School and working with local churches. She then spent six years in Mexico helping with Sunday School classes and teaching in churches. This was one of the most challenging times because her ministry partner, Treasure Berens, had to leave the field, so Carol had to find her own way in Mexico. Soon, the opportunity came for Carol to return to Taylor to her true passion—teaching. 

She impacted hundreds of students’ lives. Because of her kindness toward them and their families, many experienced Christ’s love through her. Carol kept in contact with some of her former students, many of whom became pastors or missionaries or serve in other leadership positions. 

Carol saw God continually work through Taylor. She enjoyed telling the story of one kindergarten student who did not return to Taylor for first grade. Years later, that student met her kindergarten teacher and told her that she had recently lost a baby. The student shared that had it not been for Psalm 23 that she had memorized in kindergarten, she would not have gotten through that loss. Carol experienced God moving through the school regularly as students came to Christ and made a difference in their families. 

Although Carol retired in 1995, her love of teaching Spanish-speaking people kept her teaching at Taylor until 2003. She attended a Spanish-speaking church where she was the educational director for four years, helped with Vacation Bible School programs, visited shut-ins, and taught piano lessons. 

Carol passed away on August 11, 2022, and is now resting in the arms of Jesus. She leaves behind a legacy of faithfulness and fruit that will have an eternal impact.  

“I marvel at the wonderful faithfulness of God to me,” Carol shared. “I thank Him for His leading, which has included the joy of serving Him among the people of southern Texas and northern Mexico. It is exciting and humbling to have God’s continued hand on my life.… He is so faithful and so loving. I think being a missionary has made me deepen much in my own Christian experience.” 

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