Rob & Grace (Carson) Marvin
Ripe for Harvest - USA (retired)
In 1973 Ralph Carson retired from teaching printing at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis and moved with his wife, Grace, to Colorado Springs to join Int’l Students Inc. Ralph set up a print shop and took responsibility for all of ISI’s printing. Grace who was previously a legal secretary became secretary and personal assistant to me, ISI’s Field Director at that time. They became members of Austin Bluffs Evangelical Free Church and Ralph served for a time as your missions committee chairman and Grace taught in the Sunday School while they were living on Star Ranch in Colo. Springs and ministering with ISI to international students. At Star Ranch, ISI’s headquarters location at the time, they were responsible for much hospitality of staff and ISI Board Members and involved in running the student conferences we held there besides their normal daily work. Ralph retired in 1983 and they moved to Kalispell, Montana near some of their family. Ralph died about a year later but Grace continued her relationship with ISI doing followup correspondence with student returnees around the world from their home.
It was at that time also that ISI opened it’s ministry in Canada sending Ken and Agnes White (who were also involved in the beginnings of your church) to take charge of that ministry beginnings and set up the office. A year or so later they needed help in recruiting and training the the Canadian field staff who had come on board so my wife and I, (who had spent the previous 25 years in ISI ministry in Boston, Washington DC and Colorado Springs as ministry staff and ministry staff director, plus 5 years preceding that in Chiangmai, Siam, now called Thailand) moved to Canada to help them. We served 5 years there based in Calgary, AB but returned to the US in 1990 because my wife was not well. However we were able to continue in a local ISI ministry at Ball State Univ. in Muncie, IN for 5 years more before she died in early 1996. She had been a faithful, wonderful partner in ministry for the 48 years we had together. At the end of that year (1996) Grace, who had now been a widow for 13 years, and I were married and Grace joined me in Muncie for a year before we moved to the Vancouver area for ministry in British Columbia with ISI Canada. We were there for 5 years before moving back to Kalispell in 2002. We have been able to continue to use our home here for student hospitality, limited by the scarcity of internationals in this community, but we also to keep in touch with students scattered all over the world, some of them now in full time ministry themselves.
One interesting aspect of our life here is students who have come to visit us. A Thai couple came all the way from Boston. The wife’s father had been a student in one of the bible studies we had in our home. They enjoyed browsing our guest book and found her father’s name and date (back in the 60′s). Another Korean lady who came to the Lord in Canada brought her pastor-husband and new baby to visit enroute to India where they are now serving as missionaries (under SIM). Former students like these, now in ministry are really extensions of your ministry through us. What a treat it would be to visit you again to share some of their stories in person.
Thank you for your prayers and correspondence. Grace is coming up on her 93rd birthday in November. Her eyes are dim. She has become legally blind so her correspondence is my privilege now but our home is still open and our table set for any of our international family who come our way. Email and now Skype make foreign contacts quick and easy. As you no doubt realize, it’s the people and busy schedules and other priorities that slow down the communication process. You can pray that we can keep our priorities straight, for diligence in our responsibilities and for “eyes” to recognize our opportunities.
Both Grace and I have six children. From there the numbers go up exponentially in grand children and great-grandchildren. It is a delight to see them walking with the Lord but there are concerns with them growing up is this culture that keep us on our knees.