Westmont Magazine Retiring to the Mission Field
“We’re not interested in an easy retirement,” states Bonnie Graf Hyra ’62. In August, she and her husband, Ron, will travel to a large city in southwest China to teach for at least a year through Medical Services International. They are even selling their home in Seattle so they can respond to a call from God to stay longer. Bonnie teaches special education, and Ron will take an early retirement from the National Parks Service.
The seed for the Hyras’ plans germinated in the spring of 1992 when they took a course, “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement,” in Seattle through the U.S. Center for World Missions. “The class totally changed our lives,” explains Bonnie. “We decided to accept the challenge of living and teaching in another country.” They journeyed to China that summer and loved it there.
After the trip, the Hyras opened their home to many Chinese visitors, including numerous scholars and influential dignitaries. They have also actively participated in missions work, going on short-term projects and travelling extensively. When they speak at missions conferences, their theme is “missions in the later years.” They encourage people to “plug in a year for God in their retirement plans.”
“The Lord has blessed us with an incredible love for the Chinese people,” concludes Bonnie. “We feel so privileged to be able to do this.”