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  • Writer's pictureMennonite Mission Network

Miriam Graber Schrock left loving memories in Brazil

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Miriam Ellen Graber Schrock, who served with Mennonite Board of Missions (MBM) in Brazil, died April 24.

Miriam, along with her first husband, Harvey Graber, and their five children lived in Brazil as MBM missionaries from 1967 - 1977. MBM is a predecessor agency of Mennonite Mission Network. They lived in Ribeirão Preto in the state of São Paulo where they supported the development of the church now known as Vila Virginia. In the years since, she also provided encouragement as the Parque Ribeirão and Vida Novacongregations were planted. Miriam remained in regular communication with members of these congregations throughout her life.

Carlos Carvalho, pastor of the Vila Virginia and Vida Nova congregations, said Miriam was an exemplary Christian whose presence and teachings positively impacted the lives of many.

“Her unwavering faith and dedication to the Word of God were inspiring and uplifting, and even after so many years still speak very strongly to everyone who could share her presence here in Ribeirão Preto, said Carvalho.”

The Grabers’ missionary work ended early when Harvey was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. They returned to Goshen, Indiana, where Miriam cared for him for a year until his death in 1978.

Miriam is remembered by Betty Hochstetler, a former MBM co-worker in Brazil, as a deeply spiritual and caring woman.

“We often visited and always appreciated her and Harvey and their ministry in Ribeirão Preto,” said Hochstetler. “She has dozens of dear friends around Ribeirão Preto even today.”

Miriam was born in 1929, in Goshen, Indiana to Elam and Eliza (Bender) Hochstetler. After Harvey’s death, she worked more than twenty years as a Certified Nursing Assistant at Greencroft Health Care in Goshen.

She married Orie Schrock in 2002.

Miriam, a member of East Goshen Mennonite Church (Indiana), volunteered at Hope Missions soup kitchen in South Bend, IN; Brook Lane Farms in Hagerstown, MD and later with Northern Lights Mission in Loman, MN.

Miriam is survived by her children, John (Crissie Musselman) of Goshen, IN; Merlin of Goshen, IN; Millard (Sheila Koch) of Goshen, IN; Carol (Bill Frisbie) of Goshen, IN; and Galen (Ruth Brenneman) of Wellman, IA and stepchildren, Alan (Pat Keener) of Webster, FL; Anna (Dan Pipek) of Staples, MN; Susan (Curt Martin) of Pillager, MN; and Marlin (Cathy Cole) of Waverly, NY.

Memorial contributions can be made to Mennonite Mission Network, 3145 Benham Ave, Elkhart, IN 46517.

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