The entire Mosier family together after the plane crash. In back left to right Jared, Laura, Barry, and Keith. In front-Marybeth, Andrew and April.
"Everything we did, the Lord blessed," Barry Mosier explained. "It never ceases to amaze me."
He was sitting at his desk, ready to tell his story for the newspaper. He had also agreed to do our home income taxes as he had done on a regular basis 12 years ago, before moving to Africa.
His story is amazing.
Mosier was born in Redwood Falls, Minnesota, where he met his wife Marybeth when he was three years old. She could outrun him, which he says was the reason he didn't like her. That didn't last. He and Marybeth were married not long before they had finished Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska, an Adventist College. She was a Registered Nurse.
"We came to this area in southeastern Minnesota near Rochester after college and we've stayed here ever since, except for 11 years in Africa," he said. "I became an evangelism director and then a publications director in Tanzania. We started planting churches. We sold 450,000 books through trained booksellers and distributed 300 tons of Bible studies. We planted 70 new churches - and provided roof sheets for about 1,500 new churches through 'Roofs Over Africa.'"
Marybeth home-schooled their four children. Then came Andrew. After seeing a frightening number of babies die, she began delivering babies in Africa. When one mother didn't come for help in delivering her baby, she tragically bled to death. Then the Mosier's adopted her baby and named him Andrew.
"He's our son now," she said. "Some of the Africans asked when we would be giving him back. We're not giving him back."
Their oldest son Keith started a radio station in Congo and was dreading the government inspection. When the inspector finally came, he announced that the three month-old station was the number one station in the region, with three and a half million listeners.
"The Lord did it," Barry said. "Blessing our feeble efforts."
Barry and his family started work among the pygmies in 30 villages establishing five elementary schools and six churches with over 200 pygmies baptized so far. That has blossomed.
People are constantly sick with amoebic dysentery, typhoid fever, and even cholera. Even Barry lost 20 pounds when he got dysentery. "We wanted to help, so we started drilling wells," Barry said. "The new wells turned things around, because people could see we cared. We drilled 13 wells to get clean drinking water. All day long people were filling up containers and it changed their lives. We plan to drill many more."
Keith and his wife and their two little ones still live in Congo running the mission. After 11 years in Africa filled with adventures, including a tragic plane crash which makes them thank God for every day of their lives, Barry decided it was time to come home to southeastern Minnesota. He has recently taken 120 hours of accounting and tax updates, getting ready to go back to public accounting.
"It is fun to be back and to get reacquainted with old friends," he said. "I was always a treasurer in Africa. I still do that part time. We do a fair amount of public speaking to audiences of up to 3000. If people are interested in hearing, we will share - it's a deal we made with the Lord after the airplane crash."
'We should have been dead," he said, referring to his family's brush with death escaping from the plane crash in 2008 in Africa. During the 11 years away from Dodge Center we have had a lot of unique experiences. If people are interested in hearing about it, we are happy to share. It was amazing and marvelous."
He explains to people that "it was hard to leave the frontier behind. Missionaries haven't come back since the recent war in the Congo. God is good. We didn't experience a violent encounter in the three years we lived there."
But he looks around and he smiles.
It is an amazing story.
He is now helping Myrna Bowie, his former business partner in her Dexter office and has opened his own office in Kasson at 202 West Main St.