A Perfect Match

A husband and wife share how their marriage is built upon generosity and an abiding faith in God's Word.

Elmer and Winifred Wall’s courtship was like something out of a classic romance movie. After their paths crossed at Goshen College in Indiana, Elmer stayed in Indiana to pastor a church and Winifred moved to Missouri to minister to youth. One day, she received a letter in the mail from Elmer. He wanted to go on a date. With 600 miles between them, a long-distance relationship commenced. “We had a letter-writing romance,” recalls Winifred of those early years.

They continued to serve the Lord in their separate ministries, but it didn’t take long for Elmer and Winifred to tire of the distance between them. “In two years, we were married, and I became a minister’s wife,” says Winifred.

“We’ve been able to be a small part of mission work around the world. It’s something that ordinary people can be a part of.” —Winifred Wall

According to Elmer, Winifred was an excellent fit for the job. “Winifred was always very much involved in the work of the church: directing choirs, playing violin, visiting the sick and raising a family,” says Elmer.

But as devoted as they were to their local faith community, Elmer and Winifred always had a heart for God’s work around the world. As Winifred explains, “We’re interested in overseas missions. It’s so delightful, what’s happening across the ocean.”

That’s why Elmer and Winifred partnered with American Bible Society—to share God’s Word with people around the world who need it most.

“Both of us have always thought the Bible is very important and overseas missions is very important,” says Elmer. “American Bible Society combines both. We like that.”

Elmer first heard about American Bible Society in 1952, when he was ministering to a camp of migrant farmers in New York state. “A representative of American Bible Society came and said they could provide Bibles for us to distribute in the camp,” says Elmer. “That impressed me very much.”

Thanks to that initial encounter in New York, Elmer and Winifred have seen their faithful donations fund Bible distribution in places like Southeast Asia, China and Central America.

“In the period of several years, we’ve been able to be a small part of mission work around the world,” says Winifred. “It’s something that…ordinary people can be a part of.”

Although decades have passed since they courted through the mail, the romance between Elmer and Winifred is stronger than ever thanks to their steady reliance on God’s Word. “We have a tradition of reading together at the breakfast table and then again at night,” says Winifred.

And as Elmer looks back on their life of ministry together, including 45 years in pastoral ministry, he is thankful that their partnership with American Bible Society has enabled them to share God’s Word with the world— from a camp in New York to villages in China. “We could distribute the Scriptures in a wonderful way,” he says. “I’ve never forgotten that.”

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

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