The Work Continues…
By Teleka Dewing
In August of 1974 Don and I were married and shortly after attended the Child Evangelism Fellowship Training Institute then in Muskegon, Michigan. There we met Avery and Bertha Wetzig and at a mission’s conference talked more with them. We applied for the position of youth workers and after taking four months to raise support we arrived in Crandon in March of 1975.
Upon arrival we met Carrol and Evelyn Pahl who were pastoring the Stone Lake and Mole Lake Churches. There was also a foster home with David and Iona Senske as foster parents. Avery and Bertha Wetzig were pastoring the Mole Lake Church along with the directorship of the mission.
We began our ministry with youth groups and Kid’s Club in Stone Lake and Mole Lake and in October 1976 Micah Dewing was born. After a short time Carrol and Evelyn Pahl left the ministry and Don took over as pastor of the Stone Lake Church. Avery and Bertha left the Mission in 1978 for four years and accepted the call to pastor a congregation in Milwaukee. Don was now pastoring two churches, working with the youth and children and in addition took over the reponsibilities of directorship of the Mission. Another year passed and Woody Hansen, who was the interim pastor for the Carter church, left and Don then took over pastor of the Carter church. In 1979 Adam Dewing was born.
We began a youth choir of 13 in the Carter Church who traveled and sang in Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania and in several churches in Wisconsin. It was near this time that the Mission staff saw a need for a summer camp administrated by our staff to be held for the local people. We had been transporting the children and youth to a nearby existing camp. In 1981 we rented a camp ground in Riverside for a week and the first Indian Youth Camp was help with over 200 in attendence.
Throughout the next years the name was changed to Adventure Family Camp and we rented different camps closer to our location and finialy in 1989 the camp was moved to our own Mission grounds in which the bunk house, two shower houses and the New Hope Christian School was converted to our Summer Ministries Program which can sleep 100 workers or campers. The kitchen in the school replaced the Kitchen Bus which was used for many years.
In January of 1982 Benjamin Dewing was born and the Wetzigs returned from Milwaukee to again minister here with us. (They left for texas Permanently in 1986)
In July of 1982 Ray and Marion Troupe arrived from Oregon and begun pastoring the Carter Churh. They left after 1 1/2 years of ministry and in 1984 the Wetzigs began pastoring th Carter Church. Health reasons attributed to the Wetzigs limiting their work with the Mission resulting in Ray and Marge Bailey, a local man and wife who began filling in at the Carter Church. They also ceased pastoring in 1986 and Don again took over the pastoring of the Carter Church. The foster home ceased to exist because of new federal law changes and the Senskes left in 1984 after having eight children in their home over the ten years they were here.
In the summer of 1984 a VBS work mission came from Muskegon, Michigan to teach at the Stone Lake Church and with this group were Mike and Diane Luker. They were led of the Lord to return to Crandon and minister here and in June of 1985 they and their five children arrived here in Crandon and began their ministry at the Stone Lake Church. The Dewing family took a much needed furlough from August 1984 to June 1985.
In the fall of 1986 our Mission Board was challenged by the need to have a different option for the education of the Native American children. The board voted to start a new school and after much prayer it was decided to build rather than use an existing building. As Don and I traveled that fall the first pledge of $5,000 came in which helped confirm the Lord’s leading to build a school. In July of 1987 the board accepted Dick and Jean Zoellner to be the administrators of the school.
They moved here with their six children in July and watched as the building was consructed by a work group from Canton, Michigan who used the initial $5,000 and an additional $10,000 given by another church. Other gifts were given and school supplies were ordered, equipment was donated, students were enrolling and by August of 1987 the New Hope Christian School for grades K-12 opened with 24 students. The school continued to grow and in 1989 an addition was built on to accomodate the growing number of students on the waiting list. In 1991 a multipurpose/gym building 60 X 120 was built by a work group from the Warren Center, Pennsylvania area and we watched in amazement as the Lord continued to provide not only for our needs but for our wants.
The School continues to grow in number and as of 1991 has had eight graduates.
Dick took over the pastoring of the Mole Lake Church in Sept. 1989 and Don then pastored one church… Carter. Pat Rausch from Rhinelander accepted the call to pastor the Mole Lake Church in 1991 after filling in for Dick in Jan. 1991 to concentrate solely on the New Hope Christian School.
In 1989 Lucille Brown from the Stone Lake Community and John Edwards from the Mole Lake community were commisioned by the Midwest Indian Mission, Inc. as Christian Workers and Minister of the Gospel respectively. The Lukers took a five month furlough in 1990 and John preached while they were gone, John Edwards went out on his own in 1991.
The Mission has been invloved in various ministries over the years which include youth groups, Bible studies, woman’s meetings, AWANA, Adventure Family Camp, Vacation Bible School, Five Day Clubs, wilderness camping, retreats, white water rafting, Summer Ministries Program which includes summer work groups doing various projects on the reservations and on mission properties, a counseling center, choir, New Hope Christian School, New Hope Bible Institute, distribution of clothes, hats, mittens, socks and blankets. We have seen the Lord work through the many people who have served here and pray that the Lord will continue to use us to minister here in the Northwoods to small Indian Communities.
As of February 1992 the Lukers continue to work in the Stone lake community being here now for almost seven years. The Zoellners continue to press on after almost five years at the New Hope Christian School, Lucille Brown continues to work in the Stone Lake community and Don and Teleka continue to minister along with Don directing the Mission and will complete 17 years of ministry in March 1992. Sharon Fuller is presently the Mission treasurer.
Other workers over the past years include Ceril Abrams 1970-71 from the Mokum Bible School who served at Stone Lake. Dave and Diane Hill summer workers from the Minneapolis area serving at Carter and Tim Fox from the Moody Bible Institute, summer youth worker at Mole Lake. The Mission treasurers have included, Bertha Wetzig and Jean Evans.