Ernest Henry (Peter) Dyck died Sept. 14, 2009. He was born Apr. 5, 1922 in Hierschau, Ukraine to Peter and Katarina Dyck. He came to Canada in 1926, days after his father was murdered as they prepared for departure. The family homesteaded briefly in Saskatchewan before moving to Pincher Creek, Alta., and later to B.C.’s Fraser Valley in the mid-1930s. Ernest left school at 14 to support his mom and two older sisters. At 18, he felt called by God to be a missionary to Africa. Over the next 11 years, he finished high school and college (MBBC, Winnipeg; Tabor College, Kansas) and prepared to go to the Belgian Congo. In 1951, he married Lydia Elizabeth Krahn, and they went to Belgium to study French in preparation for work in Congo. In 1957, while on furlough, Ernest completed a masters degree at University of Washington, Seattle. They returned to Congo the following year. In 1960, the family was forced to leave Congo because of political and military turmoil which accompanied independence. Returning to Canada, Ernest taught high school for a year in Coaldale, Alta., before agreeing to start new churches in Quebec. For 31 years, he did so with great passion and was used by God to establish a half-dozen congregations, a Christian camp, and a Bible school. Despite a lifelong desire to return to people he loved in Congo, this was never possible, other than a short visit in 1989. In 1992, he “retired” to St. Catharines, Ont., and served at Grantham MB Church. In 2004, he and Lydia moved to Virgil, Ont. Predeceased by 9 siblings, Ernest is mourned by Lydia; children Norm (Trudy Schroeder), Stan (JoAnne), Ruth (Jean Cusson); 5 grandchildren.
Karla is a writer for Mennonite World Conference who lives in Winnipeg.