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Peter J. Dyck leaves legacy of service

Peter J. Dyck leaves legacy of service

Linda Espenshade and Ed Nyce
January 5, 2010


Editor's Note: MCC welcomes you to share your memories and reflections on the life of Peter J. and Elfrieda Dyck. E-mail your thoughts to peterdyck@mcc.org and we will post many of them below this article. Only letters that include the writer's name, city and province/state, and country (if outside Canada and the U.S.) will be posted. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. You can also find MCC on Facebook and write your comments there.
 

AKRON, Pa. – Peter J. Dyck – storyteller, Mennonite pastor, author and lifelong servant to people in need around the world – died of cancer on Monday, Jan. 4, 2010. He was 95 years old.

Dyck, who lived in Scottdale, Pa., is well known in Mennonite, Brethren in Christ and Amish communities throughout Canada, Europe, Paraguay and the United States, especially for his work with Mennonite Russian refugees and with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).
 
Born in Lysanderhöh, Am Trakt, Russia, on Dec. 4, 1914, Dyck was a child when the Russian Revolution ushered in the start of the Soviet Union. At 6 years old, he almost died of typhoid and hunger that accompanied the Russian Famine of 1921.
 
Dyck and his family were rescued by food shipments sent from Mennonites in Canada and the United States, a kindness he would not forget. Six years later his family, including eight siblings, fled Russia and settled in Saskatchewan.
 
Dyck attended the University of Saskatchewan and Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., and graduated from Goshen (Ind.) College with a bachelor’s in English in 1952. In June 1968, he completed his master’s of divinity degree from Bethany Theological Seminary, Chicago.
 
During World War II, he served with MCC in England. MCC is a world-wide ministry of Anabaptist churches that responds to basic human needs and works for peace and justice.
 
Motivating his decision to work with MCC was his memory of the food aid he received as a child. The food had come through a newly formed MCC.
 
“I knew these were people that do good…. They fed our family. They fed our community. Now they are asking me to go and do something like that for others? To me, it would almost have seemed immoral not to say yes,” Dyck told author Robert Kreider, editor of Interviews with Peter J. Dyck and Elfrieda Dyck.
 
His decision to go was fortuitous not only for MCC, but also for Dyck. In 1944, he married Elfrieda Klassen, a nurse who also was serving with MCC in England. She too was a Russian refugee who moved to Canada.
 
Once the war ended, the Dycks moved to the Netherlands to direct a massive relief effort. Dyck was later knighted by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands in recognition of MCC’s feeding and clothing program.
 
In 1946, the Dycks set up refugee camps in Germany for thousands of Mennonites who had fled the Soviet Union. Over time, they led 5,500 Mennonites by boat to South America, predominantly Paraguay. This experience provided content for Dyck’s stories and was the basis of the book, Up From the Rubble, that he co-authored with his wife.
 
Dyck also recorded MCC’s work in Europe and Paraguay with 8 mm and 16 mm movie cameras. He used the movie as he traveled around Canada and the United States in the late 1940s, educating people about the plight of the European refugees.
 
“Peter was an exceptional and admired communicator who was also a pioneer Mennonite film maker,” said John A. Lapp, executive director emeritus for MCC. He produced the first MCC films.
 
“Peter was a key voice in helping MCC supporters in Canada and the United States be aware of need in the world,” said Herman Bontrager, chair of the MCC board of directors. “Peter and Elfrieda were bridges in that they built linkages and relationships across continents.”
 
From 1950 to 1957, Dyck served as pastor of the Eden Mennonite Church in Moundridge, Kan. The Dycks returned to Germany with their two daughters, Ruth and Rebecca, to direct the MCC program there and in North Africa for the next 10 years.
 
Peter Dyck then moved into an administrative position with MCC in Akron, Pa., where he was responsible for East-West relations in the midst of the Cold War. In this role, he made numerous trips to encourage Baptist and Mennonite congregations in Russia, Siberia and Central Asia, Lapp said.
 
Dyck assisted Baptist World Alliance as the organization successfully negotiated with Soviet authorities for permission to make biblical commentaries available. “This project gave credence and moral support to all Russian-speaking churches,” Lapp said.
 
“Clearly, Peter played a very important role in how Mennonites, Brethren in Christ and the wider Christian constituency related to Christians in the former Soviet Union in a difficult era,” Bontrager said.
 
For two decades after his “retirement” from MCC in 1981, Dyck traveled to speak at churches, schools and retreats. He was well-known among Amish and Mennonites for his inspiring stories and was popular among young people at Mennonite high schools and colleges in the 1970s and 1980s for his ability to engage them. At 90, he could still pack auditoriums.
 
“He was a passionate advocate for peace, conflict resolution, justice and tolerance,” his family said. “He promoted and embodied active participation in bringing about peace in the world.”
 
Dyck authored five more books. Three were children’s books: The Great Shalom, Shalom at Last and Storytime Jamboree. He also wrote a collection of his stories, Leap of Faith, and a meditation on growing old gracefully, Getting Home Before Dark. His spellbinding storytelling was captured on three videos produced by Menno-Hof in Shipshewana, Ind.
 
From 1983 to 1985, Dyck was pastor at Kingview Mennonite Church, Scottdale, Pa.
 
Arli Klassen, executive director of MCC, said Dyck was very effective, not only in his ability to bring hope to many affected by World War II, but in influencing hundreds of MCC volunteers to learn new languages, skills and worldviews.
 
“Peter’s capacity as a storyteller, as a leader and as a grandfather has always impressed me,” said Klassen. “I pray that MCC will continue to be blessed with leaders who have the ingenuity, initiative and inspiration that Peter has modeled for us all.” 
 
Dyck believed that credit for his efforts should be directed toward God, not him.
 
“It is gratifying and also humbling to think that (God’s) purposes are accomplished through ordinary people,” he told Kreider.
 
Surviving are two daughters: Ruth, married to Jack Scott of Scottdale, and Rebecca Dyck, married to Peter Deslauriers of Montreal, Quebec; five grandchildren: Peter Eash-Scott of Lancaster, Deborah Scott of Highland Park, N.J., Cornelia Scott of Abingdon, Va., Sasha Dyck and Michael Dyck, both of Montreal, Quebec; and two great-grandsons. He is also survived by one brother, CJ Dyck of Normal, Ill., and two sisters, Clara Dyck and Rena Kroeker, both of Winnipeg, Man.
 
Dyck was preceded in death by his wife, Elfrieda; one brother, John Dyck; and four sisters: Elise Quiring, Anna Neufeld, Irma Balzer and Helene Funk.
 
Dyck donated his body to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, the last service that he could perform for humankind.
 
A memorial service is planned at Akron Mennonite Church, Akron, Pa., for Saturday, Jan. 9, at 2 p.m.
 
In lieu of flowers and as a memorial tribute to his life of service, the family asks that contributions be made to the “Peter J. Dyck Peace and Justice Scholarship” at Goshen College (www.goshen.edu/give).

 

 

 In Memory of Peter
 
I have many vivid memories of my awareness and association with Peter--and Elfrieda.
 
Generally, Peter Dyck was a man of wit and wisdom and with a supreme devotion to God and to the cause of the church and MCC. Often he inspired me to persevere as director of MCC Alberta (from 1974 to 1999) and later as associate director with MCC British Columbia (MCCBC).
 
Upon my arrival in British Columbia, the concern around the apparent lack of youth awareness of and involvement with MCC was paramount. We, as staff, acted in 1992 by sponsoring a youth rally with celebrity singer/songwriter Paul Janz and Peter as featured guests. We packed the church with around 500 kids who were coming to hear Paul but could not avoid Peter's superb and pointed (Christ-centred) story-telling with MCC overtones. Because of the "success" of  the event, I, with MCCBC, was encouraged to sponsor a repeat performance in 1993. This occurred In another church setting, and in cooperation with the local youth leadership, we staged a second "Peter, Paul and Jesus Christ" youth rally. The room was full beyond capacity with well over 500 youth. Again, while many may have come to hear Paul, they could not avoid Peter's pointed message based on Ecclesiastes 12.   Peter was 79. His age notwithstanding, he literally captured the youth's attention at both events, bridging the "age gap" superbly.
 
Subsequently, MCCBC initiated a first-ever youth ministry portfolio.
 
Peter's ability to debate serious and current issues in the context of MCC meetings, some of which I witnessed, is rare vintage. At an MCC Binational board-level, intense debate centered on granting Susan Classen permission to assist in providing health care in "No man's land" of El Salvador during the civil war(in the 1980s), Peter spoke with typical conviction that she should be granted permission. He stated, "We have (often) sent our MCC workers into places of risk! What is different about this situation?" Susan went, despite the serious risk and left an indelible witness for Christ.
 
Many stories of hosting and interaction with both Elfrieda and Peter, in Alberta and BC remain as long as I live.
 
Peter loved Earl Grey Tea, and we made sure he was served!  

Bill Thiessen (also for Marianne)
MCC Nigeria, Alberta and BC

 

 

 Part of a meaningful evening 

It was a hot August evening in Akron, Pa. I had arrived in America the previous week. We were in Akron as new trainees for the year 1973-74. The evening was enjoyed with all new trainees, approximately 45 in number. Doreen Harms was doing a great job in preparing us for our year in the United States.

Peter was in charge of the devotional, and I will never forget the Lord’s Supper
I experienced. Never had I been part of such a meaningful evening, having been
born and raised in the Dutch Reformed Church in Dokkum, Friesland.

Thank you Peter, forever.

Dirk Bouma,
Weatherford, Oklahoma

 

 

 

In tribute to Peter

When I received word that Peter died, my thoughts went to: 2 Tim. 4: 6b-7, " ...the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
 
I couldn't think of any words that would better describe what Peter's last breath might have said: "fought", "finished" and kept "faith." Peter reached 95 years and he used them well. He used his intellect, gifts, training, experiences, and energy with a sense of urgency, purpose and direction towards his passionate goal: to honour and serve his Lord to the best of his ability.
 
I am one of the many who had the privilege to know him, to work with him and to learn from him. I had heard and read about Peter. He became reality when I met him!
 
I was on my way home after three years of work in the MCC program in Korea, to become the assistant to Robert W. Miller, who was the MCC director of Foreign Relief and Services based in Akron, Pa. This lengthy orientation journey to visit MCC work in Indonesia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Greece, also took me to Europe. Peter was the MCC director for Europe and also Morocco and Algeria in north Africa. I met Peter Dyck at the airport in Vienna on June 17, 1961. When I saw this stern-looking man waiting for me on the other side of the glass doors, I wondered what kind of a person Peter was. A cordial handshake, quick instructions as to where we were going and a copy of an itinerary for the next two weeks, placed into my hands, indicated that we were going to be busy. The driver, Paul Kissel an MCC "paxman," took us to several sites where other "paxmen" were constructing housing for displaced persons. When the wind from the open VW windows tousled Peter’s hair, (I had a crew-cut) Peter said, “Paul, das Fenster” (Paul, the window), and Paul turned it up. Peter asked a few questions about Korea and about the places I had been during the last two months and then took me to a Pension (bed and breakfast) for lodging. 
 
When I asked Peter for suggestions about where I might have two months of laundry done, Peter launched into a lesson about how little you should pack when you travel. In a short while he returned to the Pension with a bottle of liquid laundry soap, a small brush, and a portable, flexible wash line. He showed me what kind of washable, no-iron white shirts I should buy and then demonstrated by taking off his shirt, rinsing it in the sink, applying soap to the smudged collar and cuffs, brushing them with the stiff brush and then hanging the shirt to dry on the portable wash line in our room.   Next morning we were ready to go, he with a clean white shirt and I with a bag of unwashed laundry. 
 
That was the beginning of two weeks of intense orientation: meeting MCC personnel, visiting MCC projects in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In Zurich, we walked down a street and stopped in front of a large cathedral (Grossmuenster). Peter pointed to it and said, “ Here is where it all began”. “What began?” was my innocent question. The response was the beginning of a two-week concentrated teaching by a master teacher. “Do you know about the Anabaptists? Have you heard of Ulrich Zwingli and the Reformation? Do you know about Conrad Grebel? Did you know that Felix Manz was drowned in the Limmat River, here, near the bridge where we’re now standing? Have you not heard about George Blaurock? Has Hans Denck come up in your reading? What have you been reading?" “No, I know Orie Miller, William Snyder, Bob Miller, and Joe Byler. Three years ago I had a three-week orientation in Akron, but who are these other persons? What have they written other than the files that I had to read in Akron before we left for Korea?”
 
Peter introduced me to the whole new world: Anabaptism. I read as much as I could. Over the years I have absorbed as much as I can and have become a believer of the Anabaptist perspective and try to live by those principles, and encourage the emphasis where and how I can. It’s a lifelong task and I still need to learn much more and practice it better.
 
For the next two years, as MCC assistant director of Foreign Relief and Services for the Asia, Middle East, Europe and North Africa desk, I had the privilege of corresponding with Peter Dyck. For me those were good years. Peter was widely known and highly respected and had great love for the Mennonites, and a special passion for Mennonites in Paraguay and in the former USSR.
 
When, in 1976, MCC received an invitation from the All-Union Council of Evangelical Christians, Baptists (AUCECB) to send a delegation to visit the Soviet Union, MCC appointed Peter J. Dyck, John A. Lapp, Heinrich Wiebe, LaVerna Klippenstein, and me, J. M. Klassen, to the team. We were in the USSR from October 8-26. One concern that came out of that visit was that most preachers, because they did not have access to educational opportunities, lacked skills and resources to help them with Bible interpretation and preaching. They requested books and, specifically, a Russian Bible commentary. There was no Russian Bible commentary. From the English and German samples that were supplied to our hosts they chose the English Willliam Barclay Daily Study Bible commentary. MCC joined hands with the Baptist World Alliance to do it in ten years. In 1988, the millennium of the coming of Christianity to the USSR, permission was received to ship the commentaries to the USSR. Among others, such as Baptist Adolf Klaupiks, a Jewish linguist translator Ziegenhagel, Professor Heinrich Wiebe, Walter and Margaret Sawatzky and Peter Dyck played a key role in bringing this about.
 
In recent years, our contacts were less frequent, but when they occurred, it seemed that we could pick up where we had left off. Peter was a dear brother, colleague and friend. I owe him and God deep gratitude that our lives converged and that he was a mentor to me. The stern-looking Peter who waited for me behind those glass doors in the airport in Vienna is a cherished, warm-hearted, trustworthy friend whom I look forward to meeting again, when the work is done, the race is finished, and sight replaces faith.
 
Respectfully remembered,
 
J. M. Klassen
Winnepeg, Manitoba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dyck warmly welcomed voluntary service workers

I had the privilege of serving in voluntary service with MCC at the Akron office, 1978-80. It was here that I (along with my future husband, whom I met there) became acquainted with Peter Dyck. I had heard of him and knew his service to MCC was legendary, so feared that perhaps he would be unapproachable, or too important for young voluntary service workers (VSers) like ourselves. This was not the case at all. Everyone at MCC headquarters was on a first name basis, and Peter proved to be warm and approachable. In fact, despite his somewhat stern appearance, he had quite a sense of humor!

Once a year he and Elfrieda would ask all the Akron VSers over to their home to tell the story of how they had helped Mennonite refugees from the Soviet Union following WW II—not to boast of their own works, but so that we would know the larger story of MCC that we were now a part of. Peter was a master storyteller and captivated us as he spent the entire evening recounting this great story. (We kept thinking he should write this down, so we were thrilled when the Dycks did some years later publish the book, Up From the Rubble.)  Afterwards Elfrieda, who was a great hostess, served us refreshments, and we all had a great time together, the senior veterans of MCC and the young VSers in our twenties. We have never forgotten those special times and how privileged we were to hear the story firsthand from those who had lived it.
 
Amy (Rinner) Dueckman
Abbotsford, B.C.

 

 

Peter -- the recruiter

Peter came to my home church in Regensburg, Germany, where he gave a sermon and also called for persons to work with MCC in Greece. I accepted the
call and took the opportunity to come to Greece. The little farm girl met
and married a Pax boy and came to the U.S. Because of God's leading I have
made many friends in this country. Thank you, Peter.

Lydia Riehl (Ringenberg)
Leola, Pa


 

 

 

EIRENE International Christian Service for Peace mourns Peter Dyck's death

We, the members of the board and of the office of EIRENE International are mourning the death of Peter J. Dyck. We all lose in him a friend, but especially an inspirator for our work.

Many volunteers who have served with EIRENE and some of the people working EIRENE's office at Neuwied remember him with thoughts of thankfulness and admiration. His faith, his commitment and dedication to assist others who are in need, his creativity and his positive energy form part of our memory. Peter has devoted his life for people in need and distress. His work was rooted in his trust in God.

At EIRENE, Peter J. Dyck will always be remembered as one of the founders of our organization. His spirit influenced and shaped the organization. Some of us had the chance to know him personally. They met him during the celebration of the 40th anniversary of EIRENE. Gisela still remembers a conversation which Peter and she had during that time. In order to share his faith and his strength, Peter told her that once as a young man he had asked a MCC representative: "How can you sleep at night being aware of all the suffering and the injustice in this world?"

The representative had answered: "Every evening I speak to the Lord. I tell Him, 'For today, You have given me these tasks. Some of these tasks I have accomplished well. Others I could not accomplish. Now I return these tasks to You. If You like, You can give them back to me tomorrow. If you do not like, we will talk with each other.'" In that belief, Peter has left us now.

Grateful for the gift of his rich and long life, Peter will stay in our memory and we are convinced that his spirit remains amongst us.

In deep sympathy,

In the name of the Board and the Office of EIRENE International,

Harry Schram, Helmut Schmid, Angela Konig and Dr. Gisela Kurth

 

 

Reflections on the life of Peter J. Dyck, 1914-2010

One contemplates in awe the story of Peter J. Dyck, his life with Christ, a journey of peace and compassion through the most violent century in human history. In 1987 over a three-month period I conducted twice weekly a series of interviews with Peter and Elfrieda on their service with MCC, 1941 to 1949. This yielded a volume of almost 600 pages. Now the joy and travail of distilling to a tiny fraction, a flood of memories.
 
Peter was born in a far away village in the Am Trakt settlement of Czarist Russia, land on the upper reaches of the Volga River that flows down to the Caspian Sea. His was a devout Mennonite family—nine children--that endured war, revolution, civil war, famine, epidemic and flight as refugees. Six year old Peter almost died of typhoid and famine, but he survived, benefited from gifts of food from Mennonites in Canada and the United States. Indelibly etched into Peter’s being was an awareness that to be a disciple of Christ means ministering to others who hunger, suffer and live in fear.

The MCC story and Peter merge again in 1941 when Peter was a 26-year old lay pastor in two United Church of Canada congregations in Sudbury in upper Ontario. Out of the blue came a telegram from family friend C. F. Klassen, who invited Peter to serve with the Mennonite Central Committee in England, then at war. After modest hesitation he responded, “Yes.” And so began Peter’s journey of almost 70 years in the ministries of the MCC. His story thereafter: “When the MCC invites you to serve, let your answer be ‘yes’ unless there is a good reason to say ‘no.’”

Recognizing Peter’s long, gifted career as richly multi-dimensional, we focus here on Peter’s servant ministry in MCC. Embedded in Peter’s being were core motifs that are at once essential characteristics of MCC identity: operating frugally, living in hope and expectancy, empowering youth as leaders, nourished by story, leadership as servanthood, serving in the name of Christ…and much more.
 
The Akron headquarters Peter encountered in 1941 was one of lean frugality: the Main House, two telephones, staff furnishing their own typewriters, Peter sent off to New York to find his own ship passage to England. After a month, he found an ex-whaling ship, the Hektoria, and then the 28 day trip in convoy to Liverpool.
 
In an England threatened by invasion, Peter joined a small MCC team where he was expected to find his job—in time, a mobile canteen serving in air raids, projects with the Quakers, a home at Taxal Edge for war-scarred boys. As a CPS man based at Akron, I vividly remember reading the flow of upbeat reports from this resourceful young Peter Dyck. For us CPS men—forbidden to serve abroad – the English program glowed with hope and expectancy. The team was poised for that moment when MCC could cross the Channel into war devastated Europe.

Add to it romance. At Taxal Edge arrived a young nurse from Manitoba, Elfrieda Klassen. Below the radar screen a friendship merged into romance. With V-1 rockets flying overhead and air-raid sirens sounding, Elfrieda responded “yes” to Peter’s request to be his bride. Barriers were breached as GC boy married MB girl. Here lies another MCC theme: the hundreds of marriages born of MCC: Henry and Beatrice, Cal and Frieda, Paul and Nancy, Lois and Robert.

In 1945 with the surrender of Germany, Peter and Elfrieda entered the Netherlands to launch under 30-year old Peter’s direction a carefully designed program that brought food and clothing to one in ten of the ten million Dutch citizens—a people who had suffered four years of Nazi occupation. Reports of the Dutch program were electrifying to Mennonites on the home front in North America—donors hearing that their meat canning, flour processing, clothing gathering was now meeting critical human need.

Another MCC theme writ large in the Peter story was the way MCC entrusted and empowered youth in leadership. In August 1945 at Maastricht at the south tip of Holland 33 refugees stumbled across the border and said that they, after 400 years, had “come home.” Peter and Pastor Hylkema visited them and confirmed that they were Mennonite brothers and sisters fleeing Soviet Russia. Peter immediately contacted authorities in The Hague to gain assurance of Dutch protection for this forlorn group. In one of the most ambitious actions in MCC history, Peter immediately printed in three languages 5,000 copies of a Menno Pass pledging to verified Mennonite refugees, a safe border crossing, care in Holland and emigration overseas. Just like that, the young Peter had made a multi-million dollar commitment for MCC. Before the border was closed, 450 refugees crossed to freedom.

After five years of MCC service, Peter and Elfrieda had planned to return home. But they, once refugee children—obedient to their Christ—had no choice but to stay in Europe another three years to help lead in the resettlement of 12,000 refugee brothers and sisters in the New World. In the twentieth century no story out of the Mennonite experience has captured the hearts and minds of our people as the story of the Berlin Exodus in 1947. This miraculous departure from Berlin in the early morning hours of January 31, 1947 of 1200 Mennonite refugees from Russia brings to memory the biblical narrative of that first Exodus.

I can see it now: I was standing in Berlin’s Lichterfelder West railway station, watching those 40 boxcars slowly move out into the darkness and perils of the Russian Zone—Peter and Elfrieda aboard. A thousand prayers rose seeking the protective presence of the Good Shepherd. Lois remembers the following morning at the port of Bremerhaven the train’s dramatic arrival, helping refugees going up the plank and serving each a mug of hot chocolate. Minutes later, the Volendam slipped out to sea en route to Paraguay.

I remember that 16 mm movie camera Peter purchased in England. (He called it “one of the best investments I ever made.”) With his narrated films of refugees and war destruction, he introduced thousands of Mennonites to the once-forbidden technology of movies--Peter, thus, an agent of modernity. In a deeper sense his listeners began to talk about “our” refugees, “our” settlements in South America, and “our” people in the Soviet Union. A sense of peoplehood emerged.

Like his Master, Peter went about telling stories. No speaker addressed more of his people than Peter. For him MCC and the life of discipleship was more than program, strategies and budgets; it was a web of winsome narrative for young and old. Peter radiated joy and drama in serving in the name of Christ. In his storytelling, he allowed the intrusion of a bit of hyperbole which at times evoked from Elfrieda a gentle reminder, “But Peter, I remember it differently.”

The years passed. Peter became pastor of the large Eden Mennonite congregation at Moundridge, Kansas. There he joined in the delights of a Mennonite people bursting with energy in the postwar 50s—sharing and leading in a surge of creative activities: Mennonite Disaster Service, voluntary service, PAX, relief sales, relief canning, Mennonite mental hospitals. He had returned to the church’s generous giving base.

In the last of our series of interviews in 1987 I asked Peter to reflect on the biblical story of Exodus. This was his response:
The major lesson to be learned . . . could be distilled into two words that C.F. Klassen said so often: “Gott kann!”—God is able, God can! I think that’s probably the bottom line when you read Exodus. And I would hope that when children and grandchildren hear about the Berlin exodus in which Elfrieda and I were privileged to have a part, they also come to the conclusion that with God nothing is impossible. God can!

These are words for us all…and for Peter and Elfrieda’s – and Lois’ and my -- two great-grandsons, Daniel and John.
 
With God, nothing is impossible. God can!
 

Robert Kreider
Akron, PA

 

 

From Berlin:

Mit großer Betroffenheit erfuhren wir vom Ableben von Bruder Peter J. Dyck. Dankbar denken wir an die Arbeit, die Peter J. Dyck in Berlin an den vielen durch den Krieg in Not geratenen Menschen geleistet hat. Gerade in den Jahren nach dem 2. Weltkrieg , als Berlin noch in Schutt und Asche lag, war es Peter J Dyck mit seiner Ehefrau Elfrieda, die eine beispiellose Hilfswerksarbeit unter den Flüchtlingen aus Russland aufbauten. Die sich in diesen Jahren wieder zusammenfindende Berliner Mennoniten Gemeinde wurde aktiv in diese Arbeit mit eingebunden, sodass wir erleben durften, wie durch das MCC in vielerlei Weise geholfen werden konnte. Es waren nicht nur die „Liebesgaben“ die verteilt wurden, sondern auch der Geist des Glaubens, der Liebe und der Versöhnung, den das Ehepaar Dyck mit in unsere Gemeinde hinein brachte. Wir durften erleben was es bedeutete, dass Menschen ihre Lebenszeit und ihre Arbeitskraft für andere unermüdlich eingebracht haben. Hilfe, die für andere zum Überleben notwendig war, konnte später dann auch von unserer Gemeinde an die Geschwister in der DDR weiter gegeben werden. Diese fußt mit auf dem persönlichen Einsatz den das Ehepaar Dyck und viele andere amerikanische Geschwister durch das MCC gezeigt haben. Danken wir Gott, dass Peter J. Dyck unter uns wirken durfte gemäß seines Lebensmottos: „Hier bin ich; denn Du hast mich gerufen.“ Wir werden seiner und seiner Angehörigen in unseren Gebeten gedenken. „Soli Deo Gloria. Gott allein die Ehre.“ So grüßen wir mit der Losung vom 4.1.2010 aus dem Propheten Jesaja 66,18: ich komme, um alle Völker und Zungen zu versammeln, dass sie kommen und meine Herrlichkeit sehen. Der Lehrtext lautet aus Epheser 1,17: Der Gott unseres Herrn Jesus Christus, der Vater der Herrlichkeit, gebe euch den Geist der Weisheit und der Offenbarung, ihn zu erkennen. Im Namen der Berliner Mennoniten Gemeinde Horst H. Krüger und Ingrid , geb. Schultz