OTTERBURNE, Man.—Two EMCers, Rolf and Angela Kruse, have been chosen as 2017 Alumni of the Year and were honoured on April 23 during Providence University College’s graduation ceremony.
Rolf and Angela Kruse have spent nearly 20 years ministering among refugees and tribal peoples in East Africa. They have taught English, operated mother-tongue literacy classes, set up wells and a grinding mill, and regularly used their Landcruiser as an ambulance.
After growing up in Rosenort, Man., and completing high school in 1993, Angela enrolled at Providence. Her older brother had attended the school and she’d enjoyed the Providence choir’s performance at her local church. She also wanted to play on the volleyball team.
Two years later, and equipped with a TESOL Certificate, she arrived in Ethiopia to train Sudanese refugee teachers.
“More than 5,000 school-aged children needed an education, and so we trained several hundred young men and women as informal education teachers,” she says. “I found that my TESOL education gave me valuable tools to learn languages and train teachers in how to run English and mother-tongue literacy classes.”
After returning to Manitoba she met Rolf, who had come to Providence from nearby Kola and also pursued a TESOL Certificate. Both would also go on to graduate with Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies degrees—Angela in 1998 and Rolf in 2001. They were married in 2000.
In 2002 they and their growing family moved to Ethiopia and the Sherkole Refugee Camp, where they would serve for eight years. They trained short-term volunteers, and Rolf started a three-year “grassroots English Bible school” for young men. Angela, meanwhile, taught the Scriptures to women in Arabic and other local languages.
In 2011, after a two-year study sabbatical in Rosenort, the Kruses returned to Ethiopia, with their five children, as church planters among the Gumuz people near the Sudanese border. They mentored young people in cross-cultural ministry and Rolf helped young Gumuz elders learn to teach from newly-translated Scriptures.
“During our years of ministry our desire has always been to fill people with hope within their present circumstances, exemplify the compassion of Jesus, share with them the eternal hope found in Jesus Christ and disciple men and women into Christian leadership,” says Angela. “We are seeking direction for our future but believe cross-cultural ministry and discipling young people into missions will continue to be a vital part of our future ministry.”
Rolf and Angela Kruse (Kola/Rosenort Fellowship) are workers under the EMC Board of Missions.