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Frank Robbins

Building WGM in Central America
"We expect the seed of the gospel to germinate... then to ripen into mature fruit for the Master."
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, 2014

Frank Robbins became a Christian as a child. He and his family attended Salvation Army services, and Frank remained involved throughout his adolescence. He began attending San Diego State College (California) in pre-engineering, but he joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 to serve in World War II. After the war, he attended the University of California at Berkeley to continue his engineering education. During this time, he felt called to become a missionary and enrolled in Pacific Bible College (now Azusa Pacific University).

While there, he met Doris, who was also training for the mission field. They were married in 1949, and just a year later, they were appointed as missionaries to Bolivia with World Gospel Mission. During their 20 years in Bolivia, Frank served in church planting and field leadership and as a teacher and director of Berea Bible Institute.

Frank and Doris spent their first year and a half as missionaries in a jungle station. It was a period of adjustment and learning. They then moved to Santa Cruz to help establish Berea Bible Institute. Doris taught classes while Frank oversaw the construction and administration of the school. Their two children, Stephen and Glenda, were both born in Bolivia.

Frank and Doris also served for two years in the remote village of Guanay, where a clinic, school, and church were started. In 1970, they were sent to Salta, Argentina, as the first WGM missionaries to Argentina. Frank wrote in a Call to Prayer article: “With the Holy Spirit directing and with God’s people praying, we expect the seed of the gospel to germinate, take root, grow, bud forth, and then to ripen into mature fruit for the Master. Can we count on you to help us in prayer?”

One day, Frank noticed some boys attempting to play baseball. He stopped to show them how to correctly hit and field the ball. They were amazed that an American was willing to teach them. Frank and Doris used this opportunity to start a baseball league. She taught a Bible lesson and he taught baseball fundamentals. The young athletes became the foundational members of the first WGM congregation in Argentina.

In 1977, Frank and Doris were reassigned to Mexico. They led Bible studies, trained pastors, taught night classes, and planted churches in northern Mexico. They visited isolated ranches to conduct Bible studies, taking with them a portable library of Christian resources. Later, they served as Student Involvement directors at Vennard College (Iowa), where they encouraged college students in missions activities.

They retired in 1989 after 38 years as missionaries, but continued to be active in WGM’s work through Men With Vision, Task Forces, and Peniel Compassionate Ministries from their home in Vancouver, Washington. Doris was part of a weekly prayer group, even until her death in March 2012.

World Gospel Mission joins with Frank’s friends and family in celebrating his lifetime of faithful service. We rejoice that he is with his Lord and Savior today. Matthew 25:23 certainly applies to his life: “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’”

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