Lydia Goede

(from Issue #537)

introducing our missionaries...

Lydia Goede… a few questions & answers to help you get to know our missionaries better. In this issue Lydia Goede tells about her life and ministry:

Name one of your favorite books.

Lydia: “The Blue Bottle Club” by Penelope J. Stokes. It’s a novel that appears to be about the four dreams of four teenage girls. Sixty-five years later the blue bottle is discovered and a reporter searches out the four women to see if they achieved their dreams.

In reality the book is about faith and how life transforms our dreams over time into something that is different, but can also be so much better if we are open to it.

What is your favorite sport/game to play? Your favorite way to relax?

Lydia: I don’t have a favorite sport, as such, but I love going for walks and hikes in the great outdoors. Another favorite way for me to relax is doing different kinds of bead work.

What is one of the hardest things you’ve done?

Lydia: I once had to confess to a store owner that I had stolen some goods a number of years prior.

Another hard thing in my life that is somewhat ongoing is my health. It’s not something I take for granted, as it affects so many areas of my life and ministry. I’m so thankful for my family, friends and supporters who walk alongside me with their prayers, encouragement, allowing me to be who I am!

What is one of the most interesting jobs you’ve had prior to joining NCEM?

Lydia: I had a job doing dishes at a restaurant when I was a teenager. I was shocked at times to see how much food came back – not because the restaurant cooked badly, but because people were picky. Coming from a home where we had to budget carefully, and then seeing people throwing away food was not something I was used to. Otherwise the job was great because I was able to earn my own money.

Working as a nurse in Germany for three years was wonderful, and I have great memories of my time at the hospital.

It has turned out that the training I received as a nurse has been beneficial for my ministry in Canada, as well. Some summers I have helped out at Bible camp, and I especially remember one day when we had a camper with a serious asthmatic reaction. He was taking good care of his illness, but one night they had a pillow fight and he had a really hard time breathing. I still can only thank the Lord for helping me to help this kid breath normally again, and without getting him to the hospital, which was quite some distance away.

God also has opened the door for me to volunteer in the pediatrics ward once a week in the local hospital, which is a wonderful balance to my ministry at the Bookstore.

Tell us about how you ended up serving in Canada after growing up in Germany?

Lydia: A step in my journey to northern Canada was reading James Evans’ biography (which had been translated into German). I was so impressed by the hardship that this 19th century missionary had endured that I wrote to the publisher asking if there were any Canadian ministries still working to reach Native Canadians.

In 1994, and then again in 1996, I traveled to Canada for short-term missions. Leaving nursing, I attended a German Bible school.

Finally, during a third short-term, this time in Nahanni Butte, NWT, I made a career choice to serve full-time.

For me perhaps it has been easier to minister cross-culturally because the Canadian culture has taken away the “German pressure” that over-emphasizes a person’s value based on how well they perform.

What does an “ideal day” in your present ministry look like?

Lydia: It’s hard to describe an “ideal day” in ministry because often we do what God lays at our feet, and sometimes on very short notice. But this is what I think could be an “ideal day”:

… Someone coming into the Tribal Trails Bookstore and bringing me a soft drink, tea or a snack, … having some deep and meaningful conversations which centre on our Lord Jesus Christ with people who come into the store, … selling materials in the store or over the phone, … and just enjoying a cup of tea while having a visit with one of my Native or non-Native friends, … being alert to what God wants me to do on any given day.

What are one or two of your biggest challenges as a missionary?

Lydia: Sometimes I sit alone in the store without having much interaction with people. Another challenge is to know how to challenge people in a positive way in their beliefs – and, at the same time, being open myself for allowing Jesus Christ to change me to be more like Him in my thinking and choices.

Also, it’s hard to be so far away from my family in Germany. My parents are old, and I want to help my sisters with responsibilities.

What would you love to see accomplished through your life and ministry?

Lydia: That people would see, know and experience for themselves the love that Jesus Christ has for them, and that I might see all of my friends, Native and non-Native, one day in Heaven! That others would see Jesus in me!

After serving with NCEM in Nova Scotia, then in the Headquarters Printshop, Lydia took on managing our Mission’s Bookstore in Prince Albert.

(from Issue #537) Note: some of the locations and involvements of our missionaries may have changed since the original publishing of this article.