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Sue Harris

Guarding the hearts of the children
"God had finally said yes!"
By Rachel Elwood, Staff Writer, 2015


Sue Harris grew up as a farm girl in Buffalo Lakes, Minnesota—a town where, according to Sue, “there were no buffalo and no lakes.” Sue was the youngest of seven children in a warm, loving family. Her mother played piano for the church, located about half a mile from their home and where the family attended whenever the doors were open. Sue became a believer when she was 8 years old. In school, she played trombone in the band and played on the girls’ basketball team.


Sue met her husband, Merne, while earning her degree in education at Chicago Evangelistic Institute. They were married in 1946. Merne took the pastorate at a Methodist church in Michigan, where the couple stayed for two years. In 1948, Merne and Sue returned to CEI to become college evangelists. For two years, they traveled around the Midwest, holding revival meetings. Later, Merne became a dean at CEI and Sue was busy raising their three children.


In 1968, after CEI moved to Iowa and became Vennard College, Merne became president of the school. Sue became the superintendent of Vennard Kiddie College, a daycare that served over 100 children a day.


Sue and Merne were involved with WGM for a number of years. Merne was on the Board of Directors and served as the chairman. Many of the students with whom they worked at Vennard College were sent to the mission field through WGM.


Sue had always wanted to go to the mission field. God had said no but had always kept her and Merne very busy in evangelism. When WGM asked the couple to become pastors to missionaries, Sue felt as if God had finally said yes.


In 1987, Merne and Sue were assigned as international pastors to WGM missionaries in South America, Central America, and the West Coast mission stations. Their job was to visit the missionaries, listen to them, pray with them, and minister to them spiritually. Their visits usually lasted about 10 days, but sometimes longer. If there was a crisis on the field, they were called to help the missionaries deal with the situation. Sometimes while Merne met with the missionaries, Sue would play and meet with their children.


Though each field they visited was different, Sue always enjoyed the close fellowship they experienced with the missionaries and their families. When missionaries came back to the United States on homeland ministry assignment, Sue and Merne met and prayed with them. They were able to travel to other fields as well, including Kenya, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, and India. For 10 years, they lovingly ministered to those who were spending their lives ministering to others.


Sue’s favorite Bible verse was Exodus 4:12: “Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say” (KJV). Though Merne passed away in 2007, which was very difficult for Sue, she continued to be a witness to God’s faithfulness and a steadfast rock for her children.


Second Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) testifies of Sue’s 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.” Sue truly fixed her eyes on the eternal, and we rejoice that she is in the presence of her Savior today. WGM joins with Sue’s family and friends in celebrating her life and faithful service to our Lord.

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