About Dale & Jeanie
Dale and Jeanie have been serving as missionaries in Colombia,
South America for over 35 years.
They left for language school and their first term on the field in the summer of 1973. From that date onward, they have concentrated their efforts in Colombia, South America. They began their missionary ministry in the remote jungle region of San Jose del Guaviare. The entrance of the drug traffickers and the guerrillas into the region led them to move to a small city located on the edge of the jungle/prairie region of Colombia. From that location, they could minister to the church there in the city as well as the churches that wereÂ being established throughout this area. Dale continued to travel back into the jungle as long as the security situation permitted.
Their ministry has been evangelistic in nature and the ultimate goal has been to establish indigenous New Testament congregations in Colombia. As a result, they have been involved in many different ministries that focus on that primary goal. They are currently working in the areas of evangelism, church planting, and leadership training. Collateral ministries include translating and writing didactic materials for Colombia and the rest of Latin America, teaching in a Bible Institute, a cassette ministry, and teaching in a Christian Day School.
When Dale and Jeanie arrived in Colombia, there was only one small congregation. They have worked with other missionaries and with the Colombian brethren in developing an indigenous yet Biblically based missionary outreach. In the early years this strategy produced an average 20% in yearly growth rate over an extended period of years. A new congregation was established at the rate of one every year. Then the war which had affected other areas of Colombia boiled over into the jungle/prairie region.
These were hard years for the work and for years for the work and for Dale and Jeanie as well. Many people fled the war and the region which resulted in a depopulation of the countryside. Many small villages in the area dwindled or even disappeared all together as people were forced to join the drug traffickers or flee for their lives.
This had what at first appeared to be a very detrimental affect on the work. Many churches ceased to exist as the Christians abandoned the area and dispersed among Colombia's refugee population in the big cities. As a result, the number of churches diminished during this time. Only continued growth in the city churches maintained a constant number of Christians. But after the initial trauma, many Christians began to contact Dale and ask for help in starting new churches where they were now located. Dale and the Colombian leaders used these refugee Christians as the nuclei for new congregations in the big cities throughout Colombia.
By the time the nineties rolled around, the solid foundations laid over the years began once again to pay significant dividends in church growth. The Colombian leaders themselves began to take the initiative in much of the evangelistic outreach as it was too dangerous for Dale to be out in many areas of the city and travel to the countryside was impossible. Yet the Colombian leaders were able to travel to and work in areas far too dangerous for the missionaries. As a result, Dale and Jeanie began to work more and more in the leadership training and literature production. For the second half of this decade, the church growth has again been significant and new churches are again being planted at a rate that far surpasses the attrition caused by the war
As the new millennium arrived, the insecurity in Villavicencio dictated that the Meades move the base of their missionary work to the relative safety of a large city. The danger from the guerrillas in the jungle/prairie region had become extreme and the main church based in that area was both large and mature enough to carry on without missionaries. At the encouragement of the Colombian leaders, Dale and Jeanie moved to the capital city of Bogota.
The new location also permits them to can carry on with many of the same ministries, such as evangelism, church planting, teaching and literature production as well as adding new ministries and expanding the geographical outreach of the entire ministry. During furloughs at this time Dale finished his Ph.D. in intercultural studies and educational studies. This permitted him to teach at the graduate level and train leaders for the Colombian church in a greatly expanded manner. Also, together with Dewayne Liebrandt, a deaf ministry was begun in Colombia. So ministry opportunities have expanded and outreach has been multiplied throughout the country.
Opportunities, such as radio and publication ministries have opened up because of the location, Dr. Meade's education, and the experience he has on the field. The central location in a massive population concentration will also allow them to continue to dedicate themselves to the ministry for many years to come. Since Bogota is one of the largest cities in the world and central in location it makes a great place from which to travel to all parts of Colombia as the Lord opens new doors for even greater ministry.