Sylvester Dirks died Jan. 7.
He was born in 1916 to Jacob B. and Susanna Dirks in Waldheim, Sask.
At 13, he had a life-transforming encounter with Jesus Christ, was baptized, and joined Salem Church. While attending Bethany Bible Institute, he fell in love with Matilda Epp and married her in 1941.
They moved to B.C. and taught at Yarrow Bible School. Feeling the call to missionary service, Sylvester and Matilda enrolled in a linguistics course at Briercrest Bible Institute.
In 1944, they went to Peru and were among the original core of Wycliffe workers in that country. With colleague Will Kindberg, Sylvester translated the New Testament into the Ashaninca language.
In 1967, the family moved back to North America, where Sylvester served as pastor in several churches, including Dalmeny (Sask.) MB Church, Friedenstal Church (Lehigh, Kan.), and Nutana MB Church (Saskatoon).
He then served 2 years in Cali, Colombia, returned to minister in Brooks, Alta., and retired in 1984 to Abbotsford, B.C. In retirement, Sylvester served with Kingdom Ventures, Partnership Evangelism, and Logos Ministries.
After Matty's death in 1997, Sylvester fell in love with and married Nelly Klassen.
Predeceased by Nelly in 2002; Matilda; 1 infant daughter; 1 son; he is mourned by 2 sons; 5 daughters; 20 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; 2 brothers; 2 sisters.
The memorial service was Jan. 11 at Bakerview MB Church, Abbotsford, B.C.