Dr. Dale W. Kietzman, a Man Who Has Heard the Call of God!
By Boaz Wadel
Oswald Chambers, in his devotional "My Utmost for His Highest" states that "To serve God is the deliberate love-gift of a nature that has heard the call of God."
Well, one person who definitely has heard the "Call of God" is Dr. Dale W. Kietzman, who has played a great role in my life, and that of many others.
Back in 1982, Dr. Kietzman, flew over to the UK on behalf of Open Doors International and invited me (and my family) to consider moving to the United States to take up the position of Media Director for Open Doors USA, and their in-house media consultant. It was a life-changing invitation which we prayed about and then accepted.
Dr. Kietzman is one of the great unsung heroes of the Church. He had previously been the US director of Wycliffe Bible Translators, launched the non-profit that became Open Doors USA, and also the American ministry of Corrie ten Boom.
Some years later, he helped me and Norma form Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times (ASSIS), became our first Chairman of our board, and again later contacted me with another life-changing suggestion, saying, "Would you like to go to North Korea to report on what is happening there?"
Dan Wooding with Dr. Cho
Dr. Kietzman explained that he was working with a wonderful North Korean-born man called Dr. David L. Cho, who had built a friendship with Kim il-sung, the then leader of North Korea, and had been to North Korea with Dr. Cho where on one occasion he had suggested that the secretive nation should try and build a relations with the United States by inviting people like President Jimmy Carter and Billy Graham to visit the country. They both did.
Kietzman said that Dr. Cho had been given the opportunity to take in the first group, all Christians, to visit North Korea, after the funeral had taken place. So I flew to Beijing and went along to the North Korean Embassy and along with others, including Dr. Cho, was given a visa to visit North Korea.
I spent an extraordinary week there broadcasting daily for the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC., and traveling with our little group throughout the country.
But I am just one of numerous people that Dr. Kietzman has helped during his long career. For instance, thirty four years ago, he became a key mentor to Tom & Jeannine Gonzalez, as they founded Ministries for Family Enrichment (www.enrichthefamily.org).
Tom Gonzalez receiving award
"He was involved in every aspect of our mission organization which had the Great Commission as its vision and eventually became a world-wide resource in building Biblical families and marriages," said Tom Gonzalez.
"This story is repeated dozens of times by organizations large and small who have looked to this humble servant for mature spiritual guidance. And he has been a master at putting people together from around the world who share a common vision, reaching people from all walks of life with the Gospel.
"He started as a missionary to Brazil, went on to crisscross the globe many times as a missionary statesman and was even used by God to open the door for Billy Graham to preach twice in North Korea! He definitely 'heard the call of God' and has lived a life that demonstrates this fact."
Dr. Yong Joong Cho places award
In 1960, God gave a vision to Dr. David J. Cho to promote and raise a non-western missions force to become a part of world missions. Through a series of "divine appointments," Dr. Cho and Dr. Kietzman eventually met and along with several mission leaders they joined forces in 1973 to implement Dr. Cho's vision. This resulted in the formation of the Asia Missions Association (AMA) which was "born" in 1975. They also formed the Summer Institute of World Missions and Dr. Kietzman was a frequent lecturer in this Institute.
"Only eternity will reveal the impact these two men, who have faithfully responded to the 'call of God,' have had on world missions! And....they are still very active in serving the Lord," said Tom Gonzalez.
He went on to say, "Most recently, while we were in South Korea attending the 40th Anniversary of AMA and the 11th AMA Triennial Conference, in Incheon, Dr. Cho requested that we receive a special award - the AMA Medal of Appreciation -- on behalf of Dr. Kietzman, recognizing his significant contribution to the Asia Missions Association. Delegates were gathered from 44 countries and they listened as the moderator acknowledged the contributions of Dr. Kietzman.
"It was a touching moment as one of the Lord's humble servants was recognized for his years of faithful service. It was an honor to represent Dr. Kietzman, our longtime friend and mentor, and receive this award on his behalf.
Dr. Kietzman seated. Left to right, Dr. Eom, Tom Gonzalez, Jeannine, June Eom, and Dr. Yong Joong Cho
"We then arranged to pass this award on to Dr. Kietzman at his office in Pasadena, California, and at the end of December we were joined by Dr. Kyeong Seop Eom, Executive Director of Asia Missions Association, his wife June, Dr. Yong Joong Cho, Founder and President of Global HOPE and Ruth Kietzman, daughter of Dr. Kietzman.
"Dr. Eom opened our gathering in prayer and this was followed by Dr. Kietzman sharing some of the remarkable stories of his missionary journeys.
"Dr. Eom then went on to read a letter from Dr. Timothy K. Park, AMA Head Chairman who is currently in Korea on sabbatical."
The letter said, in part, "I want you to know that your contribution to AMA as a faithful Western partners would not be forgotten. Your partnership and support to AMA and East-West Center was a necessary piece to the growth and success. I appreciate your dedication and service."
"Dr. Yong Joong Cho then closed our meeting in prayer and we all sensed that we had been in the presence of a man who had heard the call of God, had responded obediently and is touching lives around the world. Thank you Dr. Kietzman for your powerful testimony," said Tom Gonzalez.
On behalf of the many whose lives have been deeply touched by Dr. Kietzman, I echo the words of Oswald Chambers that this is a man who "has heard the call of God."