Memories of Marion Franklin Woods
Methodist Missionary in Costa Rica From 1950 – 2016
My Declaration by Marion F. Woods
What will people say in years to come when they read, if they do, about a missionary whose love would not let him return home to retire and take it easy?
What will they think when the love of the things of this world do not necessarily need to command our thinking, our love, our desires, our wishes, our loyalty, our way of life?
Why should one want to stay on the field doing what he has already been doing for sixty years and has no plan to stop making Jesus Christ known and loved, above all else?
Our God, revealed as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, answers our every need for faith, work and pleasure. He is our all and all and without Him we are nothing. There is no reason then to just live and die, lost in the memories of others who will do the same.
My dear friends, relatives, strangers, everyone, God is God of us all – or He is not God at all! But since He has revealed Himself so perfectly in His Son and by His Holy Spirit, who is with us all the way, every day, there is reason to take heart and press on to our high calling in Him, to believe in Him, have Eternal Life and enjoy Him forever.
We are made to live forever. We have bodies, but we are spirit. We are living souls, imprisoned in bodies, given the opportunity to know God as He reveals Himself to us and thus, believing in Him, we have Life Eternal.
We begin our walk with Him. Like Enoch, we are ready to live forever with Him. Mystery, yes, for the flesh! But we are not only flesh, we are more.
My calling is to help all to believe and to see, even as Jesus asked and asks us now to go everywhere. Matthew 28:16-20
Marion Franklin Woods (1918 – 2016)
Marion Franklin Woods was born November 15, 1918 near Topeka, Kansas. As a child and youth, he grew up in the rural areas of Southwest Nebraska and Northwest Kansas, attending grammar and high schools. As a high school youth, he received his call to the ministry as he participated in the Immanuel Methodist Church in Bird City, Kansas. He graduated in 1942 from Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kansas, serving his last two years as student pastor of the Grand Avenue Methodist Church.
He married Marjory Koken of Bird City on November 22, 1942. His seminary studies were completed with four years of graduate work in Drew Seminary where he also served as a student pastor. These studies were interrupted by a term of service as a chaplain in the Army in China-Burma-India Theater of Operations. An earlier call to the China missionary task was strengthened while he served in China. Marjory’s health would not permit such, but the field of service in Costa Rica beckoned. Marion, Marjory, and their children went to the Costa Rica field in November of 1950.
During the following 66 years, he has served as an evangelistic missionary establishing congregations and constructing chapels and parsonages in Costa Rica – from the border of Panama to the border of Nicaragua. He served as a Methodist pastor and District Superintendent in every area of the country where the Methodist church has work. He also served as the Director of the Methodist School in San José, the Methodist Seminary in Alajuela, and the Methodist Rural Center near Ciudad Quesada.
Marjory, entered life eternal in January 1963 after a valiant battle with lupus. Marion and his second wife, Fannie Davis, served together until her death in 1985. Marion and Mary were married on April 17, 1993 and served as missionaries together until Marion’s passing in 2016. During that time, Marion and Mary coordinated as many as 36 Volunteers in Mission (VIM) teams each year, working to best utilize their multiple interests and ministries.
Since Marion’s passing, Mary has continued their mission work as Director of the Methodist Rural Center and the Volunteers In Mission (VIM) Coordinator for mission teams in northern Costa Rica.