The Millers Join Dirt Roads Network
We are excited to announce that Fred and Marvia Miller are joining the Dirt Roads Network family to serve as pastors to rural pastors. In this role, the Millers will listen to, hug on, love on, pray for and encourage pastors on behalf of Dirt Roads Network. Thankfully, there are not two people more suited for the task.
Both Fred and Marvia are encouragers at heart. “You are incredible!” is the way they often begin a conversation when they first encounter someone. As they see it, “to love your neighbor as yourself” is all about giving every person infinite value. Their introductory statement almost always causes the conversation to continue with, “Why?” This allows them to say, “Because we only have incredible friends and you’re our newest one!” The Millers have discovered intentionally assigning value to people often opens the door to share Jesus and to share encouragement. Folks who were total strangers just a short time before are receptive to what the Millers have to say. Even when the conversation does not become a serious discussion of the Gospel, the aroma of Jesus will linger with their new friend long after they have gone their separate ways.
The Millers are uniquely suited for the task of encouraging rural pastors because of their backgrounds in missions, ministry and rural Kansas. Marvia grew up as a Kansas farm girl in rural Ness County. Recognizing her love for the Lord and passion for music, an influential teacher encouraged Marvia to attend Friends Bible College in Haviland, Kansas. She thrived in the college environment actively participating in a number of traveling ministries before graduating with a degree in Bible.
Fred was born in the Belgian Congo and lived in Central Africa for 20 years. He went to boarding school at the age of seven and, with only an occasional exception, lived in dorms until he married. After graduating from Rift Valley Academy in Kenya, Fred came to the United States to find a great wife and a great education in preparation to answer God’s call to be a missionary. He attended Friends Bible College for four years, majoring in Biblical studies. He then went on to Pittsburg State University where he pursued a degree in industrial technology.
It was at Friends Bible College that Fred and Marvia met and fell in love. Some years before out in an African banana patch, he had given the Lord his list and asked for a great wife. From that day on his prayer was for God to make him the kind of man she would need, and to make her the kind of lady he would need. The year before they were married Fred and Marvia worked together supply pastoring a small Federated Church in Wilmore, Kansas. From the start, the Millers have worked as an effective team.
War in Rwanda and Burundi closed the door to Africa, so Fred took a temporary job operating a two-unit-web-press for a newspaper in Colby, Kansas. Eight months later, Colby Community College asked Fred to put their newest printing press into production. He was soon helping run the CCC Printing Department, teaching photography and leading a campus Bible club. The Print Shop became known as a place where anyone could come for prayer and spiritual encouragement. Africa remained closed, so the college and Colby Wesleyan Church became Fred and Marvia’s places of service. During that same time period, the Millers opened what became a successful wedding and portrait studio, providing high quality professional portraiture to the area for more than thirty years.
Fred and Marvia have made it a priority to say, “yes” to Jesus before they even know the question or what the assignment might be. They call it, “living in yes mode.” That approach has continuously shaped their lives and given them opportunities they never dreamed they would have. After retirement, they made a number of trips to Ecuador and one to Papua New Guinea to assist churches, work on special projects and make promotional videos.
Living in “yes mode” put the Millers in position to encourage pastors starting out in ministry and on three occasions, saying “yes” to Jesus has put them in churches leading congregations. Most recently, “yes mode” has had Fred and Marvia on the road 20,000 miles a year for the Kansas District of the Wesleyan Church on assignment to visit and encourage pastors in the district.
Fred and Marvia still live in Colby where they raised their two children. Today they have nine grandchildren and are called mom, dad, grandpa and grandma by many others who for a variety of reasons have became part of the extended Miller family. Fred and Marvia love to remind everyone they meet, “Jesus loves you the most and that makes you Incredible!!! And my friend, that Includes You!!!”
As members of Dirt Road Network, the Millers will be self-funded. They estimate they need to raise $12,000 per year to finance their travel expenses. In addition to their travel expenses, the Millers hope to build a fund to meet specific needs they encounter in the rural churches they visit. While the needs they hope to meet will not necessarily be large, they will be timely, strategic and coordinated by God’s hand. If you would like to support them with travel expense or contribute to their rural church needs fund, please consider making a donation. To donate, simply click here. Any donation made towards the Millers will ultimately help Dirt Roads Network encourage and champion rural pastors. Thank you for your continued support of the Dirt Roads Network and our rural ministry mission.