In Memory of Vera Shannon Wheeler April 22, 2014
Vera Wheeler’s journey as a Samaritan began when she met Bettie Mitchell about 14 years ago at a women’s retreat with Columbia Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, WA. The theme was “Step Outside Your Box”. That message was life changing for Vera. As a result of that time with Bettie, Vera along with many other women from Columbia Presbyterian, began attending Wednesday night Bible classes at GSM. Her Samaritan heart was developed as she became an integral part of the Zambia Satellite, supporting the Samaritan work in Zambia.
This Saturday, April 26, at 2 p.m., a memorial service will be held at Columbia Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, Wash. It is requested that instead of flowers, memorial donations can be sent to Good Samaritan Ministries, 7929 SW Cirrus Dr., # 23, Beaverton OR 97008 or online atwww.GoodSamaritanMinistries.
Vera had a quiet presence and often prefaced her responses in conversation with a gentle smile and a gracious ‘yes’. Her heart was open for what God was asking of her.
Vera jumped into the work of the Satellite with great passion and faith. She spent many hours collecting and sorting cans. While working at garage sales, she was gifted in teaching about GSM to those who came to shop. She also became involved with volunteer work at the GSM offices often referring to the Beaverton office as the “Mother Ship”. She faithfully reminded others of the needs of the Ministry as a whole.
After visitors from Zambia, Alick and Selly Malama, and Andrew and Patricia Kayekesi, came to Beaverton for GSM training, Vera had a great desire to go visit her new friends in Zambia. The relationships that were developed were deep rooted. In 2007, Vera felt an urgent call on her life to travel to Zambia.
Mary Lange said about that trip to Africa, “Vera and I spent over 5 weeks at the schools and medical clinic in Zambia. We taught first aid and personal hygiene in the Lusaka, Mpatamatu, and Kazembe GSM schools.”
“Vera was a prayer warrior. We also worked at the Mpatamatu Clinic, and visited HIV patients in their homes and prayed with them. We had the opportunity to meet Joseph and Maggie Chikumbi in Kazembe, where we supported the teachers. The trip was an incredible experience to have shared with my dear friend.”
Vera carried home with her a special place in her heart for the schools and teachers in Kazembe. It was shortly after Vera returned home, that she was diagnosed with dementia. God blessed her with a couple more years of attending Bible classes and Satellite activities. Vera Wheeler lived as a true Samaritan.