ESTHER SALOME CRESSMAN
With heartfelt gratitude to God, we announce the peaceful passing of Esther Cressman into the presence of God at the midnight hour on Saturday, June 3, 2017. Born May 3, 1927, Esther was one month into her 91st year when the Lord called her home. She was predeceased by her father Vernon, mother Salome and sister Sarah and is survived by loving sisters Lois (John Kurtz) of Niagara on the Lake, Ruth Cressman and Elizabeth (Ed Weber) of Ottawa, as well as numerous nephews and nieces. Her nephew Phil Kurtz and family held a special place in her heart through the years and lived close to her. His poems and presence in her life brought her much joy.
Esther was educated in Kitchener, ON and following a term at Emmanuel Bible College and nurses’ training at Grand River Hospital, ventured onto the mission field in 1951. Bethany Missionary Church, Kitchener was her ‘sending’ church and they supported and prayed for her as she served as a nurse in Nigeria and latterly a language translator for some 27 years. She helped write the Dukawa language and thanks to her diligent work, a people group received the written word of God in their own dialect and many have come to faith as a result of this selfless woman’s service to God. Her partner in translation was Donna Skitch, now married to Wally Uyeyama of Campbell River, BC, who remained her prayer partner and close friend throughout her life.
Ever seeking to learn more about God, Esther returned to Emmanuel Bible College for further training in 1980, then took Biblical Counseling through YWAM Hawaii followed by serving four years in the Philippines with YWAM where she entered into a precious friendship with young Gary Hallman. Returning to Canada, Esther took the Crossroads Discipleship Training with YWAM Cambridge and served at Jacob’s Well in Kitchener, touching many with her gift of hospitality and prayer.
Esther leaves a legacy of many songs that she and Donna wrote and Esther composed for piano. All her life she sang of her love to the Lord; now she is singing to Him face to face. She has long had a heart for God’s land and people of Israel and encouraged everyone to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. How fitting that she should pass into eternity during the week the world remembered the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War and the reunification of Jerusalem. Her final 11 years were spent fruitfully living in community with the Return Ministries’ family in Bright, ON, an Aliyah ministry focused on partnering with God in the return and restoration of His North American Jewish people to Israel.
Although Esther never married, she has had a lifelong relationship with Jesus, her eternal Bridegroom. Although she never had physical children of her own, she was a mother to many spiritual children all over the world.
We wish to thank all the wonderful, caring staff at Sunnyside Home in Kitchener where Esther resided for the past 11 months. Their tender loving care made her final months manageable and in return, she blessed them with her affirmation, encouragement and prayer. A trio of good friends who watched over her in these years, Nancy, Theresa and Peg, are grateful to God for His provision of this care facility which just happened to be in Esther’s old neighbourhood. Rather than fussing about leaving her Return Family last June, she praised the Lord for taking her full circle to a home that was halfway between her Bible College and Nurses’ training hospital. Esther left a large deposit of God’s love everywhere she resided.
A private internment took place June 6, 2017.
Esther’s Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, June 25th from 4:00 to 7:00 PM with light refreshments. Please RSVP and leave message of how many coming at 519-684-7198. Location: Return Ministries, 907168 Township Road 12, RR 4, Bright, ON.
In memory of Esther, donations may be made: Sunnyside Foundation, 247 Franklin Street, Kitchener N2A 1Y5 or Bethany Missionary Church, 160 Lancaster St E., Kitchener ON N2H 1N2Return Ministries (to assist North American Jewry home to Israel). Envelopes will be available at the Memorial Service.
For further information, please contact Peg Byars at 519-860-1599 or by E-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.