Wiens, Sarah (1906-1981)
When Sarah was 13, the family moved to Blumstein, in the Molotschna Colony. The Wiens family came to Canada in 1924, lived with a Swiss Mennonite family in Wellesley, Ontario, and moved to Newton Siding, Manitoba, the following spring. In 1928 they settled in Leamington where they lived on various farms, and finally on 88 Victoria Avenue. Here Sarah cared for her aging parents. She worked on farms, in the Kingsville and Leamington Tobacco Factories and at the H. J. Heinz Company. During her early years in Canada, Sarah's paycheck--excluding the change--went to pay the family's Reiseschuld, and when, on occasion, the change would come to as much as 95 or 99 cents, her joy was complete! Sarah loved children and doted on her nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews.
Her love of children led Sarah to her life's calling of Sunday School Teacher. For over 25 years Sarah taught Sunday school in the Essex County United Mennonite Church, which, in 1958, became the Leamington United Mennonite Church. Here she taught firstly with Abram Rempel as superintendent, followed by Jacob Epp for 13 years, and lastly, 10 years with superintendent Henry Winter. Sarah instructed the beginner class and for these youngsters, it was their first school experience.
In 1953 the congregation founded a Summer Bible School program under the leadership of Rev. Jacob Epp, and again, it was Sarah who provided the children with their first school experience. German was the language of instruction. She often illustrated her lessons with the use of a flannel graph. Sarah Wiens was unmarried and childless, nevertheless, with each new school year, she adopted the children in her class and became their "Tante Sarah." She was friendly, loving, patient, tender and motherly. As a result many of the children she taught accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. Thus, her congregation held her in highest esteem. Eventually the children had difficulty understanding the German language, and parallel German/English classes were introduced. When some children in her German language class transferred to the English class, it was a big adjustment for Sarah, and the mothers needed to set it right and console her.
With dedication and devotion, Sarah Wiens influenced the congregation's children to believe in Jesus and God blessed her in this task.
Winter, Henry, "Sarah Wiens." Translated by Astrid Koop. Unpublished manuscript, 2002.
Driedger N. N. The Leamington United Mennonite Church, Establishment and Development 1925-1972. Leamington, ON.: Driedger Family, 1973.
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MLA style: Koop, Astrid. "Wiens, Sarah (1906-1981)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. February 2003. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W5466.html.
APA style: Koop, Astrid. (February 2003). Wiens, Sarah (1906-1981). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/W5466.html.