Henry Gerbrandt, missionary to Mexico

A Moment from Yesterday

February 8, 2023 | Opinion | Volume 27 Issue 3
Conrad Stoesz | Mennonite Heritage Archives
(Photo: Conference of Mennonites in Canada collection)

Henry Gerbrandt (far right) in Mexico ca. 1947. Henry and Susan Gerbrandt began their mission work with the fledgling Mennonite Pioneer Mission, arriving in northern Mexico on Dec. 21, 1945. Because money was scarce, their first Christmas dinner was macaroni and salt.

The work was very trying. Not only did they have to build a house, but they also became the medical professionals in the area. Soon, their co-worker abandoned the mission. The final blow came when they could not renew their visas and were forced to return to Manitoba in September 1948.

They felt they had let down their sponsoring church, the people in Mexico, themselves and God. And they did not feel free to talk about how they felt.

After three years in Mexico, they were back in Manitoba, in debt and depressed. Henry went on to become the field director for Mennonite Pioneer Mission in northern Manitoba, pastor at the Altona Bergthaler Mennonite Church and General Secretary of the Conference of Mennonites in Canada.

For more historical photos in the Mennonite Archival Image Database, see archives.mhsc.ca.

More moments from yesterday:
Gift for the Queen
Maria Kroeker
Ron J. Sider
David K. Jantzi

(Photo: Conference of Mennonites in Canada collection)

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