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Dan Byler returns to U.S. after 40 years

By Lydia Gingerich

Returning to the U.S. was not an easy decision. Dan Byler had hoped a team of LAMP participants would join him in Thailand, but those prospects fell through. After approximately 40 years of service in a foreign context, Dan moved back to the United States to serve in Columbus, Ohio. While there is a note of disappointment in some of the lost opportunities in Thailand, RMM welcomes the experience and gifts Dan brings to the ministry efforts in Columbus.

In 1973 Dan began his career with RMM in Nicaragua, traveling to mountain villages and sharing the gospel. For three years his team promoted literacy, held medical clinics, and taught farming techniques in less-developed areas. Today there are numerous thriving churches in those villages because of the seeds planted many years ago. In 1990 Dan began his ministry in South Asia, reaching out to Muslims and Hindus. After raising up a local team that would carry on the ministry in South Asia, he moved to Thailand and served as the Asian regional director for RMM for several years. For the past 13 years Dan has been teaching and discipling in various parts of Thailand and overseeing church planting efforts in a nearby country. Dan plans to continue to visit Asia periodically to maintain a connection with the work there and to mentor leaders, but his continual presence will certainly be missed.

“… he likes us to share our experiences and talk about what we are learning, even though he has a lot of experiences already.”Tom and Candice Mast, who have worked with Dan in Thailand for over ten years, were deeply impacted by their time together. Candice observes, “One thing that I’ve really appreciated is the way he leads with humility. He always has a learning attitude and when we meet together as a team, he likes us to share our experiences and talk about what we are learning, even though he has a lot of experiences already.”

Tom Mast, who succeeded Dan as the Asian regional director in 2013, reflects, “Dan has to do things a lot of different ways as he moves through cultures and languages, but through all that he remains in one vision of reproducing disciples.” RMM is excited to have Dan in Columbus, making connections and continuing to invite those around him to worship Jesus.

Pray for Dan as he faces many adjustments in the months ahead. Pray that his global perspective will be heard and utilized in the American church.