November 2022

November 2022

Beloved Ones in Christ,

I Thessalonians 5:24 says that the God who calls us is faithful. I thought of this verse this week when I heard of the passing of my dear friend, Don Leavitt. He was a man who exemplified God’s faithfulness. Though we will miss Don very much, we rejoice that he is now with the Lord. I wanted to take this opportunity to share with all of you what an impact Don had in my life and what a blessing he was to India Evangelical Mission.

As many of you know, I got the opportunity to come to the U.S. in 1962 to study the Bible at Central Washington Bible College in Selah, WA. Through God’s providence, two of the first people I met were Teddy Leavitt and his son, Don. Teddy Leavitt was well known in the Pacific Northwest as a dynamic evangelist. He was an enthusiastic man, whose passion for evangelism extended to world missions. It was through Teddy and Don’s encouragement that a group of Christians in Washington State gathered together and formed IEM in 1966.

From that first board meeting, Don continued his passion for souls in India by serving on the IEM board for more than 40 years. In addition to serving on the board, Don served as a pastor in Molalla, Oregon. He helped me develop many friendships and connections with people in the Pacific Northwest, and many of them continue to support IEM today.

Don traveled to India with me in 1980, and he was there when we broke ground on the property where we would build our Bible College and Children’s Home.  He was such an encouragement to me over the years through many trials that we faced in the ministry. Don always spoke with a very strong voice, and his confidence in the Lord was unshakeable. 

Over all the many years, Don and his wife Donna Rae were very close with me and Mariamma. They remained faithful friends throughout our lives. Even after Donna Rae and Mariamma went to be with the Lord, Don and I continued to encourage each other and pray for each other.

After Don retired from our board, he encouraged his daughter Michele and son-in-law Doug to serve on the board, which they have done for several years. We were excited when two of Don’s granddaughters came to India and visited the ministry. What a blessing to have IEM impacted by several generations of the Leavitt Family. In honor of Don and his family, we have enclosed some pictures from over the years. 

Please join us in thanking God for Don’s service and praying for Don’s family as they mourn his loss. I’m so thankful for all of you who, like Don, have given sacrificially for the cause of Christ in India. I love each one of you, and pray the Lord will continue to bless you.

G.V. Mathai