March 8 2019
March 12, 1922 – February 27, 2019
William “Bill” Franklin Douce was born to Richard, a farmer, and Elva, a housewife, on March 12, 1922, in Martel, Ohio. The family attended Martel Methodist Church where Bill committed his life to Christ at age 13. After graduating from Martel School, he worked on his father’s farm for two years. During that time, he received his call to missions. It was in recalling this time that Bill wrote, “I felt a very definite call to become a medical missionary and made plans to prepare myself.”
Those plans materialized for Bill over the course of many years of education, local ministry, and service to his country. In October 1942, Bill began serving in the U.S. Army and was enrolled in one year of study at Indiana University to prepare for service as a surgical technician. Bill assisted with surgeries in the European theater, an experience that would undoubtedly prepare him for later endeavors on another side of the world.
The end of the war would provide stories for millions of young Americans who would settle down and never again leave the homeland after returning victorious. But Bill Douce had an eternal perspective, and God was not done writing his adventure story.
Bill enrolled at Asbury College and completed his pre-med degree in 1948, preaching at a mission church in his free time. It was at Asbury that Bill met Ilene E. Mosher, and the two were married on June 3, 1949. They had three daughters together over the next several years: Mary Rebecca, Grace Elizabeth, and Janet Elaine, and two sons thereafter: Philip Earl and Carlos Albert.
After graduating from the Philadelphia School of Osteopathy in 1955, Bill traveled to Dayton, Ohio, for an internship at Grandview Hospital. It was during this time of his life that Bill expressed that he had heard Christ’s call to begin work on the mission field.
Dr. Douce spent a short time developing his Spanish language skills and flew to Ecuador for the first time in 1957. His first project was setting up an urban clinic in the coastal city of Guyaquil. To the south of this big city lay the rough jungles and mountains of Ecuador, populated by indigenous peoples who, for the most part, had not heard the Good News about Jesus Christ. They also lacked basic medical care that Bill knew he could offer.
Thus, Bill and Ilene immersed themselves in the rugged area in and around the town of Saraguro. The Douces dedicated the next three decades of their lives to serving the physical and spiritual needs of the people native to this previously unreached region. This began with developing a medical clinic, where Bill would share a biblical message of hope to all of his patients prior to their treatment.
Dr. Douce also led efforts to organize medical caravans into more remote towns in the surrounding jungle. At times, the journey to and from these towns was treacherous, but God held the Douces in his hands throughout.
In 1962, when a mob of more than 100 indigenous nationals wielding clubs and machetes began beating down the door to the Douces’ clinic, seeking to drive the Americans out of town, several brave townspeople of Saraguro came to their defense. Provincial leaders even sent Ecuadorian Army forces to break up the mob. After just a few years, the Douces were seen as an indispensable part of the community.
A more fortified medical clinic was built in the years following this attack, which provided a platform for Bill to lead more evangelism efforts and to help set up the Carboncillo Bible Institute to develop new disciples in the region.
On March 10, 1993, Ecuador’s Independence Day, local leaders, including the provincial governor, presented Dr. Douce with an award recognizing his decades of service to the people of Ecuador.
Later in life, the Douces would continue to bring more missionaries with them back to this area, and Bill would drive the big red Chevy truck into the jungle for medical clinics and to evangelize the next generation of people around Saraguro. The legacy of Bill and Ilene Douce’s work in Ecuador is one that will undoubtedly continue to glorify God for many more generations to come.
On February 27, 2019, Dr. Bill Douce was surrounded by Ilene, his children and grandchildren. He passed into heaven while his loved ones were singing hymns and choruses and joined a great celebration of souls he had touched through the love of Jesus Christ.
Our OMS family sends our love to you, Ilene, your children, and the extended family. Be assured of our continued prayers during these difficult days. We mourn with you the tremendous loss of your husband, father, and grandfather. But we are also encouraged by the wonderful example of Bill’s relationship with Jesus Christ and for the hope he was able to share with so many lost souls. We can rejoice in knowing that Bill is now in the presence of his Savior, who he has faithfully walked with during his time here on Earth.
With deep gratitude to our Lord for Bill’s example of a life well lived for God’s honor and glory,
One Mission Society USA
If you would like to give a memorial gift in honor of Dr. Douce, you can give here to the Saraguro Scholarship Fund, to help fund indigenous pastors seminary training.
March 7 2018
During this time of physical pain that has brought me back to the U.S. for a time, God has been showing me in Scripture about "greater things" (John 14:12-14) that He is doing, which I believe are eternal things. Physical healing is truly great, but God is also doing eternal things, in and through us, that are even greater.
Bruce and Mabel Callender, who started the OMS (One Mission Society) work in Mozambique, sent me a book about two of the founders of OMS, Charles and Lettie Cowman, The Story Behind Streams in the Desert, which is Lettie Cowman's journal during the last year of her husband Charles' life. (He died of cancer at the age of 56.)
What God continues to show me is that His higher thoughts and ways are for greater things, whether or not they include physical healing. We praise God for healing when it comes, in life or death, but we can know that He is doing eternal things. As I read the book, I was encouraged to see that Lettie had come to the same realization.
"There came to me today the thought which I believe was given me of God that there is something greater than healing for us. God may have a far deeper thought than just healing. We shall yet see it...God is using this affliction to teach us of Himself and when it is complete we shall find that we have more than healing." (L. Cowman)
I do believe that God will heal me in this life. It's hard to wait on Him, feel pain, and trust in His will, but I know that He is doing greater eternal things.
Charles and Lettie were living in Los Angeles at the time of Charles' death, where the OMS offices were. I recently visited the cemetery where they are buried to reflect and thank God for the extraordinary things He did through their lives, their suffering, and their faithfulness.
~Aimee Howarth, OMS missionary in Mozambique
February 21 2018
Dr. Billy Graham is now with the Lord. What an amazingly wonderful reception that must have been!
What can we do to honor this servant of God? We can continue his legacy of making Christ known. Billy shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with an estimated 200 million+ people in his lifetime. This was a passion of Billy’s, a deep commitment he lived out faithfully and well.
At One Mission Society, we along with many partners want to follow in Billy’s footsteps. While we may not have the packed stadiums, communication skill, and evangelism gift Billy had, we can have the same passion, the same heart for lost people. With hearts filled with the love of Christ, we can be used to help them understand and respond to Good News. A redeemer has died for all of us, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God! May we honor Billy, and more importantly honor the resurrected Christ, by having a heart of passionate love for people far from God. Every believer has a part to play, a contribution to make. May we never shrink back from making Christ and his salvation known to our family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors . . . and to the millions around the world who have not yet had the opportunity to hear, understand, and believe!
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16).
~Bob Fetherlin, President, One Mission Society
December 13 2017
More than 100 years ago, One Mission Society missionaries discipled,
trained, and sent out two young Korean students, Kim Sang-jun and Jung Bin,
from the OMS-established Tokyo Bible Institute in Japan back to Korea to share
the Gospel with the Korean people.
From the beginning, OMS has been intentional about training
the sons and daughters of a nation to reach their own people. This dedication has
helped in the phenomenal growth of the OMS-founded Korea Evangelical Holiness
Church (KEHC), which today has more than 3,000 churches and nearly 1 million
the division of North and South Korea, there were also about 3,000 churches in
the north, with 132 of them being OMS related. And then the Korean War came,
and those churches were laid waste while most Christians fled south to safety. Those
that didn’t were most likely martyred.
evangelism in North Korea (NK) is impossible. For the last 16 years, Open
Door’s World Watch List has ranked it number one for persecuted Christians. Over
70,000 Christians live in prison camps as a result of their faith, suffering
forced labor, starvation, and sexual abuse.
than 20 million North Koreans live in darkness, having NEVER heard the Gospel.
North Korea is indeed a dark place, but OMS, along
with our South Korea partners, is piercing the darkness of NK with the light of
Christ. Here’s how:
1. We are equipping North Korean defectors.
Koreans have been a divided people for decades, but a
gradual reunification process is taking place through the arrival of North
Korean defectors in
South Korea. These refugees face numerous obstacles to
integration into South Korean society, but they also provide valuable insight
into the issues Koreans will face after reunification.
Our ministry partner, Sarangnaru, reaches out to North Korean refugees
and helps them integrate into South Korean society by providing group homes for
teens and young adults and after-school tutoring for elementary children and
their parents, among other ministries. In this way, North Korean defectors and
their families are evangelized, discipled, and prepared to make a valuable
contribution to reunification.
2.We are equipping North Korean transients.
Risking their lives for a better future, an estimated 100,000 to 300,000
have crossed the border into neighboring nations. With discretion and care, we
are evangelizing, discipling, and training North Koreans who travel to nearby
nations to return to share the Gospel within their family groups and, when
feasible, help plant underground house churches.
This holiday season, we are taking the light of Jesus into the darkest place
in the world, North Korea. Will you join us in this initiative?
A small gift of $34 will evangelize, train, and disciple one North
Korean to reach his or her nation for Christ.
us give light to North Korea by giving online here.
March 18 2016
Luelf Duewel was born in St. Charles, Missouri (a suburb of St Louis), on
Saturday, June 3, 1916, to God-honoring parents. His father was an evangelical
pastor, Bible college president, and radio preacher. His mother was a godly
woman with a deep and meaningful prayer life.
made his first profession of faith as a five-year-old, and soon thereafter was
called by God, in the midst of his sandbox, to serve as a missionary to India.
Throughout his life, he made many more life-changing decisions based on his
increasing spiritual maturity that became evident in his heart, through his
youth experiences; young adult education; professional preparation, up to and
including, his election as the fifth president of OMS; and into his writing
ministry following his presidency.
relied primarily on prayer and a sanctified sense of God’s guidance as he met
and married his first wife, Betty Raisch, in 1939. He discovered she had
claimed the life verse that he had: “Enlarge
the place of your tent; stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back;
lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the
right and to the left” Isaiah 54:2-3a. This promise served as a predictor
of his eventual worldwide ministry.
his time at God’s Bible School, Wesley prayed earnestly for “an effectual door”
to open for him to serve in India. By 1940, Wesley and Betty Duewel were among
the first group of seven OMS missionaries who sailed for India.
and Betty underscored their work with prayer, and within two years, he helped
found the Allahabad Bible Seminary. It was into this prayer-filled home that
their son, John Wesley, was born in 1944. A daughter, Christine, joined the
family two years later, and Darlene was included 10 years following.
Wesley taught for 22 years at the seminary and served as its principal for 15,
he and Betty carried a special burden for a praying, spirit-filled church in
India. After a quarter of a century, there was one church for every year they
labored in love, with about 60 members each, and three small Bible schools in
three states of India.
for an OMS Board meeting in 1964, somewhere over the Pacific between Honolulu
and Los Angeles, Wesley prayed again: “Oh
Lord, give us 1,000 people who will commit themselves to pray for 15 minutes a
day for at least one year, specifically praying for our OMS India work.”
God honored that prayer with 1,500 people from 30 nations who prayed over the
next 12 months. It was a spiritual jump-start that broke through strongholds
and opened the way for the Gospel to advance like never before.
growth and development of the Evangelical Church of India (ECI) was slow,
starting with one church every year for the first 25 years, then increasing to
one church every month over the next 25 years, then one church every week over
the next 10 years, then three churches every week over the next 10 years. Today,
the ECI consists of more than 5,276 churches and 8,018 house churches, with a
membership of more than 750,000 and growing at the rate of approximately 4½
churches weekly. There are also 13 Bible schools and seminaries. The deeply
embedded prayer habit sown by Wesley and Betty during ECIs foundational years made
Duewel concluded his 13-year organizational leadership tenure in 1982 with a
mission-wide emphasis called “Decade of
Harvest.” The next 10 years was one of the most fruitful eras of
productivity One Mission Society had ever experienced. Following his
presidency, Wesley was led to expand his writing ministry. His first major book,
Touch the World through Prayer, has
become a modern-day classic; circulation has reached nearly one million and Dr.
Duewel’s ten subsequent publications have exceeded 2.5 million in circulation
printed in 58 languages worldwide.
Betty passed away in 2008, Wesley married his long-time secretary, Hilda
Johnecheck, who faithfully worked at his side in the Duewel Literature Trust, a not-for-profit, self-funded ministry.
“You can stand beside the great evangelists
of our day; accompany any missionary to the remote reaches of the earth;
contribute to the ministry of any pastor or evangelist in the world; or mediate
the healing of Jesus Christ to the sick, ill, or faint of heart anywhere on the
globe. Prayer is not the only thing you must do. It is the greatest thing you
can do.” Indeed, God enlarged and stretched, lengthened, and strengthened
Wesley’s ministry beyond anything that he, his parents, his wives, or his
colleagues could ever have imagined. He was a man of many peers, but few
Now to him
who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according
to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20–21).
John, Christine, Darlene, as well as your children and grandchildren, be assured
of our love and prayers for you during these days. The entire worldwide OMS
family expresses our profound appreciation for Wesley’s tireless service for
God and his kingdom. We pray that the Holy Spirit’s presence and comfort will
uplift and strengthen you during these days of mourning your great loss. We
know, however, that you do not grieve as those who have no hope. We rejoice
with you, imagining how wonderful to Wesley’s ears were the words spoken to him
by Jesus, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” And we rejoice with you in
knowing that someday we will not only join Wesley in worshiping around the
throne, but thousands and thousands of those whom he touched, through prayer,
around the world.
Esther and me personally, we had read some of Dr. Duewel’s writings and heard
about him. But it wasn’t until we came to OMS in 2014 that we met him. We knew
right away that we were in the presence of a great man of God, a spiritual
giant! What a joy and honor it has been
to pray and interact with him, to be inspired and challenged by him, and to see
him finish well. The life he lived, and
the way in which he lived it, will continue to be a poignant spiritual
challenge to us and many others. We are so grateful for the life and ministry
of Dr. Wesley Duewel.
rejoice with you as his family and express deep gratitude to our Lord for a
life extremely well lived for God’s honor and glory,
President, One Mission
To view a video tribute of Dr. Duewel, created by OMS in 2007 for the honor of being name the first Lifetime of Service award:
To give a financial gift to the Dr. Wesley Duewel Memorial Fund...
To view the Celebration of Life service...