Volume 123, Number
December 6th, 2006
James Mulvihills continue family tradition of
BY RICHARD PETERSON
Jim Mulvihill returned to the area he grew up in a few weeks ago and
found there had been many changes. Esmond is very different. Devils Lake
is different. What remains the same is that the Mulvihills are still
spreading the word of God.
Jim and his wife, Jan, are missionaries in Belize, which used to be
British Honduras. It's a country about the size of Massachusetts located
south of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico in Central America.
They're back in the US for a year on furlough. Furlough means they are
raising funds so they can return to Belize to continue their ministry
for Child Evangelism Fellowship.
That name Mulvihill should be familiar to longtime residents of this
area. Jim's father, LuVerne Mulvihill was pastor of the Esmond
Congregational Church and the Hesper Evangelical Free Church from about
1952 to 1959. He was also pastor of the Bethel Evangelical Free Church
in Devils Lake beginning in 1962. He preached in many churches in this
area before his retirement.
LuVerne and his wife, Eleanor, now live in Taylorville, Ill. He is 94
and just recently passed his annual driver's exam. Eleanor's eyesight is
poor, but they still live in their own home and he continues his
ministry by being a substitute Bible studies instructor.
Jim's brother, John, was also a minister in this area. He was the pastor
when the new Bethany Evangelical Free Church in Esmond was built. If
memory serves correctly, he was also a pastor in Devils Lake for a time.
LuVerne and Eleanor instilled deep Christian values in their children
and all have participated in spreading The Word.
Ruth, a 1958 graduate of Esmond High School, is a social worker in
Mary, a 1959 graduate of Esmond High School, lives in Chatham, Ill.
She and her husband, medical doctor Gary Draper, participate in medical
John is the chaplain at the Montgomery County Prison near Hagerstown,
James and his wife Jan are missionaries.
Lynn and her husband, Doug Johnson, live in Billings, Mont., where they
are Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) directors for the southeast
district of Montana. They are also state coordinators for CEF.
Chris and her husband, Alan Gulsvig, live in Devils Lake. They have
served as missionaries.
Jim graduated from Devils Lake High School in 1963. He attended Bismarck
Junior College and Moorhead State University and is also a Vietnam
veteran, having served in the Army from 1967-69. He was a medic with the
Big Red 1 north of Saigon.
While working for the Internal Revenue Service in Oklahoma City he
became treasurer of CEF for Oklahoma City. A few years later he went to
work full-time for CEF in Warrenton, Mo. This is the world headquarters
of CEF, which has 2,500 full-time employees and 40,000 volunteers in 156
countries. It is the largest ministry directed at children in the world.
While working at Warrenton, he met Jan, a Chicago native who was there
for missionary training. She went to Manchester, England for a year as a
missionary, but not before she and Jim became engaged. He flew to
England to visit her during her missionary service. When she returned to
the US in 1989 they were married.
The missionary call is strong and they served as missionaries in
Manchester from 1992 to 1996. Both their children, James II and Janelle,
were born in Manchester. While in England they spent three months in
training in Switzerland.
Following their service in England they spent a year in the US raising
funds for their next missionary assignment in Belize. In 1997 they were
the first CEF missionaries to live in Belize. But first they had to
obtain work permits and provide proof they would be able to support
In 2001 they returned to the US on furlough to raise funds again.
They returned to Belize in 2002 and came back to the US in 2006 for
their fund-raising furlough.
Belize is a multi-racial country of about 275,000 people. It became an
independent country in 1981 but remains a member of the British
Commonwealth, like Canada and Australia, so ties to the mother country
have not been completely broken. The weather is tropical with an average
rainfall of 80 inches. In contrast, Benson County gets about 16 inches
per year. English is the official language and is the language spoken in
Tourism is a big industry in Belize. The Caribbean Sea off the coastline
boasts the second largest coral reef in the world with beautiful clean
and clear water which provides great snorkeling. The Mulvihills are
located in Belmopan, the new capital of the country, which was carved
out of the jungle. It is the smallest national capital in the world,
with a population of about 7,100. There are Mayan ruins nearby.
The schools have a time set aside for religious instruction and the
Mulvihills minister at five schools on a regular basis, reaching 821
children. Jan does the coordinating and puts effort into getting
volunteers involved. The idea is to get the indigenous population to
take over the job of providing religious instruction. Jim teaches Bible
classes from second grade through eighth grade. James II (14) teaches
third grade religious lessons. Janelle (11) isn't officially involved
yet, but undoubtedly she will eventually be a teacher as well. Another
portion of their ministry involves teaching people to be Bible teachers.
They also teach Bible lessons at Good News Clubs, which are one-hour
sessions once a week. When school isn't in session they have Five-Day
Clubs, which are similar to vacation Bible school, except that it is one
hour per day for five days. They also have a tent at the annual five-day
A couple years ago they were in charge of distributing about 2,000 shoe
boxes filled with Christmas gifts which came from the US under a program
many in this area contribute to. It's called "Operation Christmas
Child." In 2005 North Dakota churches and other organizations packed
12,462 shoe boxes under this program. The Mulvihills vouch for this as a
very worthwhile project.
While on furlough they are hoping to raise $14,000 for a vehicle and
$1200 per month for living expenses.
While in the US they virtually live in a 1990 Chevrolet conversion van
which was given to them by a supporter in Minnesota. The van is
jam-packed with necessary items for the family. "We often stay in the
homes of people who want to help," Jim says. Since returning to the US,
they've spoken in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota
and Alberta, Canada.
While in the Esmond area, they stayed at the home of Tom and Nita Hill
in Hesper Township. During their stay in this area, Jim and Jan and
their kids spoke at several churches. A small part of their schedule
included speaking at New Rockford Nov. 9, Grace City Nov. 10, the
Pleasant Valley Church of the Brethren on Sunday morning, Nov. 10 and in
Rugby that night. It's a busy schedule. Raising money is not easy.
Donations can be made to them at Child Evangelism Fellowship, PO Box
348, Warrenton, MO 63383. Checks should be designated for the Mulvihill
Support Account 69949. E-mail can be sent to them at
The Mulvihill family presently serves as missionaries in Belize for
Child Evangelism Fellowship. Belize is located in Central America.
They also ministered in England, where the children, Janelle, 11 and
James II, 14, were born. Jim graduated from the eighth grade in Esmond
in 1959 and from high school in Devils Lake in 1963. They plan to return
to Belize next year.
See the tremendous specials offered by Riggin
Motors this week
Engstroms honored at NDSU
Jim and Judy Engstrom of Leeds were among outstanding agriculturists
from each county in North Dakota and western Minnesota honored at the
NDSU Harvest Bowl awards dinner November 10. Joseph A. Chapman, NDSU
president, presented the Agriculturist Recognition Award. The Harvest
Bowl was established in 1973 to recognize respected community citizens
who are dedicated to agriculture as a vocation. During its 33 years, the
Harvest Bowl has recognized more than 1,800 agriculturists and awarded
more than $70,000 in scholarships. The Engstroms raise wheat, barley,
corn, soybeans, black turtle beans and pinto beans. Along with their
son, Brian, they own and operate Engstrom Bean and Seed, which buys and
processes beans in Leeds and Petersburg. They partner with NDSU
Roughrider Genetics. Jim is a county and state director for the ND Farm
Bureau. He is on the Board of Visitors for the North Central Research
Extension Center in Minot and a member of the American Legion, Lions
Club, Elks Club and Benson County Crop Improvement Association. Judy is
co-owner of Cottage Floral and Gift in Rugby. She has served as a Boy
Scout leader and Sunday school teacher. The Engstroms have two children.
The Leeds Dollars for Scholars Organization recently held a "Table
Extravaganza" as a fund-raising project in the Leeds School gym.
Tables were uniquely designed by area hostesses who provided their own
place settings and decor. Tickets were sold for each place setting by
the table hostesses. Area vendors sold jewelry, craft and food items and
a silent auction was also held. Pictured here is Susan Braun at her
table entitled "Serengeti."
Cindy and Karlee Gronos are pictured at their table entitled "A Tribute
to Our Home Town Heroes." (Photos by Karyn Nathan)
Study four tribes
The third graders from Leeds studied four Native American tribes during
the month of November. They compared their homes, food, clothing and
crafts. Carley Baker and Lane Ritterman show the Native American wall
display featuring a totem pole, weaving, pictograph stories on paper bag
animal hides and star legends. (Photo by Karyn Nathan)
See the tremendous specials offered by Riggin
Motors this week