The Faithbook

A place of writing and reflection…

So Long Good Christian Solider

Last week I received the sobering news of the passing of a real lady of God. Her name was Grace Hattie Rieder. She and her husband, John, had been missionaries in the Ivory Coast of West Africa for a number of years, and later founded Camp Shalom in Mound City, Kansas.

While I did not have the opportunity to know her personally, many of my friends have been touch by her and her husband. My youth pastor and several leaders are among them.

I did, however, have the chance to meet her when I made my big move from my home state to Missouri. We had dinner and spent the night there after much conversation. I learned quickly that just because Grace was in her 90’s didn’t mean that she still didn’t have her spunk. (She had misinterpreted one of my youth pastor’s comments and was about to take him down like a mother to her disobedient child. While the matter was cleared up, we did get quite a laugh from it.) The next morning she sent us off after a hot breakfast.

I’ve had the opportunity the past three years to see the elderly pair at my community’s annual Missions Conference; a conference at which missionaries from places like India, Moldova, Egypt, and the Philippines come for a time of sharing their life’s work and spreading word about their various ministries. Last year John and Grace brought with them another young couple who were assisting the Rieders in their work at Camp Shalom. They had been looking for sometime, I suppose, for someone else to come and take the ‘baton‘ of their work and I was blessed to see that they had.

Now a year later, the Lord has seen fit that Grace Rieder’s work is done and has called her home. Yet while this may be sad and, yes, hard on her husband, she has finished her race—a race we all continue to run.

Below I have included a copy of her Obituary, so that you too, may see the work she has done and be encouraged in your own. Someday we too will come to the completion of our work, but until then we must continue in what has been given to us to do.

So long good Christian Solider, Grace Hattie Rieder.

Grace Hattie Rieder, 93, died Sunday February 19, 2012 at her home in Mound City, KS. Grace was born August 30, 1918 in the Wesley Chapel Neighborhood near Mound City, the first of 5 children who were born to Clyde Ulysses and Gladys Alberta (Kendall) Martin. In 1920, the death of Gladys father Albert Lee Kendall brought them back to the Linnville area as his widow Grace Effie (Pomeroy) Kendall was now alone.

Grace attended grade school in Linnville and High School in Mound City. She was the valedictorian for the 1935 graduating class at only 16 years of age. Preparing to be a teacher, she went for further education at Emporia State University, where she met John Harold Rieder the brother of her chum Louise. John was a dairy man from Lenexa. They were married May 21, 1939 at the Methodist Church in Mound City.

Feeling a call to the full time service of the Lord, they went to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in 1942, and there for the first time in their life they were introduced to missionary work, and saw the great need to go overseas. On May 21, 1948 their 9th wedding anniversary they arrived at the Ivory Coast in West Africa where they worked with the Gouro Tribe. John saw the establishment of many churches, while Grace saw the Bible translated into the Gouro language, every word translated by hand, and was dedicated in 1979. After 36 years in Africa, they returned home in 1984 to see the establishment of the Ministry Shalom, welcoming various ministries to the former farm.

Grace is the author of several Christian based books. She and her husband John are responsible for leading many Africans to Christianity. In addition to the ministry at Shalom they operated a Christian youth camp call “Camp Yahoo”. They continued this camp for many years until advanced age kept them from being able to do so, and the Christian ministry retreat continues to operate to this day. Grace and John have been true soldiers for Christ for well over 60 years. Though Grace and her husband had no children of their own, they helped raise many of the African children they were in contact with. They also have many nieces and nephews who treated and loved them like grandparents. Their legacy will continue to live on through them.

Grace is survived by her husband John of nearly 73 years, a brother Albert Ivan Martin and his wife Vivian of Olathe, as well as seven nephews, five nieces, and many grand and great-grand nieces and nephews.

To know more about the Rieders and their work please check out their book “Jewels For His Crown”. In it, they tell about their 36 years in Ivory Coast, West Africa where they worked among the Gouro people, evangelizing, translating the Bible, teaching, and establishing churches.


Copyright The Faithbook 2012
Photo and Obituary courtesy of Scribbles and Scribes, Inc.


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