The Experience Magazine - Spring 2017


H arry and Millie Bollback’s front door has opened hundreds (if not thousands) of times over the years to welcome visitors, friends, and students with grace and warm hospitality. Their morning routine has not changed very much over the years. They share coffee and breakfast together and read their Quiet Time scripture outloud. They rehearse their monthly Bible verse, sing a song and pray. On the date of this interview they were quoting Isaiah 12:2, “I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD Jehovah is my strength and my song.” Imagine for just a moment that you are sitting with Harry and Millie on their front porch enjoying the breeze off the lake and a warm cup of coffee. Imagine you are having a conversation with them about their life and ministry at Word of Life and are soaking up the insight and personal glimpse into their hearts. WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS WHEN YOU LEARNED THE BOLLBACK STUDENT LIFE CENTER WOULD CARRY YOUR NAME? Millie and I were both humbled when we heard the building would be called the Bollback Student Life Center. Lord willing, we will celebrate our 69th wedding anniversary this year, and to talk about my life is to talk about Millie’s as well. God has been so good to us that sometimes I worry we have received so many good things here on

earth there won’t be anything left to receive in heaven!

our international ministry. God also opened a door for me to use music and drama to reach people for Jesus. Over the years, more than 2 million people attended the musical presentations of the Gospel, and many thousands came to know Jesus. Everything was beyond what we could have ever imagined. All I can say as I look at my life is that God opened doors, and we walked through them. God is interested in my obedience, not my opinion. Psalm 139:16, “Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.” I still write a ‘To Do’ list each day, but now I pray and ask God what things He has planned for me to do because I want to make sure I am doing the things He has already planned for me to do. What advice would you give to the young people of this generation who will walk the halls of the Bollback Student Life Center? God loves people. He uses people to reach people. In the New Testament Jesus sat down and ate with people. He talked with people. Right now, it is easy to get caught up in the beauty of the new building, but take the time to look past the building and see the opportunities to meet with people. Sit back and talk with each other. Life change can happen in those moments.

in January you celebrated your 92nd birthday, and for 76 of those years, you have worked in the ministry of Word of Life reaching your generation for Christ. Is it possible to select a few of your favorite memories as you look back over your life of ministry? Wow! So many memories, so many stories! When I think of my life, I see different time periods, and each section had its notable moments because ALL of it was a miracle. Jack Wyrtzen and I were young men with no experience in things like this, and we had no clue about the things God had planned for us! When I reflect on the beginning years in New York City, we had evangelistic meetings, a radio program, and street meetings. We only had 8-10 people on staff and no computers, yet we had over 30,000 people come to a rally in Madison Square Garden! Only God! In 1950, Millie and I went to Brazil as missionaries to the Xavante tribe of Indians. When my co-worker, Harold Reimer, and I traveled by canoe to make contact with them, they shot arrows at us trying to kill us. By God’s grace there are now 40 churches in the Brazilian jungles pastored by Xavante men. When Millie and I returned to the States, I worked at the Headquarters of Word of Life in Schroon Lake developing

A life of Example 07

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