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Bethlehem Blogs

July 21, 2021

A Reflection on the Life of Global Partner John Jenstad

Brad Nelson

Pastor for Global Outreach

As we approach our Reunion ’21 event and welcome many of our global partners back to Bethlehem, I have been thinking of a dear global partner who served with Bethlehem for 27 years, and who passed away this Spring.

John Gilmond Jenstad
October 6, 1943 – April 24, 2021

John Jenstad served as a Bethlehem global partner from 1986 to 2013. On April 24, 2021, he passed away and is now with his precious Savior. It was such a joy to have known John for these past decades. John was a gentle and ethereal soul who loved Jesus in this life and is loving him perfectly now. John exhibited brilliance in his thinking, humility in his demeanor, and softness in his speech. He loved people. He loved teaching math and theology and many other things to young people. He was content to live in what the world would consider obscurity, but he enjoyed the smile of God on his life.

John loved Bethlehem and our vision of a big God. He brought that vision of God to his students at Tecate Mission in Tecate, California. As a teacher and scholar, he loved teaching about Jesus and the word of God. I was able to bring a short-term team to visit him in Mexico, and he enjoyed having us there as much as we enjoyed seeing him thrive in his ministry!

John served as a Naval Officer 1965–1967, and held Master’s Degrees in Math, Social Work, and Comparative Religions. He served in Surinam and Mexico. He was also an Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at San Diego City College. He was an avid bicycle rider, world traveler, and all-around nice guy. He was and is an inspiration to so many who have known him over the years.

This godly man is missed.

To live is Christ, and to die is gain.—Philippians 1:21