David Balzer died Sept. 7, 2010. He was born Feb. 13, 1927 in Marienthal, Molotschna, Ukraine to David Balzer and Maria Vogt. David became separated from his family when they left for Poland in 1943. He became a labourer in Germany, where at 17, reflecting on God’s protection, he accepted Jesus as Saviour. Around 1945, David left politically unstable Germany for Holland. At the border, and again in refugee housing in Amsterdam, he met Maria Janzen. They travelled on the Vollendam together and were married in Paraguay. During their 8 years in Neuland, Paraguay, they hosted many missionaries and pastors, and served as deacons and kitchen stewards. David studied at the Bible school in Filadelfia, and pastored in Neu-Halbstadt, Paraguay. In 1954, David and Maria immigrated to Vancouver, where they attended 43rd Avenue MB Church and later Fraserview MB Church. David did visitation with Vancouver City Mission and outreach to Indo-Canadians with Santosh Raj. In 1977, David and Maria moved to Yarrow, B.C., and attended Yarrow MB Church. In 1986, they joined Bakerview MB Church, Abbotsford, B.C., and in 2003, transferred to Clearbrook MB Church, Abbotsford. David enjoyed gardening, fishing, and playing pool. He was available to his family, whether to give advice, host events, bake buns, or help out with yard work. Predeceased by Maria, David is mourned by children Louise Reimer, Connie (Walter) Rempel, Jake (Mary), David (Cheryl), Kathy (Greg) Hisdal, Gerry (Connie); 16 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren; 1 foster son; in-laws.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.