A Prayer, A Chirp and A Question

Terry and I both grew up on opposite sides of Tucson, Arizona and led very different lives.  As a child, Terry grew up, the oldest son of three boys in a home which taught him about Jesus since birth.  His father was a pastor.  He went to church each Sunday and grew up surrounded by loving Christian people who are his friends to this day.  I grew up, the youngest of five children and by the time I was a little girl, our family stopped going to the Salvation Army.  When my siblings left home, my parents had turned to drinking more and more. Most nights, we had people around our kitchen table, drinking. My father made good money as a construction worker, but it was used for alcohol.  I spent my time outside and often hanging out at our neighbor’s house.  On Sunday mornings, I would see a church bus going past our house and silently wished I could go see what church was like.

When I was just 12, my life changed dramatically and I was sent to live with my sister in California.  I cringe to think about where I would be if I had not made that move.  I was entering Jr. High and at that time and really was on my own.

During that first year in California, my life did a 180 degree turn!  I suddenly was going to church, had responsibilities and accountability!  But as I wrote earlier, this was a year of great positive change for me as Jesus entered my life in April of 1974.  When Christ came into this young girl’s life, He changed me in so many ways.  Rather than look for affection in any guy who might pass by, I learned to be purposeful in looking for someone to be my lifelong partner.  I had read of the importance of making a list of what you would want in a husband. Those things which are non-negotioables should be understood BEFORE you ever meet the person.  That way you can blow away all the chaff and be ready for Mr. Right, right?

Well, I made my list secretly and publicly declared myself a member of the “Old Maids ’til the Rapture Club”.

In the summer of 1975, I returned to Tucson to visit my parents who had since divorced.  During my visit, I wanted to go to church, so my dad took me to the only church we were aware of besides Salvation Army–Bethel Baptist.  Reverend McCorkle, my brother-in-law’s grandfather, planted that church while holding down a railroad job. At this time, Pastor Bob Dalrymple and his family had been at that church for nearly ten years.  During the morning service, a high school girl reached out to me and invited me to the Youth “Sing and Sip” that night. Suprisingly, I accepted her invitation.

I remember, that night, seeing a young man leading the singing. He was ridiculously goofy.  Sang the “Noah/Floody-Floody” song with his pants rolled up.  Crowed like Peter Pan singing “Chirp Your Cares Away”!  Neither of these skills were on “Jeannie’s List for a Life Partner”.  However, what I saw was the love that this young man had for Jesus, his leadership abilities and his desire to serve the Lord.  Sitting in a hard wooden seat that summer night, I prayed, “Lord, if I am ever to marry, I want to marry that guy.”  I asked the friend who invited me about the goofy song leader.  I learned he wanted to be a youth pastor and he had a girl friend.

I returned to California, never approaching that young man and went on with my life.

During my later high school years, God continued to do His work in my life.  I went through a Navigator’s Discipleship series and spent a summer in Argentina assisting our missionaries with various projects.  By the end of that summer, I decided I wanted to serve the Lord in missions.  I am certain I could have had a full scholarship to Colorado State University, but I wanted to be closer to my parents, so chose to attend Southwestern College in Phoenix, Arizona.

During that first week, we had a night to welcome the Freshman Class. As a newby, I was part of a trio.  (Terry usually inserts a bunch of hyperbole here, but I have to say, I did a better job singing than that crooner I had seen in Tucson!)  When the evening was over, the Freshmen lined up and upper classmen were to come and welcome the youngsters to the college.  I vividly recall a young man approaching me.  I could not forget…it was the crooner…and I remembered my prayer!  I thought, “I got to get rid of this guy.  I want to go to the mission field and he wants to be a youth pastor. This is one of the non-negotiables on my list!” He came straight up to me and said, “Hi, my name is Terry Dalrymple.  What do you want to do with your life?”

And I guess you will need to find out what the answer was!  Did I give up my non-negotiables?  Was this the beginning to the answer of my prayer? You may figure out the answers as we are going on 39 years this July? Last question.  Should I dare let Terry finish the story?


Getting to know Terry and Jeannie

An interview with Terry and Jeannie

Terry and I were appointed to go the Philippines in July of 1984. (This number looks like it belongs in a history book!) Recently, Bethel Baptist Church in Tucson, Arizona sent a series of questions.  Although the questions were pretty basic, it was fun to think back and relive where we have been, where we are now, and look to the future.  Hope you learn more about us!

Why did you want to become a missionary?

Jeannie: This is a story which takes time!  When I was 12 years old, I moved to California where I lived with Gary and Susie Williams for six years.  Susie is my sister and I can look back now and say I am grateful for their love and care.  When I first moved into their home…I was not so grateful!!!  My life had turned upside down.  During the first 12 years of my life, I never had to go to church.  Suddenly, I was expected to attend church, do chores and even babysit!!!  I was the youngest in my family and not used to this type of treatment!

However, God was working and by April of the following year, I had received Jesus as my Savior.  I have many pleasant memories during that time.  One which stands out was that first Christmas at Gary and Susie’s, I am sure they did not have 2 cents to rub together.  Grandma Williams (Loretta) had come to visit us.  She insisted that I call her “Grandma” which was very special.  I never had grandparents.  She also gave me a Christmas gift, a “tie-dye” purse, which I treasured.  These memories and family loving on me during a difficult time in life, caused my faith to grow as they were Godly people themselves.

After I had received the Lord, I loved when missionaries would come to church.  I would read their letters and look at their pictures in the church hallway.  I had always enjoyed and had a propensity toward foreign languages, having studied French and Spanish.  In my Junior year of High School, our youth pastor arranged for several students to go abroad for the summer to assist the missionaries.  I went to Argentina and that solidified my desire to go into missionary service.  I chose to go to Southwestern College in Phoenix to be an education major as I wanted to teach missionary children.  It was there I met Terry “officially” (which is a whole different story).  Our first date, we discussed missions and eventually went to the Philippines in 1986 with our two small children.  You supported us from the start!

Terry:   My story begins at Bethel where I grew up surrounded and loved by Christian people that taught in the ways of our Savior. After a short period of rebellion as an early teen, I yielded my heart to Christ on April 20, 1974 and was baptized. From that moment, I sensed that Jesus was calling me to follow Him, although I had no idea what that would mean. During my years at Bethel, I taught a Good News club with Child Evangelism Fellowship, started a Bible club and daily prayer meeting on my high school campus, served on a committee to help facilitate Sing-n-Sips in Tucson, picked up young people in the church van and brought them to church (days were different then), spent my summers serving at a Bible Camp in Show Low, and served as the State Youth President for the Arizona Baptist Convention. By the end of my high school years, I was convinced God was calling me into ministry.

The next transformative moment in my life came at the CBA National meetings in Colorado in 1977. A pastor from Brazil named Brother Fanini, pleaded for missionaries to come and help in the harvest. His invitation was simple – “If God were to call you as a missionary, would you go?” That seemed to me to be a call I could not resist. I went forward to say to God “Anywhere? Anytime! Anything!” My mother came up behind me, took Brother Fanini by the hand, and with tears streaming down her face said, “If God wants my son on the mission field I will go.”

God provided a scholarship to Southwestern College where I was discipled by the Missions Professor, Rev. Steve Sonmor, and sent to the Philippines where he had served before being forced to leave the field due to illness. I came back from the Philippines convinced that God was calling me to be a missionary.

I met Jeannie in 1979, married her in 1981, and arrived on the mission field in 1986 as church planting missionaries. Today I serve as founder and coordinator of the Global CHE Network with ministries in 134 countries mobilizing and equipping the church for transformational Gospel movements in a million villages. www.chenetwork.org.

Where are you a missionary?

Jeannie:  During our time in the Philippines, nearly ten years, we learned two languages.  We planted a church in the town of Iloilo City and we still have dear friends there to this day!  While in Iloilo, we were confronted with poverty and illness, which however good intended the two of us were, we learned we could never solve the problem on our own.

We returned from the Philippines for home assignment and learned of a group called Medical Ambassadors. They too, had concerns for poverty alleviation while teaching the good news of Jesus.  They were using a strategy called Community Health Evangelism–a strategy which addresses the needs of the whole person, physically and spiritually.  We joined Medical Ambassadors and moved to Modesto, where we were based until 2009.

Terry has always been a visionary.  Community Health Evangelism needed to be implemented by different mission organizations around the world.  In 2009, he started the Global CHE Network which now works to assist over 900 organizations working in over 134 countries.  I was recently at a doctor’s appointment, explaining what we do…he was astounded that this work is being done out of a small office in North Phoenix!  God is VERY good!

We are now based in Phoenix in order to be near to Terry’s mom.  Much travel is required.  We are blessed to live in this time as communication takes place worldwide on a daily basis because technological advances. This week, Terry has an online meeting with 11 people from all over the world!  This beats the days when we first moved to the Philippines and it would take 3 weeks for a card or letter to cross the Pacific!

Tell me about you and your family members…

Terry hit the big 60 this year!  Thank you for all the cards and well wishes.  In his spare time, while not leading the network, he has written a book and is currently working through the right publisher.  He injured his back in May, which has been a “thorn in the flesh”, so he appreciates prayer.

Jeannie is working at Mayo Clinic part-time and works in the Global CHE office as Terry’s admin.  She is loving this position as it has placed her in contact with international servants all over the world. She loves being at their service as it was her desire since she was in high school.

Our dogs:  Mollie and Maisie, keep us on our toes and sit at our feet as we work in the office!

Our son, Tim and his wife Vanessa, currently live in Bend, Oregon.  Tim is studying at Western Seminary for his Master of Divinity.  He has the same teachers Terry did 30 plus years ago! Tim and Vanessa have three children:  Jack, age 7, Finn, age 5 and Esther, age 1. We love getting to see them.

Our daughter, Karen and her husband, Joe, live just 25 minutes from us in Phoenix.  Karen is blessed to be able to stay home with their sweet baby boy, Ian, who just turned one.  Joe works in computers and is an editor.

Our daughter, Michelle and her husband, Cody, live in San Diego.  When Michelle is not playing basketball or Cody riding his motorcycle, they like to camp with their two dogs, Waylon and Billie.

What exactly does your job entail?

Terry, as coordinator, of the network, casts vision and gives direction related to priorities in coordination with representatives throughout the world.  At this time, they are working on the following priorities:

  • Strengthen member ministries, organizations and partnerships.
  • Facilitate prayer globally on behalf of the poor and the workers that serve them.
  • Facilitate training and monitoring for the next generation of leaders and measures to assure the quality of tour work.
  • Encourage formation of national coalitions with National strategies for expanding Community Health Evangelism in every country.
  • Intentionally seek out opportunities for CHE work among the unreached and unengaged peoples.
  • Research best practices and provide the network with tools and curricula for the continuing development of the CHE ministry
  • Assist governments worldwide in poverty alleviation and community health using CHE principles.

As you can imagine, these are goals to reach for and we need your prayer to accomplish them!

My job, in the network office, is to assist Terry, oversee other office staff, communications and prayer.  I love working alongside Terry.  I still work at Mayo, as a necessity for health insurance reasons.

What is something exciting you are currently working on?

You may have heard the term, “Million Village Challenge”.  This is a goal to reach a million villages with the good news of Jesus by challenging nationals to adopt ten surrounding villages and bring CHE principles to these villages and bringing Christ. This is just one initiative which is ongoing at this time.  We would ask for your prayer as nationals reach their neighboring villages.

I am working on improving our communications, to supporters and to network members.  I have enjoyed renewing relationships and making new ones!