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Virginia “Ginny” Detillion

Missionary to the American Indian Field
By Hillarie Hazelton, Intern, May 2015

Virginia “Ginny” Detillion hadn’t planned on being a missionary and certainly hadn’t planned on spending 12 years serving with World Gospel Mission on the American Indian Field. But God worked His way through her life and led her to the place she needed to be, just when she needed to be there.

Ginny was born in Kingston, Ohio, and moved to eastern Kentucky at a young age. Ginny attended church in her earlier years, but she tended to view church as a place to socialize rather than worship. In her 20’s, she came close to accepting Christ after hearing Billy Graham speak but didn’t take that step. She married young and eventually was divorced from the father of her two sons. Circumstance and temptation led her further from God for nearly two decades.

At the age of 40 and after years of deep darkness, Ginny became a Christian. She attributed the conversion to her son and daughter-in-law, both of whom were recently converted Christians. On March 13, 1985, her life was changed and she turned to the Lord. In an instant, she was ready to serve Him and live a holy life. Ginny’s conversion led her to pursue further education at Circleville Bible College (now Ohio Christian University), where she graduated with a degree in Christian Ministry in 1996. Before beginning college, she sensed that the Lord was telling her to do something with missions. The words of Isaiah 6:1-8 spoke to her heart: “‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then said I, “Here am I; send me.’”

After a short missions trip to Arizona, Ginny realized that she had been called to serve in ministry on the American Indian Field. In 1998, this dream became a reality, and she began to serve full-time at the Southwest Indian Ministries Center. Ginny spent 12 years fulfilling a variety of crucial roles on the field. From teacher to receptionist to pastor to camp kitchen staff, Ginny always gladly did what was needed so she could share God’s love with the Navajo people.

In 2002, Ginny helped start the To’Ki’Hasbi Holiness School. The school taught students in the first through fifth grades, using the Accelerated Christian Education curriculum, designed to help students move at their own pace. The children she served became a source of great joy in her life. Ginny was committed to learning the Navajo language so she could show how much she cared for the people she worked with on the reservation.

Ginny retired in 2011, and she continued to volunteer on the American Indian Field for several years afterwards. Her life verse was Deuteronomy 31:8: “And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” She passed away at the age of 73 on February 8, 2018, in Arizona. 

World Gospel Mission joins with Ginny’s friends and family in celebrating her life and rejoicing that she is with her Lord and Savior today. Matthew 25:23 (NIV) testifies of her life, “‘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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