Tag Archives: Park Street Church

Park Street Church Supports Every Odd Child

Park Street Church as seen from Suffolk University Law School, 9.28.2012, courtesy of David Bruce[Eric]: Yeah, I went to Moody, Moody Bible Institute, planning to go—so one year at the King’s College and then I wanted to transfer to Moody. That was when I joined Park Street, actually. Between Moody, I mean, The King’s College and Moody, I had to be a member of a church. Up to that point, I wasn’t one, so I asked Dr. Toms if I could become a member. They kind of took me on as an unusual case because they don’t normally accept somebody so quickly. But since they had supported me since I was a baby—they support the parent plus every other child. And so. . . .

[Stephanie]: Really?

[Eric]: That’s the way they did it for our family.

[Stephanie]: Every other child?

[maybe Heidi or Kim]: That’s just demented.

[Stephanie]: What, in the world, does that mean?

[Eric]: Since my mother. . . .

[Steve]: No. What he means is every odd child.

[Stephanie]: What does it—? No. I really want a serious answer. What, in the world, does that mean? Like, the rest of the children don’t get supported, too bad for them?

[Mary Lynn]: Isn’t that weird?

[TJ]: Is that when they get sent down on a raft in a whirlpool?

[Kim]: I guess the others [laughter; can’t hear].

[Eric]: The reason was because they didn’t support. . . . They supported my mother, who was from Park Street, but my dad was being supported from another church. And so they supported every other child, along with my mother. I don’t know why it was arranged that way, but that’s the way it was.

[Marcia]: I think part of the idea was that they didn’t want to give full support to the whole family because then, if for some reason they couldn’t follow through on that—correct me if I’m wrong—you didn’t have any other support out there.

[Eric]: Right.

[Marcia]: You couldn’t have any other support out there. Which is very interesting because, you know, in the late ‘90s, they went to a full-support system, in which they started supporting everybody—

[Eric]: Full time.

[Marcia]: —full time, so that they could have you when you came home on furlough. They could have you there within their church, because they just felt like everybody was doing a cameo appearance, you know, and people didn’t know the missionaries. It was a lot harder for them to raise money to send out missionaries. So their whole idea was if the missionary can work in the church when they’re on furlough, then they will become better known and all of that.

[Steve]: That was post-Kindberg.

story told by Eric (Lee’s son) with interjections by Steve, Stephanie, Kimberly and Heidi (Steve’s daughters), TJ (Kathryn’s son) and an explanation by Marcia (Steve’s wife) to the family reunion gathering on January 11, 2014; transcribed by Dawn Duncan Harrell (Steve’s daughter)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • What other funding models did missionaries in the family pursue?
  • What other churches supported Lee and Will Kindberg’s work as Bible translators with SIL?
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Bruce Does Drugs, Eric’s Brain Leaks

[Mary Lynn]: Bruce was the star athlete of Yarinacocha, too.

[Eric]: Yup.

[Kathy]: Oh, yeah, he was!

[Mary Lynn]: Athletics was, like, huge.

[Kathy]: Bruce had a lot of records.

[Mary Lynn]: A lot of what?

[Kathy]: Records.

[Eric]: Fastest runner. Best hurdler. I don’t know about swimming, but almost everything else.

[Bruce]: The Indians set me up with some drugs.

[Gloria]: Performance-enhancing drugs?

[Marcia]: Performance-enhancing, yeah.

[Eric]: OK, so, Mary Lynn and I got married in 1980. We met in graduate school in Dallas. When I left Peru, I came back and went to the King’s College in New York.

[Mary Lynn]: Honey, you’ve got to tell your brain surgery story.

[Eric]: Oh, OK. Back up a little.

[Marcia]: How about when you were born?

[Stephanie]: He doesn’t remember, Mom.

[Eric]: I don’t remember.

[Marcia]: You don’t know what year you were born?

[Eric]: Oh, OK. Yeah. 1954. Bruce was born in 1953 and we were 17 days apart, so we always opt and celebrated our birthdays together.

[Mary Lynn]: Seventeen days and a year.

[Eric]: Pardon me?

[Steve]: A year and 17 days.

[Marcia]: I hope it was a year.

[Eric]: Seventeen days. Plus a year.

[Steve]: I’ve done that, fooling the patients, that distance between the deliveries.

[Eric]: Uncle Steve, you always come up with the best comments. I remember we were at Park Street Church talking in a conference, you know, with a whole congregation of people. This was during a Duncan family reunion there. Well, here I am up on the platform, nervous as anything and I’m telling my story of living in Kokorake [sp?] at 11,500 feet and Uncle Steve yells out from the audience, “Hope you didn’t fall off the roof!”

You’ve got some good ones. Everyone broke up. I’m glad you keep the humor in the family.

[Mary Lynn]: You and Bruce were in the same grade all through school.

[Eric]: We were in the same grade from first grade on.

So, let’s see. Came back to the States, went to the King’s College.

[Mary Lynn]: Tell the story.

Oh, back to the. . . . When I was ten, we were in the States. You know, people always say, “What about all the wild animals down there? What about, you know, the insects and all these evil, bad things that you hear about?” Well, I came to the States and never had had anything happen to me. Well, Bruce and I were racing across the street in Bloomfield, New Jersey, running to the church, and I got bit by a car.

[Stephanie]: Oh-oh.

[Eric]: So I was 9 years old and it hit me in the side of the face and twirled me around and broke, shattered my knee, my femur. So the doctors thought they would have to amputate my leg. Finally were able to piece it back together and I was in a body cast for quite a while until I got chicken pox. They cut off the upper part and let me at least scratch my itches. But yeah. So that was quite an experience.

[Marcia]: Now she said “brain surgery”?

[Mary Lynn]: Yeah.

[Eric]: Following that. Yeah, following that. I had a fracture and they thought it was just a concussion at the time. They didn’t realize I had a hairline fracture. When I was thirteen, I developed spinal meningitis, back in Peru.

[Victoria]: Oh, my goodness!

[Eric]: Three times. The first time was natural. It’s normal to get spinal meningitis once. Maybe not normal, but, you know, you never are supposed to get it a second time. I developed a second case of it and they knew something was wrong. So they sent me to Lima for observation and tested—you know, I had spinal fluid actually leaking through my nostril, so they realized that they needed to perform surgery to close up that fracture that was still there. So I had brain surgery when I was 13 after the third incident.

[Marcia]: In Lima?

https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fernando_Cabieses

Fernando Cabieses Molina, courtesy of Wikipedia

[Eric]: In Lima. And the neat thing about that is the way that God works. You know, you think of being on a mission field and what kind of medical care can you get there? Here we were, didn’t have the money to send me back to the States or whatever. So here I am in Lima. My doctor was called Dr. Cabieses. Well, he happened to be one of the world’s leading neurosurgeons. Not only that, but there was a conference of the world’s leading neurosurgeons right there in Lima, so he took my case before all of them, so I had the world’s experts in on my case. God is good.

[Kathy]: That’s how he turned out to be so smart.

[Eric]: Right.

[Stephanie]: So what was—you developed a third case of it later?

[Eric]: Third case, while I was in Lima.

[Stephanie]: While you were in Lima.

[Kathy]: I remember, as a kid, when he had that, it was really scary because his fever would go so high, he got very delirious. And I was having a sleepover with some friends. We were going to sleep in the rec-room, which was just separated from the house a little bit, but you could hear him yelling out, counting really fast, up and backward, and just kind of yelling out unusual things because he was delirious. It was just really unsettling to hear your brother. He went on to Lima or had gotten better soon after that.

[Eric]: Yeah, that was, I think, the first incident, or maybe the first or second one. They give you a spinal tap when you have spinal meningitis. They put this long needle. You have to roll up in a ball, so you separate your vertebrae. They put this needle in your back. It is the most—it’s like being in a dentist chair, having that needle, you know, that drill going into your mouth, into your teeth. I hated it. ‘Course I had high fevers at the time when they were doing the surgery, the uh, inserting the needle to get the spinal fluid out to test it.

But, yeah, God is good. I lived through it. Did give me a little touch of something, I’m sure. Did something to my brain.

[Steve, relaying question]: Does he hallucinate anymore?

[Mary Lynn]: Strange dreams. He’s had strange dreams sometimes.

[Eric]: Well, she puts me out of the room. I have to sleep in a separate room because I talk too much in the night. No.

Actually that’s pretty close to the truth. I snore too much at night.

[Mary Lynn]: But that’s why—well, I don’t know if you want to say that—but that also influenced why you ended up going into Bible translation and not aviation.

[Eric]: That’s right.

story told by Eric (Lee’s son) with interjections by Mary Lynn (Eric’s wife), Kathy and Bruce (Lee’s children), Steve, Stephanie (Steve’s daughter), Marcia (Steve’s wife), Gloria (Tad’s daughter), and Victoria (TJ’s wife) to the family reunion gathering on January 11, 2014; transcribed by Dawn Duncan Harrell (Steve’s daughter)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • How do you spell Kokorake? Where was it? When did Eric live there?
  • Where did Eric receive the spinal tap that diagnosed the spinal meningitis?
  • Anybody else have chicken pox as kids? Tell us what you remember.

Polly Prays Hard

Taylor Sr, Marcia, Steve, Virginia, 12.10.1966

Taylor, Marcia, Steve, and Virginia at Steve and Marcia’s Wedding, 12.10.1966

[Marcia]: Steve was a little bit conflicted about whether he should ask me to marry him and then go off to Peru because he had the plan to go down to Peru for a few months. He went and consulted with Dr. Ockenga [pastor, Park Street Church] on the matter and Dr. Ockenga told him to “Give her a ring. Give her a ring!” So he did, actually.

[Steve]: I went out from his office and went down and bought the ring. From then.

[Stephanie?]: Really?

[Marcia]: From the office.

[Kimberly?]: Oh, I was expecting a telephone call. He said “give her a ring.”

[Marcia]: So on Easter Sunday morning, he said, “Let’s go to a sunrise service.” So, OK, I got up and got ready to go to a sunrise service. It turns out we never got to a sunrise service. We did go to a beach.

[Virginia]: Sneaky guy.

[Marcia]: We did go to a beach and he proposed to me and I came home with a ring.

[Kimberly]: Tell about your love-letters over the radio.

[Marcia]: Oh, OK. So previously though—this is probably why Aunt Polly was praying hard—previously we communicated by letters when he was in Peru. Oh, OK, that’s after the engagement. I’m getting confused.

So then he went off to Peru and we would write to each other. When he went out to the tribe with Bob Tripp, then my letters to him would come as far as the base where Lee and your dad were. So then they would have a radio hookup on a regular basis and she would read my letters to him over the radio.

[Kathy]: Where everybody who was on ham radio could hear it.

[Marcia]: Absolutely. Everybody would listen in. “Oh, we used to listen to those. We used to tune in at the appointed time and listen to those love letters.”

[Gail?]: Like a soap opera.

[Marcia]: No, I didn’t know. He may have, he may have written to me and said, you know, just something about that.

[Heidi]: It’s doubtful.

[Stephanie]: Knowing my dad.

[Steve]: Cool it, Sweetheart.

[Marcia]: Anyway, so what did happen to me was—because we had only dated for four months and he was gone longer than that, I started to wonder: do I really know this man I’m going to get married to? That started to be reflected in the letters and he did decide to not stay as long. I think he was going to stay to the end of November and pop home and we were going to get married in December.

[Gail?]: Get married the next month?

[Marcia]: So anyway, he came home sooner and we got reconnected.

That’s probably why Aunt Polly was praying hard, see, because she and Bob had worked hard to get us together. She didn’t want us to break up.

[Dawn]: Well, and I there was that one letter that Dad wrote to Grandma [MacGregor], right? Or didn’t write to Grandma.

[Heidi]: Oh, yes. It showed up empty.

[Dawn]: It was empty. He just folded up a bunch of those air forms and he. . . .

[Marcia]: Oh, and he didn’t write anything.

[Kathy]: He had it all addressed and everything.

[Marcia]: Oh, to Grandma MacGregor?

[Dawn]: What is this about?

[Marcia]: So we did get married, December 10th, 1966, at Newton Presbyterian Church.

Some of the people in the tribe—because he used to keep my picture up, somewhere on the radio or somewhere—so they told him to come back and bring Marcia and “the baby.” I guess they presumed that, you know, there would be a child involved already.

[Steve]: One of the things they gave to me was a long strip of sacha bacha [sic], you know the miles cake [sic], a strap of that, and that was called a “wife-beater.”

[Victoria]: Really?

[Steve]: Yes. And I use it all the time.

[Stephanie?]: And on the girls.

[Victoria]: Oh, come on!

[Marcia]: So you know who the joker is in our family, right? You’ve got that figured out.

[Steve]: It wasn’t a joke.

[Dawn]: Spousal abuse is not a joke.

[Marcia]: That’s right.

[Dawn]: It’s not.

[Steve]: But that wasn’t spousal abuse. It was training.

[Bruce? groaning]: Oh.

story told by Marcia (Steve’s wife) to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014 with additions from Kathy Courtright, Gail Montez, Bruce Kindberg, Virginia Gorman (Lee’s children), Steve, and Steve’s daughters Heidi, Kimberly, Stephanie and Dawn; recorded and transcribed by Dawn Duncan Harrell (Steve’s daughter)

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • We have Betty’s courtship and engagement story. Anybody want to relay what you recall of the others?
  • Kindberg kids or Lee: can you confirm the name and spelling (English and Amarakaeri) of the plant about which my dad is joking?
  • Marcia, Steve: Are we still in possession of these letters? Could I have them or copies, please? Remember, all of Peru has already heard them, so what’s a few more family members?

Park Street and Missions

Taylor Joins PSC, 06.26.1966, courtesy of Gloria Boyer

Taylor Duncan Joins PSC, 06.26.1966, courtesy of Gloria Boyer

So we were up in Boston and one of the first things that we did, that Dad [Taylor] did, was to get us connected to Park Street Church, which was one of the reasons for a lot of us eventually going into missions. But your Mom—Eric, Virginia—Lee, back in Pennsylvania, I can recall her working at a Afro-American kids camp and loving to do that. She was an outreaching young woman at the time.

She had been home and gone back and forth. I don’t know where it was at the time, but she went to West Suburban Hospital, where she graduated in nursing [~1950?]. That was part of Wheaton College connection there.

[T.J.]: That was who?

Virginia Lee Duncan, at that time, Kindberg.

[T.J.]: Your mother?

No, my sister.

[Heidi]: Their mother. [Heidi points out the Kindbergs in the room].

[T.J.]: Their mother.

Their mother. Yeah. Their mother.

So we were up in Boston and Park Street Church became a central part in our lives. Dr. Ockenga, who had come to Park Street Church in the ‘40s, also picked up the vision from Oswald Smith, up in Toronto, of missions. That developed up quite a bit at that church and so that was an early stimulus in my own life to go into missions. Although I had earlier, one of the things that I wanted to do in life, was to be an architect, but also there was the idea of going into medicine, which eventually happened, but only after, of course, university at Gordon College.

story told by Steve to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014; recorded and transcribed by Dawn [Steve’s daughter]; see also A Practical Vision for World Missions, for a fuller edition of this story

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

    • What year did Lee graduate from nursing school?
    • What was the name of the kids’ camp where Lee worked? Can someone relate that story more fully? What years did she work there? How did she get connected to it?
    • Grandpa’s documents show him joining Park Street in 1966. When did Grandma join Park Street Church?

Wally and Lee Decide to Follow Christ

Wally sneaked in the stage door of the Word of Life conference because he couldn’t get in the regular way. After the collection, the ushers brought the plates forward and put the plates in his hand. This may have taken place at Mechanics Hall in Boston.

Wally came to faith in his later teens.

excerpt from a Skype conversation between Steve and Dawn Harrell (Steve’s daughter), February 3, 2013

We were at Alden Union Church and Rev. William Allan Dean was the minister. That’s where I came to know the Lord in my teen years. I remember the place in the church where we sat. I didn’t go forward because we didn’t do that in those days. My faith grew in a slow progression throughout those years. There were certain times when we emphasized coming to know the Lord. Youth group met on Saturday night and I just grew in the Lord at that time. I graduated from Upper Darby High School in 1945.

Mother [Virginia] never had a real personal relationship until we went to Alden Union Church. She grew up Episcopal. The Bible study Wendell mentioned met on the sun porch; it had windows all around but it was closed in. There were maybe twenty to thirty women there.

Dad [Taylor] went to Alden Union because it was a Baptist church, but he never had a real close walk with God. He was definitely in favor of faithful church-going.

When Jack Wyrtzen was in Boston, we would go down to his campaign. Wally sneaked in back door because he didn’t get there on time. As he came in, they handed him the plates to take up the money. He passed the plates. I think I was looking for him. I got into the wrong area and then in to the men’s room. It was such a confusing place.

excerpt from a phone conversation between Lee and Dawn Harrell (Steve’s daughter), February 6, 2013

325 Riverview Cove, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, ca. 1944--1945The first time we had any contact with the Duncans, we lived at 222 Stanley Avenue, in Menoa, Pennsylvania. I lived there with my family. We had five children. The Duncans lived not far away at 325 Riverview Cove, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. We were sitting out on the front steps, and this lady with a baby carriage came by. That was Mrs. [Virginia] Duncan with Lee walking along. It was probably Bob [b. 1933] in the carriage. I can’t really remember how old I was but probably between four and eight years old [Wendell was born in 1928, so this was ca. 1932–1936]. I believe that’s how my mother met the Duncan family.

Next time I remember the Duncans, I was a teenager. My father said, “I’d like to take you to the church where they were having a Christmas program.” Lee Duncan played the part of Mary. It was a liberal Baptist church. We went to Aldan Union Church in Aldan, Pennsylvania and my father was interest in getting the Duncan family to come to Aldan Union. William Allan Dean was the pastor at Aldan Union. It was an independent denomination. The original church building still exists. They came.

My mother was part of the contact with the Duncans. She invited Mrs. [Virginia] Duncan to a women’s Bible study. It was taught by a lady at Aldan Union. She came. In fact if I remember correctly, they met in the Duncan home, a beautiful big home in the Drexel Hill section of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

Lee Duncan, ca. high school, courtesy of Virginia GormanI think I was in high school. We were in youth group together at Aldan Union Church. Lee [b. 1927] was older than I. Wally [b. 1929] was younger. He was not in the youth group Lee and I were in.

excerpt  from a Skype conversation between Wendell Caley (longtime friend of the Duncan family) and Dawn Harrell (Steve’s daughter), January 29, 2013

When I visited him a few weeks ago [Fall 2006], Wally told me that he made a decision to accept Christ as a young teen, as did his sister, Lee. Their mother [Virginia] took notice of the “change” in their lives, explored the reason, and then made a decision to follow Christ herself. Grandpa [Wally] credits her strength of character and commitment to Christ as the reasons that the rest of the family took seriously the invitation to follow Christ. His mother taught the adult Sunday school class at Park Street Church in Boston for many years. So there is much in our heritage for which to be grateful.

written memories of Wally, contributed by Jim Duncan (Wally’s son), on the occasion of Wally’s death, November 7, 2006

Wally describes the one year anniversary of Pearl Harbor as the most wonderful day of his life. On December 7, 1942, Wally (age 13) accepted Jesus as his personal savior. It became the most defining moment of his life. He knew that he was a new creature, a child of God, never to be snatched out of His hands. He had gone to a Jack Wyrtzen [a founder of Word of Life Fellowship and inspiration for Youth for Christ] rally in Boston and at the end there was an altar call for those who wished to announce that they had personally accepted the grace offered at the cross. Wally was too embarrassed to go forward. He waited until the rally was over and the auditorium had cleared out. He went backstage and saw the evangelist packing up his briefcase.

“Mr. Wyrtzen,” he said. “I want to tell you that I have accepted Jesus into my heart as my savior.”

“That is wonderful, young man.” Mr. Wyrzten replied. He sat down and spoke with the young boy who realized he needed a savior. The two prayed together.

Wally was so excited; he told me he ran along the railroad tracks as fast as he could all the way home. He never lost the thrill of reliving that wonderful moment. He never doubted again that he wouldn’t see his Father in heaven one day and meet Jesus face to face. Indeed, when he died on November 7, 2006, he died with the blessed assurance that he was going to meet his savior.

written memories of Wally, contributed by Barbara Duncan (Wally’s wife), December 12, 2012

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you remember this story? What other details can you add? I’d love to have a fuller telling of this movement in the family history. It seems pivotal.
  • This may come up in the interview with Grandma Virginia, but can anyone tell the story of her decision to know Christ on a deeper level?
  • Lee, do you recall this rally? Did you attend? Can you talk about your own experience of trusting Christ?
  • I have a family calendar that someone put together, which says, “Grandpa Taylor Duncan was in the Navy and was assigned in Philadelphia during WWII. Wally spent his freshman and senior years in Newton, Mass.; his sophomore and junior year of high school here [Drexel Hill].” Can anybody (Lee or Betty) talk further about those moves back and forth and their impact on the family? I guess the family lived in this house between 1944 and 1945. Can anyone confirm or modify this guess?
  • The house-photo I’ve included is a photo of a photo from the family calendar. Who put this calendar together? Are the photos in digital format? Can you send me to that link or email them to me? Thanks.

A Practical Vision for World Missions

AngolaDr. Ockenga’s vision for missions was sparked by the People’s Church in Canada and it lit up this church’s vision. His/their method of fund-raising for missions got to be famous and inspiring in always attempting from the pulpit to encourage a growth each year in the budget and the number of missionaries that it supported. I picked up the vision for missions there and also via my sisters [Lee and Betty], who were reinforced by the teaching and worldview of the church.

One of the missionaries, Dr. Robert Foster, a good speaker and lively advocate of medical missions in Africa became one of my ideals for foreign service. He was first a missionary sharing the Gospel and then a very interesting and resourceful physician and surgeon in third world service. He later became sort of a mentor by mail of my progress through medical school.

With pleasure and excitement we accepted the call for foreign missions in Angola after a stint doing medical work in South Dakota among the Sioux Indians. Park Street Church became a willing and supportive backing for our service of 17 years.

Park Street’s purpose was to be intimately involved in the lives and work of its foreign representatives. Through the 100% support policy, the whole congregation got to know us individually and in our own priorities there in Africa. A Barnabas Group, with eight to twelve members, closely followed and upheld us in their prayers and with material and emotional backing.

We were blessed greatly and more profoundly than by any of the other 15 churches that financially supported us during our time out in Africa. Only the Newton Presbyterian Church did as great a financial support though perhaps a lesser emotional and spiritual support. The Park Street vision is to be applauded and emulated by any church.

written by Steve for Colin Duncan (Bob’s son), March 18, 2011

My sister Lee had been involved with a camp specifically set up for African American children. This existed while we were in Philadelphia and I was probably five years old. It impressed me that she was doing it cross-cultural work, and not for the purpose of being cross-cultural but in service to God. Most of the time that I was growing up, Lee was out of a house in university nursing school and preparing for work, probably in the third world. So I had the vision planted in my mind that this was a way to go when I was an adult.

While I was in high school and early college, Betty and Harley when off to France in mission work. Because they too were highly favored in my estimations, they impressed me that I needed to go somewhere “out there” for the purpose of sharing the Gospel.

But perhaps the foremost in my leadings toward mission work was Park Street Church, which my father (Taylor) insisted we attend when we returned to the Boston area after the Second World War and our return from Philadelphia. Figuring in this influence were annual missions conferences,  where missionaries were paraded in front of us and challenged us to be involved in taking the Gospel to somewhere other than our own home. Among those that were a challenge and an encouragement were Dr. Robert Foster and his wife Belva. They had been working in Zambia. Later they started work in Angola, a Portuguese speaking country. I corresponded with them during my college and medical school career. It was Park Street’s minister Dr. Ockenga that started and kept the motion going toward missions as the only alternative for our future.

Both of my sisters Lee and Betty were being supported in their mission work by Park Street Church. It was only natural that after my time in the U. S. Army and in graduate school that I took six months off and went to Peru. I worked in the medical laboratory there because I had already been trained in that work. After asking Marcia to marry me, I left for Peru and its jungles. After the short term work in the laboratory, I returned in the middle of 1966 and we got married (Dec 1966). Even before Marcia and I tried tied the knot, we spoke extensively of serving in the third world. When we returned from medical school in Italy, I entered the internship at the Waltham Hospital, surgical residency at the Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts, and then five years with the Sioux Indians in Sisseton, South Dakota. We listened to an appeal for help in Angola to start a new hospital. So in 1983, we left for Portugal to get two months of training and the Portuguese language, and then flew to Luanda, Angola and eventually to Lubango in the Huila Province. Serving in a cross-cultural situation was being fulfilled.

added by Steve on November 26, 2012

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Harley Marries . . . Park Street Church

Harley and Betty Smith sign the marriage register at Park Street Church, 06.28.1952, courtesy of Sandy MoyerI was an outsider to Park Street Church until I met the lovely Betty Duncan at a youth meeting of which her brother [Wally] was the director. She played for me to sing and she did such a wonderful job I gave her a lifetime contract. Best arrangement I ever made!

Shortly after meeting her we went to the Missions Conference at Park Street. I was pleased and shocked at the total involvement of the church in this endeavor.

I can remember writing to my mother, “This is the first time I have experienced football game enthusiasm for the things of the Lord!” On the final day when people indicated how much God was leading them to contribute to the missions outreach of the church in the coming year, the usually staid Dr. Ockenga became a cheerleader and was full of fun. As the calculating machines clicked down in front, providing him with the latest totals, he would then share the totals with the congregation to encourage them.

Occasionally he would ask one of the missionaries that had been featured during the ten-day conference to come up and share some aspect of the need on their field.

Toward the end of the service he would tell people that it was time for them to turn in their “repentance pledge,” whereby they would indicate that they repented that they had not given all that the Lord wanted them to give! Many did just that.

I am unaware of recent yearly amounts, but it is often over $1,000,000!

Park Street gave to our support the 35 years we were in France. Often they would inquire as to our support level, or would simply increase some, knowing the situation. They were the most faithful in their support of God’s work through us. We are grateful to God and to Park Street.

written by Harley Smith (Betty’s husband) for Colin Duncan (Bob’s son), March 18, 2011

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  • From whom did you hear the story?
  • Where were you when it happened? What were you doing at the time?
  • In which season or year did this story take place?
  • What else was going on at the time? In the world, in the church, in your home?
  • What house was the family living in? What was the address?
  • Name the make and model of the family car at that time. What color was it?