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Louisa Ammerman

Burundi Educator
"Encouraging Little Missionaries"
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, 2011

Louisa Ammerman, missionary with World Gospel Mission, found her “highest calling” in Burundi, Africa. Even after retiring from career service, her heart remained in Africa. She passed away on July 25, 2011 at the age of 97.

Born on October 2, 1913, Louisa grew up on a farm near Cynthiana, Kentucky, along with her eight siblings. She accepted Christ as her Savior at the age of 10 and fully committed her life to Him when she was 18. She studied education at Asbury University (Kentucky), and although financial difficulties forced her to transfer to the University of Kentucky, she was able to finish at Asbury in 1935.

For the next 15 years, Louisa taught school, lived at home on the farm, and helped send some of her siblings to college. Although she enjoyed teaching at the small hill-country school, she knew that this was not what God had planned for her life. She sought His will and found herself called to the mission field. At that time, Louisa’s younger sister, Lillie Mae, was a WGM missionary in Kenya.

This connection made WGM a natural choice for Louisa when she finally applied for full-time missionary service. She considered Kenya or a Central American country as a place of appointment, but her skills were needed in the small central African country of Burundi.

In 1950, Louisa said goodbye to her friends and family and sailed to Burundi. “When I kissed my mother goodbye, I didn’t cry,” she said. “I think because so many people had prayed so much for me, saying goodbye wasn’t as hard as I expected.” Her first job on the field was teaching at a school for missionary kids that included children from five different missions organizations. She encouraged the children to be involved in the ministry and loved recounting stories of “little missionaries” doing their part to help their parents in ministry. Louisa also served in women’s ministry, Bible studies, the dispensary at a clinic, and Vacation Bible School. In 1969, she moved to a new station to teach at Mweya Bible Institute. In a letter to her supporters, Louisa wrote, “The greatest blessing of reward comes when we see national Christians who are living victoriously and giving their lives to win people to the Lord.”

Louisa retired in 1979 after 30 years of service.

After returning to the United States, she went back to her roots in Cynthiana, but she stayed in close contact with former missionary co-workers and MKs she had taught in Burundi. She was highly involved in her church, teaching Sunday School for many years until health concerns forced her to cut back on activities. “The Lord is my source of strength and joy, peace and comfort,” Louisa said in a 2008 interview. “One of my favorite songs has the words: ‘Since from His bounty I receive, Such proofs of love divine, Had I a thousand hearts to give, Lord, they should all be Thine.’ I try to use this day by day in my life.”

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV). Louisa truly fixed her eyes on the eternal, and we rejoice that she is in the presence of her Savior today. World Gospel Mission joins with Louisa’s family and friends in honoring her lifelong faithful service to our Lord.

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