08 February 2020

an archive of Darrell Champlin's sermons

 In the months after Darrell Champlin's falling asleep and awaking to eternal life, several of us worked to collect his sermons for public access. A number of churches and colleges were willing to make those sermons available to us and the general public. Thus, we created an archive of them here at https://archive.org/details/DarrellChamplin.

 However, that was as far as things got at that time. Now, as preparation is made for the printing of a book on the history of God's work through Darrell and Louise and the team that assembled around them in Suriname, this archive has been sorted and organized. Some duplicates have been deleted, and sermons that were wrongly labeled have been re-labeled. This work was propelled forward by the use of these sermons as sources for some of the stories in the book, which were mostly preached between 1980 and 2000.

30 July 2017

Darrell Champlin's book, Venturing with God in Congo

  Darrell Champlin's book, Venturing with God in Congo, is set to be published now at the two year anniversary of his homegoing. You can find out how to get a copy from Conjurske Publications.

07 September 2015

Darrell Champlin's Departure and Promotion

Written by Darrell's oldest son, David
Darrell Champlin left Suriname for the last time on August 26, 2015. He departed from his bed, in his apartment, in the town of Moengo to enter the presence of his Creator whom he had served for most of his life. He had completed his race and had reached his goal. His desire and that of his wife Louise was to die and be buried on the foreign mission field.

He had been suffering from Alzheimer’s for a long time. The Alzheimer’s had caused him to become a husk of the man he had once been. Louise, his life partner for 64 years, had taken care of him along with his sons Jonathan, Ethan, and their families.

Darrell & Louise's wedding, 1951
Darrell and Louise met in Bible School in California. They married and there I (David) was born. I am the only American-born child in our family. Darrell was only 22 years old when they arrived in the Belgian Congo. I have no memories of how we arrived in the country. Jonathan and Debbie would be born in Congo. I do have memories of trips into the jungle going from village to village with the Word of God. The Gospel was preached in places few, if any, foreigner had ever been. People heard the Word, lives were transformed, believers were formed into churches, and preachers were trained. A civil war started in 1964, in which missionaries were killed; Christian leaders were killed; and churches were destroyed. This forced us to leave the Congo.

We returned to the USA, landing in New York City in the winter. We were wearing summer clothing as all else had been lost.

My parents heard of Suriname and the descendents of African slaves living in the jungle along the banks of the interior rivers. The result was that we moved to Ricannau Moffo on the Cottica River in Suriname. Darrell often wrote words on the palms of his hands when he had nothing else on which to write as he worked to learn the Aukaner language. We kids learned it fast. He traveled to the villages along the Cottica. Often the whole family went on these evangelistic trips.

Individuals started getting saved; men were selected and trained to become preachers and evangelists. A medical work opened with a nurse-midwife. Brother Ethan was the first baby born in the clinic.

I was the first to return to Suriname as a missionary in my own right with Lynne my wife; Jonathan and Sherrie were next; and then came Ethan and Kim. Others joined us in the struggle of getting the Gospel out to the Aukaners. We went from the Cottica River to the mining town of Moengo, to the Tapanahony River, the Marowijne River, the lake behind the Afobaka Dam, the East-West Highway, and the capital city of Paramaribo.

Once more we were caught in a revolution and civil war (1986-1992). This time we did not leave and ministered the whole time.

Friday night (August 28th) we held Darrell’s “Singi Neti”, an evening song and praise service, believers from the Cottica River, the Tapanahony River, the Lawa River; from Moengo and Paramaribo, met together for three hours to sing hymns of praise to God and give testimonies of what Darrell’s life had meant to them.

The next morning I went to Albina, the border town on the Marowijne River, with the driver of the Moengo van (hearse) and the empty casket. Darrell’s body had been placed in the Albina Hospital’s working morgue refrigerator. Under my supervision, the body was washed, dressed, and placed in the casket. We then returned to Moengo and placed the casket in the church. The funeral service was held Saturday morning, with still more believers representing the capital city churches in attendance. Jonathan preached the funeral service. From the church, the casket was taken to the public cemetery, which is located in the jungle outside of the town. (My father worked in the jungle and desired to be buried in the jungle.) James, the senior evangelist, opened the song service at the burial site. I then prayed, and the casket was lowered into the ground. Many believers spontaneously joined in with hymns and choruses while the lid was cemented on as is the custom here. Sherrie wrote Darrell’s name and his dates in the wet cement.

The whole event from the Singi Neti to the cementing of the grave were a time of love and fellowship among the believers, some of whom had not seen each other in years. There were no tears! This was a time full of rejoicing and of glorifying the Lord Jesus for the lives led to the Lord through Darrell’s 50 years of ministry.

The work that Darrell started will continue. Louise, David, Jonathan, Ethan and their families ask for your continued prayers and help as there are still more villages that need a steady presentation of the Gospel and lives in the city that need to be touched with the Word of God.

08 January 2013

The Biography of Jennie Frow Fuller

  Previously, we have mentioned Jennie Frow Fuller, likely the earliest missionary in the Grings-Champlin family.  Her biography was published shortly after her death in India in 1900.  It has now been lightly revised and re-published with some additional resources concerning her life.  It is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle editions.

 Below is the blurb from the back cover:
The testimony of Jennie Frow Fuller's life is recorded in this book from her own writings and the words of those who knew her well. These combine to paint a picture of a woman who was unusually gifted, deeply Christ-like, and genuinely selfless in ministering the Gospel to the people of Berar Province, India in the late 1800s. She was the unusual missionary wife who became more influential than her husband and who ministered with profit to all types of people in the stratified land she was called to. Jennie Fuller's pen, her speaking, and her living together produced a lasting impact for the Kingdom of her Savior. This is the story of the "best known and best loved missionary in Western India", "the woman apostle to the women of India."
 A few additional resources should also be mentioned here relating to this particular family.  For much of their ministry Marcus and Jennie (Frow) Fuller were a part of the CMA; in the digitalized CMA archives, many writings by them or their daughter Lucia may be found.  That archive is available here.  An internet search for Jennie Fuller's name will reveal an additional wealth of information.  Finally, it should be noted that Lucia Bierce Fuller wrote a book entitled "The Triumph of an Indian Widow: The Life of Pandita Ramabai." After growing up in India, she returned there as an adult and ministered there.

19 May 2012

Autobiography of Herbert Grings back in print

 As I mentioned in the last post, we've been working on getting The Autobiography of Herbert Grings printed again.  That has now been successfully accomplished.  It is available here and on Amazon as well.  The Kindle version is available here.

from the back cover:
". . . and so I was launched to be a preacher of the gospel to the ends of the earth." ~ Herbert E. Grings

The apostle Paul testified that it is not the wise, the mighty, or the noble but rather the foolish and weak who are chosen to manifest the glory of God in the midst of a dark and dying world. Herbert Grings humbly followed his Savior wherever he was called, and he sought to bring God alone the glory though his life and sacrificial service. Despite shipwreck, the death of his wife, and many other trials in the jungles of the Belgian Congo, Herbert faithfully proclaimed the gospel of Christ leaving behind a Christ-like example for future generations.

06 May 2012

Herbert Grings' Autobiography republished!

  The Autobiography of Herbert Ernest Grings: His Testimony and Missionary Service in the Belgian Congo has been republished after nearly fifty years.  It is available here in the Kindle format from Amazon.com.  (We are currently working on details to get it re-printed as a paperback too.)

 This project has come to completion through a number of people's efforts, but it is particularly important to mention that the author's daughter, Louise Grings Champlin, added an epilogue concerning the remaining years of Herbert's life, as well as a summary of the lives of each of his five kids.  These additions along with picture from the family's history should help this book to be an encouraging record of God's work in the world for many more years.

21 January 2012

Grandpa Bob is with Jesus

The children of Robert E. Grings, “Grandpa”, would like you to know that on January 20, 2012 their father passed from his earthly address in Macampange, Congo, to his heavenly mansion on the Golden Streets of Heaven.  Jesus made the reservations for this date, paid the price, and made all the arrangements when Grandpa accepted Him as his Savior at the age of ten. He was born in Linga, Congo, on November 15, 1920, and has spent his earthly life preparing for heaven.  His treasures are already there, he has nothing of material value here to speak of or worry about.  The spiritual legacy he has left is worth far more than anything physical he could have left behind.  He is confident his children and most of his grandchildren have likewise put their faith in Christ’s death on the cross and are committed to serving the Lord. 

Until 2009, when he suffered from a stroke, Grandpa spent his waking hours sharing the Gospel with the Congolese people whom he deeply loved.  He traveled this country by foot, bicycle, and vehicle.  He suffered with the Congolese people as this country progressed from a colony to an independent democracy.

His compassion and deep love for the Congolese people, kept him in this country through independence, uprisings, riots, war, peaceful times and finally failing health.  His selfless, generous, humble, gentle, calm, servant’s heart has defined who he is and what he represents to his beloved family and Congolese people and has made him an encouragement and Godly example.  As failing health slowly took away his physical strength, never a complaint passed his lips; he remained an outstanding testimony and inspiration to one and all. 

Grandpa is survived by his sister, Louise (and Darrell) Champlin; three children, Ruth (and Steve) Bell, Rebecca (and Lee) Ward, Dan (and Christine) Grings; Pastor Mosanga (and Charlotte) who has been part of our family since youth; thirteen grand children; twelve great-grand children; and countless other spiritual children.  He was preceded in death by his wife Winnie; four siblings, Grant, Roy, Mark, and Bessie.  His father and mother, Herbert and Ruth Grings, are also both buried here in the Congo.

“Grandpa Bob” was loved dearly by not only his family, but also by the Congolese people.  He will be greatly missed.

A celebration of Grandpa’s life will be held in Kinshasa, DRC, on Sunday, January 22, 2012.  The following hymn written by Rhea F. Miller (tune by George Beverly Shea) summarizes Bob’s life:

I’d Rather Have Jesus

I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold;
I’d rather be His than have riches untold;
I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands,
I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand.

Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway,
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame,
I’d rather be true to His holy name.

He’s fairer than lilies of rarest bloom;
He’s sweeter than honey from out of the comb;
He’s all that my hungering spirit needs,
I’d rather have Jesus and let Him lead.
To God be the glory!

25 November 2011

News clips from the past

In spare minutes in the last couple days, I have been looking up old news articles about the family.  Fascinating what the digitalization of newspapers will bring up.  Below are links to actual articles from the past:

Herbert Grings family 

St. Petersburg Times, 1933 - "Florida Ship Sinks at Sea" (continued)

The Victoria Advocate, 1933 - "Saved from Blazing Ship in Mid-Ocean"

St. Petersburg Times, 1956 - "Writer Up River to Film a Snake"

Grings and Champlins

The Deseret News, 1964 - "Two Utah, Idaho Families Safe in Congo, Mission Aide Says"

The Deseret News, 1964 - "Enjoyed Congo Work, Minister Says in S.L."


The Northern Messenger, 1900 - "Mrs. Jennie Fuller: A Life for God"

08 December 2010

Herbert Grings writes an article for the Navy

  I randomly came across this US Naval publication today while I was (supposed to be) researching for something else.  (To actually see the things of interest you would have to add the book to your eBook library and then go search for "Grings" in it.)  It is a fasinating publication which notes that Herbert E. Grings had just been advanced to Chief Yeoman.  But even more interesting is the article, "Cruising in Alaska Waters,"  about H. E. Grings, C. Y.   Grings was aboard the USS Maryland, which was "the first vessel of any size to enter any of the Alaska ports."  He reports that the weather that they had experienced was "almost superior to Sunny California" and that some who had gone to see Child's Glacier reported that it was better than seeing Kilauea Volcano in Honolulu the previous year. 

Anyways, the publication was Our Navy, the Standard Publication of the U.S. Navy, Volume 7, 1913.

23 October 2010

The Sailing of Mr. & Mrs. Columbus C. Fuller for Rhodesia

Click on the picture to see the original properly; I can't get it to post quite right.