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David Lee

Teaching in the Highlands of Kenya
"Following the Lord wherever He led."
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, 2013

Growing up on a farm in Hancock County, Ohio, during the Great Depression, David learned early on the value of hard work and making do with what the family had. His family always attended church and followed the Lord, but it was not until David was a student at Kentucky Mountain Bible Institute that he truly committed his life to God.

David and his future wife, Anna Verne, were students together at KMBI. They transferred to Asbury College (Kentucky) and began dating, continuing to correspond while David was at Asbury Theological Seminary and Anna Verne completed nursing training. They were married in 1958, shortly after being appointed to Kenya as missionaries. They lived for one year in Marion, Indiana, gaining practical experience in their fields; David taught school, and Anna Verne practiced nursing.

They arrived in Kenya in 1961 with their first daughter, Rebecca. Their two other children, Esther and John, were born in Kenya. Those early years were varied and busy. The couple studied Kipsigis at Kenya Highlands Bible College and both taught there before moving to other ministries. Every other week, Anna Verne took a mobile dispensary to a remote area that had no other medical help. At an outstation, David supervised 14 village schools and oversaw maintenance.

When they returned to the U.S., they intended to raise funds quickly and go back to Kenya. However, God had different plans. David had a growing sense that God wanted him to teach at Circleville Bible College in Ohio. He taught missions, Bible, and theology classes for two years. Anna Verne taught English and marriage and family.

When David and Anna Verne returned to Kenya, they again taught at the Bible college. David became principal and was able to accept the first college-level class, his experience at CBC proving to be extremely valuable. Since then, the school has grown and is now Kenya Highlands Evangelical University. David later served as the Kenya field director. They worked as administrators; oriented new missionaries; and traveled around the country, encouraging and equipping Kenyan pastors.

In 1977, David was asked to join the WGM headquarters staff as regional coordinator for Africa and Middle East fields. This involved helping missionaries with financial, visa, transportation, and shipping needs. Later, he led the Prayer Ministries Department, visiting and communicating with prayer partners all over the country.

David and Anna Verne retired from WGM in 1991 after 33 years of service. Whether working on a jeep, encouraging pastors, teaching, or visiting prayer partners, David followed the Lord wherever He led him. His priority was always to keep God first, remembering that they were serving Him first and foremost. David passed away on November 3, 2013, at the age of 84.

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV). David truly fixed his eyes on the eternal. World Gospel Mission joins with his friends and family around the globe in rejoicing that he is in God’s presence today.

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