Virginia Jean Mullin – 1930-2023
On August 20, 2023, OMF missionary Virginia (Ginnie) Mullin entered into the presence of the Lord. OMF (U.S.) Retiree Care Coordinator, Pam Kaczmarczyk, shares moments from Ginnie’s life in ministry.
By Pamela Kaczmarczyk
Ginnie Mullin once wrote about her early efforts of reaching out to a missions agency she had been attracted to. In her words: “As my mind stopped racing and as I felt the numbing chilliness creeping over me, I realized that God wanted me to work with the China Inland Mission. In bewilderment, I could only cry out, ‘Lord I can’t do that. My life falls far, far short of the standard required for this kind of work.’”
Nevertheless, the thought persisted until she had to answer, “Lord, I’m wholly Thine. I will work with the CIM if Thou wilt open the door. A few months later I began to apply to the Mission. With each step of my application, God has opened the door wider. He has brought forth the fruit of the Holy Spirit in my life. I long now to see Him produce this same fruit in the lives of the people of East Asia. Because God has chosen and prepared me, I go forth with joy.”
From Elgin, Minnesota, Ginnie graduated from St. Mary’s School of Nursing, Rochester, MN, and Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. During her time at Moody, she attended the CIM/OMF prayer meetings in Chicago and heard God’s call to serve as a missionary in the Fellowship.
Ginnie wrote about that time, “Week by week, the lives of the people I met at the CIM/OMF had impressed me. A hidden sweetness, a quiet rest, and a peaceful trust issued from their lives. I yearned to experience these things. Once in a missions class, these words reached deep into my heart, ‘I have chosen you to go and bear fruit.’ John 15:16.”
In 1957, Ginnie left for Asia with OMF. Pak Nam Pho was her first station in Central Thailand. She was invited into a leprosy nursing ministry and saw the first fruits of her witness among the people who gathered at the clinics.
After her first Home Assignment back to the U.S. was completed and she had returned to Thailand, she was assigned to work in Uthai Thani city and was given oversight of all the leprosy clinics in the province. Her work meant traveling from place to place, often through rain, deep water and mud during the rainy season, and contending with dust and heat the rest of the time as clinics had spawned small churches.
Over time Ginnie became more involved in a ministry to Christians who said they were more despised for being Christians in a Buddhist land than for being leprous.
In 1981, Ginnie received a request from the Southern field in Thailand for medical missionaries to work with the leprosy clinics where there were 600 patients with two new patients coming each week. This also meant learning a new language and culture among the Malays of south Thailand.
As Ginny was wrestling with deciding to go, she wrote to her US director in these heartfelt words:
“I do not feel that I am adequate or fully capable to relieve the current clinic supervisor for her Home Assignment. But I feel that God will make me what He wants me to be. Therefore, He wants me to be available to Him moment by moment so that He can pour Himself through me. This is our life in Jesus Christ, wherever we are or whatever we are doing. I have written and torn up several letters to you, trying to share my thoughts and feelings. In a sense, I cannot share the awe, the wonder, the worship that fills me. Rather it’s like trying to describe the beauty of an inch of fine frost clinging to each branch and twig and weed and cobweb as the sun makes it sparkle against a pale blue sky. The beauty is inherent in the total scene, but unless a person has ever seen or experienced such a scene, any description fails, so I won’t try to say anymore.”
Ginnie continued the leprosy ministry and the ministry of encouragement to the local churches in Malay and her learning of the difficult, tonal Thai language.
After Ginny retired in 1996, God gave her 26 more years to volunteer. She served with Side by Side, sponsored by the Christian Medical and Dental Association. Ginnie also served as a teacher of the Bible and English as a second language for wives of Japanese doctors studying at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. She loved and was loved by the ladies she taught. Several of them came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
She also had many Bible and language classes in which she was very concerned and prayerful for each person’s spiritual journey. Up until the last few years, she would minister to those in her assisted living center.
Though we mourn to see Ginnie go, we know she now rests eternally with her heavenly Father’s reward of Salvation with joy. Well done, faithful friend and servant.