We are so very blessed to be able to share with you this wonderful tribute for Evangelist Gene Duerksen. We so much appreciate this tribute by our Dear, Dear Friend Dave Fjeld of the Cottonwood County Citizen in Windom, Minnesota. By the way I love the photo of Gene and his ‘Delft Books’ I beleive he was the official historian of Delft! he would at times send me clippings of the history of Delft, like the bad elevator fire years ago that the Windom Fire Dept. battled, my Dad was on the Department and I took a ride with Dad in the tanker two days after the fire because it started up again. He loved Delft.
By now, many of you have learned of the passing of Eugene Duerksen of rural Delft. I had the privilege of speaking with and doing several stories on Gene over the years. He was truly a man sold out for God.
We will miss him.
We won’t miss him just for his passion for the Lord, but we’ll miss the warm, enthusiastic greeting you received each time you saw Gene. If ever there was a man who lifted your day after visiting with him, it was Gene.
His health issues over the years have been well-documented. Gene had been a severe diabetic since age 17. At age 42, he was on home dialysis and his eyesight was deteriorating. He was in dire need of a new kidney.
He received that kidney in 1992 as well as a first-of-its kind islet cell transplant. The islet cell transplant worked for between six months and a year before the anti-rejection drugs he was taking resulted in the loss of some of his islet cells. That forced him to return to insulin injections, but at a lower dose.
Gene has had countless other health issues over the years, but throughout his many trials he never lost his love for the Lord. He remained a faithful servant and continued to greet everyone as though they were a celebrity and the most important person he was going to meet that day.
About 2½ years ago, Gene called to ask if I would do another story on his kidney and islet transplant, not to bring attention to himself, but to remind people of the importance of being a donor.
That donation of a kidney and islet cells gave him the opportunity to see his grandchildren and to experience many precious moments with his family.
Gene never lost his sense of humor throughout his health issues and he continued to praise God despite his never-ending struggles. When I visited him in February 2017, he shared that his kidney transplant, which he received from a young woman who died in a car accident, has been the most remarkable gift.
Typically, a kidney received from a living donor lasts about 15½ years, which is twice as long as one from someone who has died. Gene lived 27½ years on that kidney.
And, whom did he give credit – Who else – and with his Gene Duerksen sense of humor.
“I think it’s God who’s done it,” he told me. “I tell people, ‘If you don’t want me around any more, quite praying.’ The only reason I’m here is because they keep praying.”
To his wife, Margaret, and his children, I extend my deepest sympathies.
But take heart – and I know you’ve heard and will hear this again many times – Gene has a new body. And I believe that when he reached heaven, he ran to the Lord and his son, Jesus, with strength, vitality and enthusiasm that he has had inwardly for many years and, now again, has outwardly.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when he reached his heavenly Father, the words of Matthew 25:21 were repeated:
“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!’
Gene is doing that today!
Past Posts on the life and times of Brother Gene Duerksen:
We invite you to celebrate Eugene Duerksen’s life with us:
LABOR DAY WEEKEND:
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!
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:
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:
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.
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!