Bethlehem Blogs

August 4, 2020

Giving Thanks for Lynda Oatley

Brad Nelson

Pastor for Global Outreach Strategic Short Term Ministry

At the July 26 All-Church Quarterly Strategy Meeting, I gave a short report on Global Partner Lynda Oatley and played an excerpt from a conversation I had with her a few days before the meeting. Following the short audio recording, I had planned to share a few more things about Lynda. However, the wave of grief that swept over me promised to become a waterfall of tears, and so I prematurely concluded and walked off the platform. (Thank you, Kurt, for covering for me and praying for our global partners!) Here are a few of the additional things I was going to say …

Lynda was diagnosed with aggressive ovarian cancer in 2018. After a hysterectomy and completing a round of chemotherapy, she was blessed to have encouraging results and spent part of Summer 2019 recuperating with family and friends in the United States. In Fall 2019, she was informed that the cancer had returned. 

In the last few weeks, Lynda was made aware that the area where the cancer had metastasized had worsened. Her current chemotherapy treatment had not been effective and no options remained for further treatment.

No longer pursuing treatment, Lynda settled at home to be with her Brazilian family where she died Monday morning, August 3, at 12:06am.

A small team and I had the joy of visiting Lynda a year and a half ago and enjoyed spending time with her. We saw the ministry site where she poured out her life for homeless children. We met her friends and fellow ministry partners. She was an amazing woman of God with a big heart and love for the needy. 

As a teenager, Lynda sensed a call to missions soon after her conversion. She was able to pursue that calling in 2003. Her background in nursing, a history of serving immigrant families in the Twin Cities, and a heart for children fueled her desire to eventually create a ministry for street children in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She served on the field for 17 years.

While we are full of emotion at her passing, we are also at peace, resting in the truth that God knows all and sees all. He is sovereign and he is good. We think of the great joy Lynda now has in heaven, worshiping her Lord face to face, and in that we take comfort.

In my last conversation with her, Lynda’s final words to me express her deep trust, love, and rest in Jesus: “I am filled with pure joy in waiting to be with the Lord.”

Lynda’s Obituary

Lynda M. Oatley, age 68, walked into the arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, 12:06am Monday, August 3, 2020, in Niteroi, Brazil. She worked as a registered nurse for more than 25 years, in both a hospital setting and in-home hospice care. Following her Lord’s leading, she joined Converge International Ministries and served as a missionary and chaplain to the children of Reame in the Greater Rio de Janeiro area for 17 years. She is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Carmen & Ben Anglin, and grandson, Nathan. The internment will take place in Brazil.  

The Lynda Oatley Memorial Fund, administered by Converge International Ministries, has been set up in memory of Lynda, and gifts will be used to assist missionaries and their families when they have special needs due to an illness, dislocation, or other crisis.  

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