Evelyn and I are a very privileged couple.
In 1955 we were married in Saginaw, Michigan
We have had three assignments over the years since then
In 1955 I was discharged from the Army after having served in Korea. I found a job at a chemical firm in Midland, Michigan and immediately joined a church. We were asked to serve the Lord by working with the youth. As a team, Evelyn and I actively served in that local church, raised a family of
four fine young ladies, enjoyed success in the computer field, and poured our lives into the young people in the Midland area. We had the privilege of making a difference. We would have enjoyed those responsibilities for the rest of our lives. God had another assignment ready for us.
God impressed on my heart that we should go into full-time ministry. We sold our house and all our possessions except those that could fit into our van. For the next thirty-four years we ministered in churches, colleges and camps across the USA and Europe. We planned to continue that ministry through preaching and publishing indefinitely. In 2008 that all changed……
While holding meetings in Sacramento, California it became clear that Evelyn’s Alzheimer’s required that we focus more fully on her challenges. We now reside in Durham, North Carolina and find that displaying the sufficiency of God’s Grace has given us daily opportunities to bring attention to the power of the Gospel.
CAREGIVING–CHALLENGING AND EXTREMELY REWARDING
We have done more things, seen more sights, visited more places, and had all sorts of experiences but none compare to the thrill of bringing moments of joy as many times as possible to into Evelyn’s days. I am stunned at all that God has allowed us to experience including the following list which could be three times as long if I took time to list everything.
Beauty: Golden Aspens in Colorado, Sunset in California, Wildflowers and waterfalls in Switzerland, Redwood Forest in California, Road to Hana in Maui, Northern Lights in Alaska, plus
Parks: most of the National Parks including Zion, Yellowstone,
Places: All fifty states, 28 nations,and places such as Tokyo, Seoul, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New Orleans, Anchorage, Honolulu, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Paris, Rome, Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Vienna, Venice,and more
Mountains: Timber trail in Colorado, Pikes Peak, Mt McKinley in Alaska
Weather: Heat in Death Valley, cold in Fairbanks, blizzards in Wyoming, hurricane in Connecticut, earthquake in San Francisco, fire in Malibu, and floods in Saginaw.
Experiences: Rappelling in Germany, broken leg in Italy, spelunking in Indiana, whitewater rafting in Montana, and glacier walking in Italy
Lodged: zimmer, gasthaus, chalet, castle, motel, apartment, tent, airport, airplane, bus depot, train station,
I thank God for all of those experiences but am much more grateful for the caregiving assignment we have right now. What a privilege to be assigned the responsibility to display the sufficiency of God’s grace even when challenged by Alzheimer’s. Of course none of these assignments can begin to match the
Each of the assignments have been and are exciting and rewarding challenges. In each assignment we were unqualified, untrained, not called by any human, unpursued by me, and unreasonable. In each case we were certain of God’s call and stepped out by faith believing that God would give us the wisdom and strength to carry out the assignment. He proved that He provides that which is necessary to carry out each assignment.
REUBEN AND EV ELYN’S STORY – 1979-2008
A desire to weave the word into our daily walk began to emerge in the personal life and ministry of the Ewerts. The emphasis became a burden and message which eventually became a ministry and message that Reuben and Evelyn delivered across the USA and Europe during the following four decades. Reuben preached over 1700 three–day conferences and traveled over 1,500,000 miles in audiences of all sizes from as few as 5 to as many as 6,000. We have preached in Europe from England to Sicily in America from Hawaii to Maine and Alaska to Florida, and in the Caribbean from Aruba to Antique. We have preached through interpreters in Italy, Romania Germany and Nicarqua. Our audiences have included colleges such Tennessee Temple University, Northland Bible College, Maranatha, Pillsbury Bible Baptist East, Landmark, Clearwater and Pensacola Christian College.
Seventy two issues of the Daily Living Series have been written published and over 20,000 copies distributed
All of the above ministry was given birth in the context of our responsibilities as an assistant pastor at Grace Baptist in South Bend Indiana. The Pastor, Dr. Charles Wood encouraged us as the truths grew in our lives which we later preached across the country. Pastor Wood and Grace Baptist Church supported us as we pursued the ministry God laid on our heart.
The first challenge was to find an audience for our message and material. Reuben had spent nineteen years in the business world. Where would he find an audience? Reuben obtained Pastors lists, attended National pastors Fellowships (Southwide in Columbus, Ohio and Baptist Bible Fellowship in Bangor, Maine, He would call individual pastors and make known his availability to hold conferences on Biblical Living. Pastors responded and within two years a full schedule of seventy to eighty three-day Biblical Conferences were scheduled in 1981 and continued through 2007.Iin the early eighties we began to publish a monthly booklet we called the Daily Living Series. This was designed to guide people beyond reading the Bible to living the Bible they read, beyond having devotions to living devotion, beyond knowing the Word of God to doing the Word. Dr. Charles Wood was an encouragement and help in writing and editing 72 issues in this series over a six year period. This material was made available at the Biblical Living conferences as an aid to implement the emphasis on living the Word of God.
The first few issues of the Daily Living Series were published the old fashioned way – typed on mimeograph forms, printed on mimeograph machine, divided on a manual paper cutter, and collated by hand. After one year of this crude beginning we began having 1000 copies printed monthly by a Bearing Precious Seed printing ministry in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In 1980, our ministry was divided between the youth at Grace Baptist and preaching forty Biblical Living conferences on the road from Boston to Kansas City. This worked well since I was sharing the youth ministry with Rick Wood who was finishing college. Rick eventually took over the youth ministry and later the Pastorate. This transition worked well for us.
Our entire family was in agreement and supported the various changes in location, schools, churches and friends when we moved from Midland to Hobart to Niles to South Bend and eventually to sell our house and live on the road from the early eighties until 2008. How I thank God for their support and cooperation. Evelyn was the glue that held it all together,
During the first year of ministering across the country I traveled by a combination of car, bus or plane. Our funds we meager. We were new at this type of ministry. Each trip, church, people was a new experience. In the middle of a cold winter day I went to a station to catch a bus in Boston for New York City. I had two boxes of material and a suitcase, moving all that luggage without having it stolen in bitter cold weather and a snow storm was a challenge. Yet somehow God helped us over the years to meet each challenge.
In 1986 we sold our house and most of our possessions. During the next twenty years we lived in motels and owned only that which we could carry in a full sized van. A 1980 Dodge Ram van gave us 471,000 miles with only one engine replacement. Motel living was a challenge to Evelyn when it came to cooking, laundry and correspondence.
Mid-eighties we added military churches in Europe to our agenda. These churches are near but not on the military bases. Many, many soldiers are receiving Christ as Saviour discipled and serving actively in local churches because of the ministry in these churches.
We ministered in churches located in places including: Sicily: Visited Syracuse where the Apostle Paul stopped. on his way to Rome. Saw the volcano on Mt. Etna with molten lava
-Brendisi: Italy, the family ministering there were low on support and occasionally supplemented their food supply with octopus from the Adriatic Sea.
Naples: The church included some faithful Christian men from Africa working to send money home to their families.
Terni, Italy: In this beautiful mountain town we preached for a young couple who were faith serving a congregation of three people. They were actively soul winning in order to build this church. We went through Rome and visited places such as the Coliseum.
Vicenza: Italy: This solid congregation welcomed our ministry. The pastor took us to Venice to see the city and ride the water transportation
Aviano, Italy: We ministered at this large airbase on three different years. One year I broke my leg at Aviano, had the cast repaired in Bremerhaven, Germany and then had the cast removed in England, When we left Via a rented car we traveled through the awesome Italian Alps.
Germany: At one time there may have been as many as thirty churches ministered to our military across Europe. We went there fifteen consecutive summers for as long as two to three months. Included in our schedule were churches in Ansbach, Bad Kreuznach, Baumholder, Stuttgart, Giessen Schweinfurt, Herforst, Kitzengen, Grafenwohr, Landstuhl, Mannheim, Wiesbaden, Zwiebrueken, Wurzburg, Bremerhaben Hanau, Frankfurt, MunIch.
England: Our schedule took us to England twice to minister at American Military churches in Chicksand, Lakenheath, Bister and Bentwater,, we also had the privilege of preaching in Birmingham in a British Church.
Netherland & Romania. While preaching at the church ministering to the American Military in Holland three of us traveled through Germany, Austria and Holland to minister in a number of churches and a Bible Institutes in Orada, Arada, and Timisora.
We had other opportunities to preach Biblical Living Confeences in Nicaraqua, Aruba, Saint Crox, (BlueWater College, Puerto, Rico and the Bahamas, )Nassau and Andros
Our Ministry and military responsibilities has led us to have the opportunity to visit all fifty states plus thirty-eight different nations including Korea, Japan, Nicaragua, Costa Rico, Aruba, Antigua, Saint Croix, St Vincent, Bahamas, Mexico, Canada, Iceland, Wales, England, Demmark, West Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemborg, East Germany, France, Spain, Moroco, Czech, Crotia, retreat held in a castle in Austria Switzerland, Hungary and Italy and Romania
We had the privilege of traveling in Europe with our pastor – Dr. Charles Wood and his wife Donna our daughter Charlene and our grandson – Jeremy. We traveled many miles by train and car. Sights included boat trip down the Rhine River, many castles, the wall between the Germanys, walk in a glacier. Our favorite spot was Interlochen, Switzerland where we climbed, traveled and enjoyed the Swiss Alps. We stayed in many Zimmers (Bed and Breakfast) with Germany families.
The thrilling part about these years from 1979-2000 is the hundreds of testimonies people have shared with us regarding the message we preached. One example: a lady expressed how the message one night was the exact answer to a pressing need. As I reflected on that incident I was reminded that I had scheduled that meeting three years precious – long before that need was present in her life. Also the lady was in the military stationed at Alamogordo, New Mexico. She was tdy in Wurzburg, Germany Just to hear the message that is exciting. God bringing people together across the span of planet Earth.
Hundreds of visible results are encouraging. In addition I reflect on the results that is unseen for God’s greatest work is done in the heart and not visible. What a privilege these years of ministry. But wait there is more to come. We plan to keep on keeping on.