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Marjorie Irene Pifer

May 12, 1928 ~ July 7, 2018 (age 90)
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Marjorie Pifer went home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Saturday, July 7, 2018, following a massive stroke.

Marjorie Irene Leary Pifer

May 12, 1928 – July 7. 2018

 

“It’s true that I was baptized as an infant, raised to go to church, taught to be “good” and never allowed to play baseball or buy ice cream on Sunday. It’s tragic that in all those early years, I never heard God’s plan of salvation as set down in His Word. Dad was a Christian Scientist, mom was Methodist-Episcopal, and we alternated every other Sunday between their respective churches. In spite of this, God gave me interest in spiritual things from early childhood. When at last the good news was presented to me, I received Christ as my Savior gladly. That was in Battle Creek, Michigan, my birthplace, and I was just ready to enter 8th grade. It was 1940.

            In high school, God gave me Christian friends, and they took me with them to their Baptist Church. The pastor was a returned missionary, and God used him to speak to my heart about my place in word-wide missions. I dedicated myself to Him for the mission field. By the time I had graduated from Taylor University (1949), the Lord had confirmed this to me again, but I needed more Bible study. The following year I taught English and History and studied Bible at Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music.  At the close of the school year I married one of my English students and we came to Columbia Bible College that fall. Although Wayne was 2 ½ years older than me, he had just been saved and was beginning his studies. In the five years that followed, I had four children and received my MA degree from CBC. We graduated in 1956, and when our fourth child was only three weeks old, we moved to Edinburg, Texas to begin language study. We had been appointed by Central American Mission to go to Honduras, and in 1958 we entered that country as general missionaries.

            For the next twelve years, we lived in villages, pastored churches, preached and taught in jails, hospitals, DVBS, Sunday School, street corners, every where the Lord gave opportunity. We had hepatitis, amoebas, encephalitis and two more babies. Our children were away from us all of the school year. There were no paved roads and few bridges. Our running water “ran” down the side of the mountain. In many paces we had no electricity or bathroom. We never had a hot water heater, a TV, a bathtub or a telephone. Thinking back I often weep to think how very much more I had then than I have now. There is no comparison.

We came home during our third term in 1970. I did not see how it could be the Lord’s will. I knew that the four oldest children were not entirely happy with their situation in the States. Expenses for their education were mounting, too. Still it did not seem sufficient reason for us to leave the field. But Wayne was uptight and edgy, thwarted in his efforts to finish a church building he had half-finished before furlough. Without explanation, the Field Committee had insisted we locate in another town many miles away, leaving no one in the place where we had worked so hard. My husband could not understand this. Was God trying to tell us something or was this the whim of man who could make a mistake? There were already several missionaries from other denominations working there and a national pastor was effectively ministering to the CAM congregation. Finally we wrote to CBC to see if there might be an open door, for Wayne had said that CBC was the only place he wanted to come if the Lord wanted us to leave the field. The answer came back quickly, “You are an answer to many prayers.” For nearly ten years we were associated with CBC where Wayne worked in maintenance.

               Being home from the field, I plunged into other types of work. For two years I worked at CBC in the Christian Service Department. Then I taught Spanish for 6 years at Columbia Christian School. Since then I have worked for Zondervan Family Book Store and tutored exchange students in English. This has been especially rewarding.  I spend hours alone with each student and we often talk about the Lord.  I have found none who had ever heard the Gospel, and every one has been open and eager to hear.  I praise the Lord because I feel that some have truly received Christ as their Savior through our sessions together.” (Written by Marge Pifer, Dec 1979)

            Marge gladly and faithfully loved and served God’s people by teaching and taking leadership in women’s ministries wherever she lived. She enjoyed being with people and especially loved playing games with friends and family.

            When Wayne retired in 1990 they moved to Myrtle Beach, SC and lived at Lakewood Camping Resort near their daughter, Beth.  Once again they became actively involved in the Lord’s work. Life was full of blessing ~ beach, family, friends!

In 1995 God called Wayne home! God had Marge right where He wanted her.  She continued to teach and help in the Lord’s work at Lakewood.  In 1997 the Lord blessed her with another husband, Chuck Swartz. They enjoyed five fun years together before God took Chuck home. Life was lonely but not over!

           Despite these last years of physical struggles Marge simply loved life! She was   determined not to let her knees‘ slow her down!  Her love for the Lord Jesus, her thankfulness for His forgiveness, and her dependency on His Goodness and Sovereignty were a model of Christian living and a great source of encouragement to her family and friends.

            In 2017 it became necessary for Marge to move into assisted living.  After a fall and a major stroke in January 2018 she moved in with her son and daughter-in-law, Tim and Lynn Pifer.  She enjoyed seeing more of the ‘grands’ and the ‘great-grands’.

             In June Marge fell again and suffered another major stroke.  What a blessing that God enabled her to hum and say a few clear words: “I love you”, “Jesus” and “Precious”. God called her home in the early morning on July 7, 2018; she is safely home! She will be deeply missed!  She leaves a lasting legacy in the hearts of all who knew and loved  her.  More than anything Marge would want  you to join her.

Marge Pifer is survived by her six children and their spouses, 20 grand children and 24 great-grandchildren, with 2 more on the way!

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