One day, when he was yet a child, Kelvin Krueger’s heart was touched by the same vision that Isaiah was moved by as he observed the Lord sitting high and lifted up while seraphim’s cried one to the other “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God almighty.” Isaiah observed the King, the Lord of hosts, the sinful people and nation, a people of unclean lips, and hearing the voice of the Lord say, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us,” Isaiah said, “Here am I, send me,” and Kelvin echoed Isaiah’s response, and God said, “Go, tell this people….” (Isa. 6:1- 9 )
And Kelvin from that moment was a missionary at heart. Never mind he was only a lad; never mind he would live through the most excruciating test that a child could endure, the removal of a cranial tumor with its life-long after effects leaving him handicapped in almost every capacity but his spirit; never mind the world would relegate him—even the Christian world—to a separate class assigned to menial tasks not considering that Kelvin Krueger was in every sense of the word a missionary, a servant of Christ, wholly dedicated to God and separated by the Spirit for the work to which he would be called. Kelvin, like Jeremiah, was set apart to God from his mother’s womb for service as a first-class missionary.
Oh, others before him had gone through human screening experiences only to be discounted as “not able” for the task at hand. The little Israeli girl whose Syrian master suffered with leprosy had to overcome an age handicap before she was heard with life-saving information for the captain of Syria. “She’s only a child—an Israeli one at that—what would she knowing about curing leprosy?” Yet her heart for God excelled the head of any Syrian and she was the person in touch with the true God and you know the rest of the story!
Here’s Jesus preaching and teaching to thousands of men, women and children who had not eaten in days. How could they be fed? Well, none of the important disciples had a clue; but a lad with five loaves of bread and two fishes did and he was just child-like enough in faith to bring them to Jesus for His use; and Christ, with the help of a little boy, considered little more than an annoyance by the big men around Jesus with their conventional wisdom, fed thousands of hungry people, proving once again that “little is much when God is in it.”
A discouraged pastor gave his annual service report to the church board one sad Sunday, telling them that there had been a spiritual draught that year and that only one small boy had been baptized. Well, time would prove that the single soul saved that long barren year just happened to be Robert Morrison, who when he was of age, became one of England’s finest and most fruitful ambassadors for Christ on the foreign mission field.
And Kelvin Krueger presented himself to Christ one day for service, but what could he do? Was he not limited by handicaps? Maybe he should stay at home and pray, but to go to a foreign field? Surely not!
But Kelvin lived out his dream going first to New Zealand as a missionary and then to South Africa serving ably out of a heart of love with hands of service. Ask the scores of boys and girls in a group home in Johannesburg, South Africa, wheelchair bound boys and girls, who delighted every week when they saw Kelvin come to greet them and to minister to them. They would testify that Kelvin was a blessing with his touch of tenderness and his look of love; one can only imagine what a special treat that was for those precious boys and girls when a kind man, himself somewhat skewered in life and limb from his earliest days, showed them what in flesh the love of God looks like.
And ask the churches, one here in Indianapolis in which Kelvin served as an intern under my mentorship and alongside a cadre of Christian servants who took Kelvin in and treated him as family for the half a year that he served here in preparation for his going solo to South Africa to live and work. Ask the team of bus workers about Kelvin’s coming early and staying late to lend a hand in picking up boys and girls on the church bus. Ask the choir members alongside whom he sang, faithfully practicing and “pitching” in as best he could; ask the primary and church-time children’s ministry workers about his tireless and selfless serving in whatever way he was needed week after week; and ask the pastors and church staff about how inspiring it was to work alongside of this humble, sweet-spirited man of God. He was always a dedicated Christian and Christian worker out of whose mouth a complaint about anything was never heard.
So, I am still always and ever rejoicing that one day, Kelvin Krueger said “I will go, send me.” And God did send him and Kelvin did go, and in so doing He lived out his dream; and we can only imagine the joy bells ringing in heaven when on the second day in February of 2021 Kelvin’s body-bound spirit was released to its heaven-ward flight where he found himself “Home, at last,” giving new meaning to those words of the poet John Donne: “Death be not proud though some have called thee mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so; For those whom thou thinkest thou dost overthrow die not, poor death, nor yet canst that kill me. One short sleep past, we wake eternally, and death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.”
As Kelvin’s Pastor, here’s what I saw in him:
- A faithful co-worker
- A compassionate Christian
- A servant’s heart
- One who did not complain. Never.
- One who loved children
- One who was spiritual
- One who strived to please
- One who was grateful
- One who obeyed his Lord
- One who honored his parents
- One who loved chocolate mocha!!
Kelvin Krueger, missionary to South Africa, passed into his Savior’s presence on the morning of February 2, 2021.
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit; that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them.” (Rev. 14:13)