My Tribute to the Godly Life of Gene Duerksen

Update Tuesday Morning from Lynn…..

We invite you to celebrate Eugene Duerksen’s life with us:

Thursday, August 29 – pm Visitation.
Friday, August 30 – am Celebration Service. ????

More details to come.
LaCanne Family Funeral Services; Windom, MN.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

Early this morning I got word from Heather Duerksen that Gene Duerksen entered the gates of Heaven. Gene and his lovely wife Margaret are pictured above with all the grand kids!
There is a great void in the world now….But we rejoice that Evangelist Gene is with Jesus! Amen! Gene was ready to go home! Heaven is a prepared place, are you prepared for Heaven?
Gene lived his life to one day enter Heaven. I do not have the words to share how much I loved this man of God. He is one of my heroes of faith!
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:23
Gene is one of the best role models the world has ever seen on how to live for Jesus, how to preach Jesus, in truth and love, and how to do family in a Godly way! Amen!! God Bless the memory of Gene!!! We love you Margaret and your whole family!
Join us in praying for the family during this time. We love you all!
This morning Dr. Jim Denison posted the following and right away I though of Gene on how he would always put a smile on my face, make me laugh and encourage me in Jesus:

How to “put a smile on God’s face”

God deserves our best. Our broken world needs our best. The greater our commitment to excellence, the greater our service to God’s kingdom and the common good.

Author James Clear asks: “How long will you put off what you are capable of doing just to continue what you are comfortable doing?” Max Lucado notes: “When you do the most what you do the best, you put a smile on God’s face.”

Will you “do the most what you do the best” today?

Gene did is best for God and family everyday! Let us do the same.

From my post on Friday:

Yesterday I talked with my Brother in Christ Gene Duerksen of Delft, Minnesota. I became friends with this awesome man of God a few years back. I was introduced to Gene through the writings of Dave Fjeld of the Cottonwood County Citizen newspaper in Windom, Minnesota. I will always be thankful to my Brother Dave for his tremendous writing of Gene’s story of faith in Jesus. Gene and I had such a wonderful talk and a very special time of prayer yesterday. Please pray with me and Sharon for Gene and Margaret and the entire family please. Below I have posted a prayer and then a wonderful, loving post from Gene’s daughter Lynn Stoneking. Gene and Margaret are pictured above with the grand kids!!!
Oh Lord! We thank you for our Dear Brother Gene Duerksen, we love him so very much. Gene and his lovely bride Margaret have been such a blessing to so very many, they have been such a testimony of faith to us all. Lord, we pray for healing, for sleep, for peace and comfort for brother Gene and rest and peace for Sister Margaret. Lord, we love you and thank you for Gene and Margaret and the entire family, in Jesus name we pray, Amen!
I have to add that Gene knows the power of prayer, I asked him if we could all pray for him and he said, “Oh yes…” and we prayed together and then even thou he was not feeling good he prayed for me and Sharon. That is the type of man of God Gene is, always thinking and praying for others. We were blessed to have Gene speak at the Windom Revival one year and what he modeled for me was bringing forth the truth of Jesus with love and humor! I had not laughed that hard in years, as I did that night with the Godly humor Gene poured out in his message! I remember turning to look at the late Pat Fisher, and she was about falling off her chair laughing! Gene reinforced to me that night to always preach the TRUTH in LOVE, but PREACH THE GOSPEL TRUTH. Stand firm in love.
Gene is one of my HEROES OF FAITH

My post from Feb. 25th, 2017…………..

This article is from my my Dear Friend Dave Fjeld of the Cottonwood County Citizen in my hometown, Windom, Minnesota. Cottonwood County Citizen The Citizen is one of the best newspapers in America, the staff there is always winning awards for excellence in journalism! Dave writes about Gene Duerkson, who I have become friends with. Gene and his wife Margaret founded Maranatha Ministries years ago from their home in Delft, Minnesota. They used to have a ministry program on KYSM radio in Mankato, Minnesota and on KUNJ radio in New Ulm, Minnesota. They also made appearances on KEYC TV in Mankato. I went to school with Gene’s brother, Richard in Windom, class of 1974. Richard is now the Pastor of Grace Bible Church in McPherson, Kansas. This family is clearly sold out for God. In getting to know Gene, since Dave Fjeld wrote an article about him in 2014 that I read, I have come to know Gene’s heart, inside and out, a walking testimony of our great God. When I talk with Gene, his light for Jesus Christ shines through the phone. I was on the phone with folks from Windom yesterday, many have asked us to come back and hold another Revival, God has told me YES! So we are planning to, and Gene and Margaret, Maranatha Ministries, will be taking part! God will give me the dates to come. We will keep you posted. Sharon and I are so very thankful for the love of the Windom area, you folks bless us so very much!  PTL!!!Thank you to Dave Fjeld and the Citizen for allowing me to share this update on Gene:

25 years later, Duerksen thankful for kidney, pushes for more donors
Gene Duerksen continues to live with kidney he received a quarter century ago.
By Dave Fjeld
No one needs to remind Gene Duerksen of Delft how important being an organ and tissue donor can be.
Twenty-five years ago, Feb. 20, 1992, Duerksen was given new life when he received a kidney and islet cell transplant. (Islet cells produce insulin.) The organ and pancreatic islets were donated by Shawn Silkey, a 26-year-old Minnesota woman who died in a car accident less than a day earlier.
Although Shawn never had the organ donor note checked on her driver’s license, she had told a friend that she would like to be a donor in the event of her untimely death. The friend told Shawn’s family of her wishes and they agreed that it was something that Shawn would want.
Gene, meanwhile, had spent the previous year on home dialysis. A severe diabetic since age 17, his condition was not good at 42 years old in 1992 and his eyesight was rapidly deteriorating.
However, Shawn’s kidney and islet cells were a near perfect match.
“There are about five things that they go by and I had four of them for that kidney,” Gene says.
Gene remembers Feb. 19, 1992, well.
“As we went for the transplant, I got so sick,” he says. “We got to Mankato and called to see if we should cancel, and they said, ‘No, keep coming.’ They watched me closely and then I came out of it and they did the transplant right away.
“I think I was excited.”
Surgeons got a quick indication that the transplant was successful.
“I was reading one of the articles I saved and it said that when they put the new kidney in, it immediately turned pick, which meant it started working,” he says, now 25 years later.
He weathered one rejection episode and then his body began producing insulin from the islet cell transplant.
At the time, kidney transplants were nothing new, however, the islet transplant was revolutionary. In fact, at the time, Gene was one of just three people “in the history of the world,” as his doctor put it, to have a successful islet transplant.
The islet cell transplant prevented Gene from having to have insulin injections for between six months and a year. Due to rejection drugs he was taking, he lost some of the islet cells and needed to resume taking insulin injections. However, his doctor believes that the islet cells are still there and working because he needs lower doses of insulin.
In any case, he continues to live on that signal life-saving kidney.
“Everything has worked out so well,” Duerksen maintains with a smile.
Duerksen’s kidney and islet transplant is more than remarkable. He says a kidney received from a living donor lasts about 15.5 years, which is twice as long as a kidney received from someone who has died. Yet, 25 years later, the kidney
continues to give Duerksen life.
“I think it’s God who’s done it. I tell people, ‘If you don’t want me around any more, quit praying,’  ” Duerksen says with a laugh. “The only reason I’m here is because they keep praying.”
On that day 25 years ago, Shawn’s organ and tissue donations resulted in changed lives for at least five people.
But the organ donation ultimately involved more than a giver and a receiver. About four years after the transplant — through LifeSource, the intermediary between donor or donor’s family and recipient — Gene was able to meet Shawn’s family. The moment was captured on the KARE 11 evening news in August of 1996.
Admittedly, Duerksen’s transplant experience is not typical. In fact, Duerksen says that a very small percentage of donors or donor families meet the recipient. In some cases, there’s only an exchange of Christmas cards or an occasional letter. In other cases, the donor/recipient bond ends at surgery.
Duerksen considers himself one of the fortunate ones.
“They were excited and I was excited,” Gene says of their opportunity to meet one another.
Duerksen was eager to remind people of the gift he received for several reasons. First, it was the milestone 25th anniversary of the transplant and at 67 years old, Gene admits that he isn’t sure he’ll be fortunate enough to celebrate a 50th anniversary.
Secondly, the story comes on the eve of March, which is National Kidney Month, with National Donate Life Month just around the corner in April.
And lastly, but most importantly, Duerksen wants to promote and encourage others to become organ and tissue donors.
“A deceased donor can touch as many as 50 people,” he emphasizes.
“The ideal (way) to be a transplant donor is to have it on your driver’s license. Shawn didn’t have it on her driver’s license, but she had made a comment to a friend that she would like to give.”
Duerksen adds that people who are considering being a donor should take one other step.
“Make sure it’s OK with the family,” Duerksen says.
Today, there are very few healthy organs that cannot be transplanted. It was 1954 that the first successful kidney transplant occurred and 14 years later, the first heart transplant happened.
Another milestone in transplant history came in 1983 when cyclosporine, the first of a new group of successful anti-rejection drugs, was approved for commercial use.
Meanwhile, 2001 marked the first time that the annual total of living donors exceeded deceased donors.
And, just last week, surgeons at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester shared the story of a man, who received an amazing face transplant.
According to United Network for Organ Sharing, more than 29,000 men, women and children receive life-saving organ transplants each year.
UNOS also points out on its website,, that presently 118,531 people need a lifesaving organ transplant (total waiting list of candidates) and of those, 75,980 people are active waiting list candidates. Since the first of the year,
2,801 transplants have been performed this year thanks to the life-saving gift of 1,323 donors.
Unfortunately, Duerksen says that an average of 22 people per day die because of a lack of donor organs and tissue, which is an increase of 14 people per day since Duerksen had his kidney transplant 25 years ago.
For more information about becoming a donor, visit the United Network for Organ Sharing at, or visit LifeSource at
Here is a write up Dave Fjeld did on Gene at Thanksgiving in 2014…….

This article is posted here at FGGAM with permission from the Cottonwood County Citizen Newspaper in Windom, Minnesota. What a BLESSING!

HE’S our thanksgiving

If ever there is a better walking, talking – and singing – billboard for Thanksgiving, one would be hard-pressed to find anyone more qualified than Gene Duerksen of Delft.

Over the past three decades, the longtime Delft resident has battled one medical issue after another, much of which has stemmed from the diabetes with which he was diagnosed in 1967, after graduating from Windom High School. Indeed, Duerksen, 65, has dealt with eye problems since 1982 (he is considered legally blind today), a kidney transplant 10 years later and, since 2000, a heart attack, West Nile Disease that took him within a whisper of death, a leg amputation, prostate survery and, just this year, skin cancer which is a result of the anti-rejection drugs he takes for his kidney transplant.

And through it all, Duerksen continues to be thankful, for the fact that he is still here today, that he can be an example of God’s power when one places his trust in Him – and even for his circumstances, as sometimes painful or challenging as they can be.

“I feel God has allowed this to happen so that we can show other people how great He is,” Gene says.

“I just want to be a testimony to the Lord of how thankful everyone should be for their circumstances and how God will take them through, if people would just be willing to trust Him.”

Duerksen turns to Philippians 1:29 to support his testimony: For to you has been given the privilege not only of trusting Him but also of suffering for Him.

“When suffering comes, we can either get bitter or better,” Duerksen maintains.

“Despite facing one health battle after another, I haven’t gone through depression,” Duerksen says. “I get a little discouraged, but I’m not depressed by that.”

His daughter, Lynn Stoneking, was driving Gene to St. James one day this summer when he shared with her that he was feeling his life was not as valued, now that he couldn’t do many of the things he used to do for his family. A hard-working laborer, Gene’s health issues have caused him to rely on help from his family and others.

And then Lynn reminded him that his worth shouldn’t be measured in only one type of manual labor. His responsibilities to his family have now changed. The things he once did for his family can now be done by his children, and where his value now lies is in being a grandfather to five grandchildren. Indeed, there are many days when “grandpa” can push the youngsters in the swing or simply cuddle with them and teach them songs while his children and their spouses tackle other chores around the farm.

She also reminded him that his value is in the prayer journal he has kept for almost two years. After diabetes took his lower left leg, Gene decided his ministry was done, until God told him to start praying.

And pray, he has.

He started a list of people and entities that need daily prayer. Everyone from his own family to the church to President Obama and even to the evil ISIS terrorist group.
The list numbers over 200 for whom he prays daily.

“And I don’t pray for just the sick one, I pray for the family,” Gene says. “That has been my ministry. Some days I think, ‘Why do I repeat it?’ But God says, ‘Come to me because I care (1 Peter 5:7)!’  ”

Every three months, he creates a new list, including many of the same people, issues and situations that need prayer while adding others. He keeps it all in a three-ring binder.
“And I’ll also call people on the telephone and pray for them over the phone because I can’t go see them like I used to,” Gene says.

And despite his setbacks, he and his wife, Margaret, of 42 years continue to be part of the ministry effort they started 40 years ago, Maranatha Ministries. While the ministry is now largely handled by their daughter, Lynn, and her husband, Thomas, Gene and Margaret still sing and share their testimony with Lynn from time to time locally and, of course, continue to pray for the ministry.

Lynn is one of the Duerksens’ four children. Their oldest daughter, Joanna (Bruce) Miller, lives in St. Cloud; Josh (fiancée Heather) lives in Windom; Lynn and Thomas live in a separate wing on the Duerksen farm and Phil (Candice) Duerksen live west of Delft. Gene and Margaret also enjoy being grandparents to five grandchildren.

Ask him what he’s most thankful for and he’s quick to point to his caregiver – his wife, Margaret.

“Margaret and I had three young children in elementary school,” Gene says of the time when his problems began.
“The support we received from teachers, the school, churches and the community – that’s what it’s all about. I’m so thankful for prayer.”

Gene says Lynn, in an August Facebook post, recalling her dad’s battle with West Nile a decade earlier, perhaps said it best about Gene’s and Margaret’s marriage.

“I can say that God didn’t randomly choose our mom to marry our dad and be his helpmate,” Lynn wrote. “Holding her masters degree in public health nursing, she has worked just as full-time and overtime caring for her husband and his needs as any nurse out there. It’s just part of her everyday life . . . their ‘new normal.’ I believe God knew exactly who dad would need to survive his life.”

And survive, he has.

For more on Duerksen’s journey, see the story on the front page of the Nov. 26 issue of the Cottonwood County Citizen of Windom, Minnesota on newsstands in the Windom area. FGGAMThanksgiving

Here at FGGAM we are so thankful for newspaper’s like the Cottonwood County Citizen that shine the light of Jesus and their community!

I am blessed that this is my hometown newspaper and further blessed that I write a devotional column in the Citizen! PRAISE GOD!

When I asked Dave Fjeld of the Citizen if I could post this at FGGAM, he said sure and he wanted the Citizens to get full credit, but I also think Dave wrote the article and what a great work he has done capturing this Godly story! Dave is such a Godly man.

God Bless the Cottonwood County Citizen and staff!

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