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LeRoy Lindahl

Retired Missionary to Bolivia
"Obey God"
By Stacy Hall, Intern, July 2011

Even as a young boy, LeRoy Lindahl loved the wilderness. As he climbed hills and played in the woods, he had no idea that one day he would be soaring in airplanes and dodging Indian arrows in the jungles of Bolivia.

LeRoy was born June 21, 1924, in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The Lindahl family never missed a week of church, but LeRoy simply accepted the family faith without taking it to heart. Upon graduating from high school, he enrolled in Sparta Business College. He worked a short while in the civil service and enlisted in the Navy as an aviation cadet during World War II. Although LeRoy was far from God at this time, God was not far from him, for He was using these experiences as preparation for missions work in Bolivia.

After returning from military service, LeRoy attended the Youth Conference of 1947 at Taylor University (Indiana). That weekend, LeRoy accepted Christ and immediately felt called to the mission field. He attended Taylor University and began to feel as if it would be enough for him to simply support missionaries while remaining in the United States.

At Taylor, he fell in love with Mary June Weber, a girl from back home, whom he married in 1948. During his last year at Taylor, LeRoy finally decided he would go wherever God sent him. He attended Western Evangelical Seminary and, after hearing Jonathon Tamplin speak on missionary work in Bolivia, felt a distinct call to Bolivia. LeRoy and Mary obeyed God by applying to become missionaries with World Gospel Mission.

The Lindahls were accepted by WGM in 1956, and after attending language school in Costa Rica, they moved to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, in 1960 to run the mission guesthouse. LeRoy soon began supervising the ministry to jungle Indians, which included leaving gifts in the jungle in an attempt to create relationships with them.

One day, a Bolivian army group came to Camp Pulpit, the WGM outpost for jungle Indian work. LeRoy decided to show the officer in charge where they left gifts for the Indians. Three Indians ambushed them as they returned to camp. An arrow was shot at LeRoy and narrowly missed him. Chaos broke out as the retreating Indians shot six more arrows. That night, all of the soldiers came to Christ. To this day, LeRoy remains confident that God pushed his head down enough for the arrow to pass harmlessly by.

In 1962 LeRoy and Mary transferred to the primitive village of Ascensión, the base for the mission plane, Wings of Peace. Each year, LeRoy flew thousands of miles, many over uncharted jungle country, while Mary stood by on radio. Despite unpredictable weather and crude airstrips, emergency cases of illnesses and accidents were flown out for medical help; Bible school students, national pastors, and missionaries were transported to various points for preaching services; missionary children were taken to and from boarding school; and needed supplies were moved.

In 1972, LeRoy became the director of the Bolivia Field and taught at Wesley Seminary and Berea Bible Institute. Mary served in women’s ministries, took care of the guesthouse, and taught at Berea High School. In 1980, they left Bolivia to pastor the Community House of God, a Spanish-speaking ministry in Los Angeles, California. The Lindahls retired from WGM in June 1986 and moved to Mary’s family home in Wisconsin. They managed the farm and LeRoy traveled around to preach.

Mary went to be with the Lord on September 5, 1999, at the age of 79. LeRoy said he was encouraged that she was now with the Lord and that he thought of her as taking part in the Heavenly Praise Chorus. He created The Mary June Lindahl Memorial Fund to provide yearly scholarships for high school graduates called into ministry.

LeRoy returned to Bolivia in 2002 to live with his older son, Larry, and his family, but makes trips back to the United States to visit his younger son, Stephen, and his family. Although LeRoy no longer flies airplanes and his hearing is failing, he continues to assist in missions work by feeding the watchdogs, mowing, and woodworking.

He will tell you that missionaries never lack challenges, but what LeRoy loves most about his years of service is knowing that because he obeyed God, he was in the center of God’s will.

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