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Joyce Ward

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Born in Pueblo, Colorado, Joyce moved with her family to California during World War II. After the war was over, they settled in Oregon on a farm south of Portland. Throughout her childhood, Joyce’s parents sent her and her two brothers and four sisters to church. Although she always knew she loved the Lord, she did not truly surrender her life until years later, after she had married and had her oldest daughter, Susan. Joyce and her husband would eventually add Sherry, Rodney, and Jeffrey to their family.

Joyce’s husband had multiple sclerosis, and when she became unable to care for him while working full-time to support the family, he was placed in a nursing home. Sadly, he divorced Joyce soon after.

In 1976, God began to speak to Joyce about missionary service. She went on a missions trip to Honduras and realized God was calling her to serve there full-time. In 1980, she arrived at Escuela El Sembrador. Her main ministry was that of field treasurer, and she also taught in the Bible school and did village evangelism with students. Although she enjoyed her role as treasurer, she especially loved taking teams of students to remote villages to share the gospel.

Toward the end of her first term, Joyce suffered an accident that ruptured her inner ear. When she returned to the U.S., she was diagnosed with trauma-induced Ménière’s syndrome, a condition that has required many surgeries and treatments. She decided not to return to Honduras and instead began serving at Peniel Compassionate Ministries USA in Portland, Oregon, which was a WGM ministry at the time. 

Peniel was a place for homeless people to come in for evening services and a hot meal. It also housed a men’s shelter, and Joyce took over running the women’s shelter that had just recently been opened by Beth. The ministry also offered counseling and various classes.

Joyce retired in 1997 after 16 years of service. 

Learn more about Joyce's story here

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