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Joe and Ellen Kunkle

Joe and Ellen served in Bolivia for a combined 23 years, Paraguay for 17 years, and the American Indian Field most recently. In addition, they have done brief special assignments in Argentina and Peru.

Some of their favorite memories of ministry came from their early years of working with the Guayaro tribe in Bolivia. Ministry was not always easy with the close-knit tribe, and church growth was slow. After a revival meeting, they were thrilled to witness 40 people come to the Lord after several years of hard evangelism work. Soon after, a young neighbor visited Ellen. In the course of their conversation, the lady reached for Ellen’s hand and said, “We are truly sisters now.” For Ellen, it was a powerful moment of realization that they had finally been accepted as part of the Guarayo family.

While serving in Paraguay, they worked with national believers on the Mobile Evangelism Team, which used skits, music, puppets, and preaching to convey the message of the gospel. “I loved getting outside the walls of the church and sharing Christ out in the ‘highways and byways’ of Asunción, seeing people find the Lord who otherwise might never have heard the Good News!” Joe shared.

Since 2011, Ellen and Joe have lived in Casa Grande, Arizona, close to their children and grandchildren. They continue to encourage Native American churches and pastors, and also help out at camps at Southwest Indian Ministries Center. Although they technically retired in 2012, they are both still actively assisting and encouraging Native churches in Arizona.

Read more about Joe and Ellen's story here

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