Please login to continue
Having Trouble Logging In?
Reset your password
Don't have an account?
Sign Up Now!
Register for a Free Account
Choose Password
Confirm Password

Your account has been created!

Mary Ruth Madsen

Missionary to Haiti and Haitians living in the US
"Sharing Christ Through Education and Friendship"
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, 2014

Throughout her life, Mary Ruth Madsen leaned on the words of Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

Mary Ruth served as a missionary for over three decades with World Gospel Mission along with her husband of 47 years, Leslie. Born in Seattle, Washington, into a pastor’s family, she gave her heart to Jesus at the age of 5. Even as a child, she was interested in missions. She earned a Bible degree from Hillcrest Christian College in Canada and later received her BA in education at Seattle Pacific College (Washington). Before her senior year, Mary Ruth went to Bolivia with World Gospel Mission’s Summer Career Corp. During a missionary retreat in Bolivia, she yielded to the sanctifying presence of the Holy Spirit in her life, solidifying her commitment to missions.

Following graduation, Mary Ruth taught the third grade in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. During this time, she was introduced to Leslie by his aunt and uncle. A year later, they married and moved to Oskaloosa, Iowa, where Mary Ruth taught school while Leslie finished college. They made a trip to Haiti to visit two missions organizations and felt drawn to WGM.

In 1970, Leslie and Mary Ruth were appointed as career missionaries to Haiti. Their first year was spent studying French in Port-au-Prince. They next relocated into the mountain village of Mombin Crochu, where Mary Ruth’s primary ministry was “friendship evangelism,” visiting with people in the town, practicing Creole, and generally becoming friends with everyone. The town was a center of voodoo religion. Despite Satan’s power over the entire area, the Madsens were able to be a strong witness for Christ and the power of God.

From 1976 to 1985, Leslie and Mary Ruth served at Southwest Indian School on the American Indian Field in Arizona. Mary Ruth was the music and choir director, teaching music classes and voice lessons, and also the organist and pianist for the campus chapel and the choir.

In 1986, Leslie, Mary Ruth, and their family moved to central Florida where their knowledge of Creole and the Haitian culture was needed to develop WGM’s Haitian American Ministries. Leslie and Mary Ruth tutored children and worked together as liaisons between parents and schools. Mary Ruth taught the books of the Bible one-on-one to youth and children and gave phonics lessons. She was the director of discipleship among adults, teaching (in Creole) 23 lessons in the basic doctrines of the faith. They taught Sunday School; translated at schools, clinics, and during baby deliveries at the hospital; and were also involved in prison ministries. After 35 years of service with WGM, the Madsens retired on June 30, 2005.

Matthew 25:21 (NIV) says: “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!‘ ”

World Gospel Mission joins with Mary Ruth’s family and friends in mourning her loss. She was dearly loved, and she has left a powerful legacy of having lived a life as a committed servant of Jesus Christ. With confidence in the One she trusted, we can celebrate that Mary Ruth is sharing in her Master’s happiness today.

Support a Missionary
Global Impact Fund
Advancing the Great Commission through your partnership.