Joanne (Kroeker) Mahar
Why I Write
Writers write for various reasons. I write because I feel a sense a divine compulsion to share from a rich treasure chest of experiences that beg to come out in true and imagined stories.
Three Lives in One
You might consider me a writer with a past—not in the sense of having a criminal record—but of one who has lived life intensely. In fact, due to dramatic shifts involving three continents and three cultural immersions: Africa, Europe, and North America, I look back on my life as three lives in one.
Daughter of Missionaries
As the daughter of missionary parents, I was born in Congo. Since my conversion, through acceptance of Christ as my Savior at the age of three, and reaffirmation at age six, I’ve considered myself a missionary. Theoretically I’m retired, but in reality missionaries never retire until they get promoted to the heavenly courts.
Becoming a Missionary
My earliest service began as a young child by helping my mother with her tasks: caring for orphans, as medical assistant in the dispensary, and as teacher’s helper.
Missionary service—as I perceived it— continued in France where I lived my growing up years. Attendance at a French school afforded, not only the opportunity of learning the language, but also of connecting with French girls of my own age group. As relationships developed into best-friends status, conversations deepened and sometimes drifted into serious discussions on the meaning of life and its eternal destiny. The joy of seeing my two best-friends turn in faith to the Savior confirmed a growing sense in my soul that God’s will for my entire life included missionary service.
Later, as my French language skills grew—and while still a young teenager—I was invited to collaborate with a French team in publishing some vital French literature.
As I neared the completion of high school in Belgium, I clearly understood that, in order to fulfill my missionary calling, I would need special training. Thus I enrolled at Biola University—my parents’ alma—and plunged into the American college scene. For two years I retained the status of the youngest—and least mature—student on campus. Yet, God enabled a frenchified teen to work her way through and graduate—debt free—in 1962.
One year Becomes Thirty
Before continuing my education with graduate studies, I decided to take a year’s break to get re-acquainted with my parents in Belgium, and to help in the ministry they had launched there. With knowledge of the language, however, my involvement in a variety of ministries became so intense that the one year extended to thirty with only small breaks between.
In 1998 I met and married my professor husband Dr. Franklyn Mahar, an early retiree from Humboldt State University who was then teaching, on a volunteer basis, at Shasta Bible College. Presently we live in the Pacific Northwest where I continue to pursue a missionary approach to my writing.