Appendix F: McMillan Sons’ Biographies
Ken McMillan was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRCongo) and is grateful for a happy childhood and early turning of his life over to God. Somehow, woven into his life is the motto Miseris Succurrere Disco (Latin for “I learn to succor the distressed”), adopted centuries ago by his Scottish MacMillan clan.
After high school he spent 15 years in studies. Moody Bible Institute (foreign missions diploma) was followed by Michigan State (BA) and Wayne State University (MD). Ione passed away in 1976 during his general surgery residency in Detroit, MI. He obtained certification under the American Board of Surgery, and a Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the University of London in 1982 before proceeding to DRCongo.
The first part of his professional career was spent in church-run healthcare in DRCongo under CrossWorld (formerly Unevangelized Fields Mission). Soon after arrival Ken met Ginny Stone, his wife-to-be. She had begun missionary nursing work at Tandala, 800 miles to the west. In God’s perfect timing, they found themselves in the same government course at Nyankunde (means “mountain of love” in local language). Ken met her the day after she had read about the Simba Rebellion and the McMillans in Out Of The Jaws Of The Lion (Homer Dowdy). They were married in 1983. Jane and Thomas were born to them while working in DRCongo.
During his 15 years of service in eastern DRCongo he was Medical Director and Surgeon of Rethy Hospital. He served as Public Health Officer for the surrounding 265,000 villagers. He founded and directed Rethy Nursing School, and was Flying Doctor to other rural hospitals without doctors (Aba, Assa, Banda, Nebobongo and Oicha). He trained seven nurses from those hospitals in major surgery, and taught three Congolese physicians in surgical procedures. Dr McMillan and his family had to evacuate DRCongo in 1996 due to civil war.
Since then he has made annual visits to the region of DRCongo where he grew up. He supervises church-run medical projects and appreciates hours of rapprochement with Congolese friends who are still hurting after decades of instability and war.
In 1999 Ken settled with his family in Minnesota, finding a medical niche at the American Indian Community Development Corporation (AICDC) in Minneapolis. He created their Kola Street Outreach Program, acting as a safety net physician to homeless Native Americans. He did rural emergency room work and completed a public health course at University of Minnesota (UMN). He has also supervised clerkships of medical students from UMN and nursing students from Bethel University and Crown College. From 2007 to 2015, he taught addiction medicine and health at the First Nations Recovery Center in Minneapolis. Presently, he continues under contract at AICDC, treating primarily homeless adults with mental illnesses and substance use disorders.
Ken and Ginny have enjoyed coaching Jane and Thomas into adulthood, watching Jane obtain her doctorate in Physical Therapy, and Thomas his BA in communications. She is in Minneapolis working under Gillette Children’s Health System, and he in the Balkans under Crossworld.
From their home in Crystal, Minnesota, Ginny and Ken are working and volunteering at their New Hope Church in health and prayer ministry. Over the last 4 years they have befriended several Native American believers, and facilitated outreach to Indian reservations in Minnesota and South Dakota using Bible Studies and health coaching.
Dr McMillan summarizes his family’s ministry as “Helping the Church Heal the Hurting.” They lean heavily on the Word of God, and are praying “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
Early in 1968, Paul’s mother, Ione, left with his four younger siblings to return to Congo. She had been assigned by the mission to serve at Rethy Academy in the Northeastern part of Congo, where Paul and his brothers had been attending before the Simba Rebellion of 1964.
Along with his older brother, Ken, Paul stayed at their house in Pontiac, Michigan, with Ione’s mother, Leone Reed. Paul finished his senior year of high school at Emmanuel Christian School in 1968 and began making plans to go to Moody Bible Institute in Chicago in the fall of 1968 for their three year program.
Following his graduation from MBI in 1971, Paul took two years of technical studies at Le Tourneau College in Texas at the same time his brother, John, was there. They both spent several summers working in Alaska and one summer at the GM Truck and Coach Assembly plant in Pontiac, MI.
At this time, Paul applied to the same mission his mother was with (UFM ), with plans to serve the Lord in missions. He was accepted and advised to pursue further ministerial studies at a theological seminary following his studies at Le Tourneau College. He was accepted at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, IN where he began attending in the fall of 1973, and graduating three years later.
During his time at Grace Seminary, Paul was attending a small Bible Church in Winona Lake and became acquainted with Linda Hoffman, who was getting her teaching degree at Grace College. Their friendship became more serious as they served the Lord co-teaching a Junior Sunday School class at the Bible Church. Linda, too, wanted to serve the Lord in missions and applied to UFM , and was accepted . They believed that God had brought them together, and began making plans for marriage as both of them finished their studies by 1976. They were married in May of 1976 in Eugene, OR. Paul’s mother, grandmother and most of the brothers came to this event. His mother, Ione, went to be with the Lord later that same year.
After a year of marital adjustment, living in Idaho with Linda’s sister and husband, Paul and Linda spent nine months studying Spanish in Edinburg, TX and then in the summer of 1978 left the US from Miami to live and serve the Lord in the Dominican Republic.
Their three daughters, Kathryn, Sandra (twins) and Carol were born in the DR during the next three years as Paul and Linda took charge of a Bible Institute in the capital city of Santo Domingo, training young Dominican men and women for Christian service.
In 1985, Paul began a new ministry as one of the pastors of a new Church formed by some of the Bible Institute students reaching out to middle and upper-class Dominicans. Three years later Paul and Linda were able to purchase a piece of property in Northern Santo Domingo. This opened up new doors of ministry where they were able to build a small house and during the following years, establish a school and church where they are presently living. Two of their daughters have married and Paul and Linda can enjoy seeing the 6 grand children – four are here in the DR and two living in Charlotte, NC.
God has blessed this work, where now there is a large school of almost 400 students including both grade school and high school levels. The church has close to 100 members.
David was 14 yrs. old at the time of the Congo rebellion, and the loss of his father, and was in 8th grade. The return to N. America landed him and his brothers in Michigan, and to two more different schools before that school year ended. Three years later his mother Ione was ready to return to Congo, and David was the oldest of the four younger brothers to return with her. The next year he graduated from Rift Valley Academy, Kenya, stayed in Congo for 6 months to help his mother at Rethy Academy, and then started his college years at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago (where his two older brothers were students.)
His first semester at MBI he met Rebecca Williams and began dating her a year later. David found part time work in the city and spent a couple summers working in Alaska at his aunt Doris’ salmon processing plant. After a diploma in foreign missions from Moody, David then went on the get a Sociology degree from U. of Illinois, Chicago. David and Rebecca were married in June of 1974 at her parents’ church/camp south of Chicago.
Both David and Rebecca wanted to make God’s kingdom a priority in their lives and took the missionary path, joining the Unevangelized Fields Mission team in France. By the end of their first 4 year term they had four children (two born in France) and also the realization that they needed to stay in the U.S. and find a place to live and work and put down roots. The family went back to Illinois near Becky’s parents, 60 miles south of Chicago. Since David had not trained in any specific wage-earning field, it was a struggle for a few years to provide for his family. David and Becky now had six children. On-the-job training took place: Apprentice home construction (2 years), Pork slaughter house (8 years), print shop (2 months), self-employed home repair (10 years). In 2002, Becky’s father on his death bed asked David if he would want to move his family to the Williams’ family church/camp (Bible Witness Camp) and replace him as pastor/director. It was not an easy decision because David had by now developed a trusting clientele in his home repair business and was happy in his work.
At the Bible Witness Camp, where David and Becky still reside, the other staff members are Becky’s brother and sister. BWC is a non-denominational ministry in a rural African-American community, providing after-school Bible clubs, Sunday School and Church, summer camps, and various other events. Support comes from churches and friends.
Their two youngest children moved to the Camp with them, but all six children are on their own now, and David and Becky have 19 grandchildren. Since 2011 they have trained for foster care, and have welcomed several children into their home.
After high school graduation at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya in 1970, John attended Ontario Bible College in Toronto for a one-year special missions program. Between work at a General Motors truck assembly plant near Pontiac, Michigan and later, attending two semesters at Le Tourneau College in Texas, he spent summers helping Aunt Doris with commercial set net salmon fishing in Kenai, Alaska.
Keen to follow his own path and utilizing his inherited design and inventive skills, he moved to Alaska in 1976 where he lived for the next 15 years. He worked as a crewmember on salmon set net fishing sites, drift gill net boats, and a salmon purse seine boat but mostly as a manager of Doris’s seafood processing operation that he helped to build on the Kenai River. He also freelanced in art and design, and later in the oil patch of Alaska’s north slope supervising the design and installation of a pipe inspection facility. During the off seasons he traveled to Hawaii, Kenya, Minneapolis, and to Zaire multiple times. One trip to Kenya was to collect data for the co-authoring of an African safari field guide (sport fishing) which was published by Wm. Morrow & Co.
At age 40 John had permanently moved to Seattle where he began working on a toggle release invention inspired by a primitive quick release seen being used in set net fishing. He graduated from the Art Institute of Seattle with a 2-year degree in Industrial Design Technology and taught himself AutoCAD. Side activities included handyman and industrial design work to pay the bills. A year later he met Mary Manning while bird watching in Seattle.
Of the 6 patents covering mechanical designs that he obtained, the most important was the toggle release which found a foothold in the sea technology field. The Sea Catch Toggle Release (www.seacatch.com) was created and his business, McMillan Design, Inc. was formed.
He continued to travel, once to the Ecuadorian rain forest and again to Zaire to help dedicate the Hector McMillan Chapel at KM 8 (which he designed in Seattle). By age 45 the urge to settle down brought him to his present home in Gig Harbor, a small town 1 hour south of Seattle. Mary moved with him shortly after. They share a love for music (she on violin, viola and he on piano and accordion), bird watching, homemade pies and Gig Harbor’s historic waterfront.
At age 58 a new 20′ x 40′ shop for Sea Catch operations was built next to the house in Gig Harbor.
By now John had reached the 3 goals he set for himself when he moved from Alaska, namely to buy a home with acreage, have a successful relationship, and a successful business. After reading his parent’s letters it became apparent that his love of music, humor, and his inventive insight were some of the main characteristics he attributed directly to them.
John hired a full-time employee at age 60 and became semi-retired shortly thereafter. He continues to design new Sea Catch products, help engineers and technicians with complex or large-scale release applications, as well as volunteering at a restored boat yard on the Gig Harbor waterfront sharing his skills with the design and installation of the 70-ton marine railway carriage systems.
Stephen graduated High School at Rift Valley Academy, Kijabe, Kenya in 1971. He attended Moody Bible Institute where he graduated with a diploma in 1974, spent 2 years at Oakland Community College in Pontiac, Michigan for an Associate Degree in Applied Science in 1977, then completed his BS Degree in 2010 through Moody’s Distance Learning program.
Steve met Melinda Maness at Rethy Academy in December 1985 during an African Inland Mission conference. Melinda was doing physical therapy at Nyankunde Medical Center in north east Congo. They were married in March 1987 in Greensboro, North Carolina where her family resides. Between 1980 and 1997 Steve was station manager for Rethy Station in DRC Congo responsible for electrical and water systems, vehicle upkeep, and building maintenance for entire compound. It was just the type of work his father would have taken on with delight.
A family came next with 3 daughters and a son. Michelle was born in Congo in 1989, Rachel in Congo in 1990, Susanne in the USA in 1993 and Daniel in Congo in 1996.
In November 1996, the family was evacuated from Rethy with only a small bag. Everything left behind was looted and security was a concern so they settled in Kijabe, Kenya. All four children graduated from Rift Valley Academy, Kijabe, Kenya, and went on to further their work or educational experiences in the US.
At Kijabe during the years 1997 to 2008, Steve assumed the duties of technical manager for Kijabe Hospital, a 220-bed hospital which included oversight of the hospital biomed equipment, vehicles including busses, ambulances, and 4WD land cruisers used for bush clinics. He was also responsible for the station’s backup generator system, water supply and upgrades including installing a large $80,000 pipeline to a spring 5 miles up the valley. Melinda served as physical therapist in the hospital.
From 2008 to 2015 Steve was the maintenance supervisor for Rift Valley Academy, a large K-12 boarding school with 500 students, also located in Kijabe, Kenya. He was responsible for 120 residences, about 15 administration buildings, and all the building, electrical and hot water system upgrades from electrical tank heaters to solar evacuated tube units. He maintained a complex water system involving one large deep well feeding 6 primary tanks which feed a dozen secondary tanks before going through meters for each building. He also took on the oversight of 15 fulltime and up to 20 part time workers doing electrical, plumbing, building, and carpentry work for this large, smooth running institution.
Steve and Melinda moved to the Malewa Community near Naivasha, Kenya, in 2016 primarily for outreach with the Jesus Film to Dorobo, Masai, Kalenjin and Kikuyu tribes. They also have the ability to travel to remote areas such as Congo (March 2016) to attend Aketi church dedication and visit Steve’s birth place.
While at Naivasha they have met with British-descent, Asian-descent and Kenyans living in the area. Broken down solar water heaters and other technical needs give them a chance to serve and build relationships. Melinda’s Physical therapy skills are big help as many of them are getting older and have many physical challenges.
Tim attended Oakland Christian School in Pontiac, MI, for his senior year of high school rather than Rift Valley Academy in Kenya. His 1972 graduating class consisted of himself and five girls.
That Fall he began training at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago with the intention of getting accepted at Moody’s Missionary Aviation Flight School in Elizabethton, Tennessee. After two years of Bible and Missionary subjects in Chicago, Tim spent a year at Oakland University in Rochester, MI, taking liberal arts courses.
The Summer of 1975, Tim was accepted into the Moody Aviation Flight School in TN, and completed the course 26 months later with a Commercial and Instrument Pilot’s License as well as an A&P Mechanics License. Shortly after graduation in 1977, Tim applied to Missionary Aviation Fellowship and was accepted.
Attending a three-week Missionary Internship course in Farmington, MI, was a requirement of MAF. That was where Tim met Judy Williams who had also been sent there by Berean Missions. She had been assigned to the field of Ecuador with that Mission Board. By the end of those three weeks, both of them were convinced God had brought them together. Five months later, they were married in Judy’s home church in Maryland – New Carrolton Baptist Church.
August of 1978 found them flying to Switzerland for French language training, having been assigned to fly in Zaire (now D.R. Congo) with MAF. Bethany Lynn was born in Neuchatel, Switzerland, two months after beginning language school.
A decision was made by MAF to ask Tim & Judy to change fields from Zaire to Sudan as well as change from U.S. MAF to British MAF. This involved a month of British MAF orientation in England before flying to Sudan. Shortly after arriving in Malakal, Sudan, it became apparent the stress involved with all the changes was too great and they asked to be reassigned. MAF granted them a three month period of reassessment in Kinshasa, Zaire, after which, it was decided to leave the service of MAF in 1980.
The Air Traffic Controller’s strike in August, 1981, provided an opportunity for a different career. Tim began working as a radar controller at New York Center on Long Island, NY, in 1982, where Jason was born in January, 1984. A request to transfer to Washington Center in Leesburg, VA, was made in 1988 in order to be closer to Judy’s family. Air Traffic Control provided a good match for Tim’s problem-solving abilities – something he attributes to his father’s well-loved talent. Creative woodworking also developed into a practical avenue for Tim’s skills. Tim retired from controlling air traffic in 2005, but continued to work for a Government Contractor as an ATC Instructor for an additional ten years. Becoming care-givers for three grandchildren made the transition to being fully retired an easy decision.
In addition to the delight of caring for grandchildren, Tim & Judy are both active in the ministries of St. James Brethren Church in Fairplay, MD. Music, teaching, serving on the Ministry Board, and frequently preaching provide a fulfilling use of God-given gifts.
In February, 2014, Tim along with brothers Ken and David returned to Congo for a 50-year commemoration of Hector McMillan’s death in 1964. They were accompanied by Ken’s daughter, Jane; David’s daughter, Amy; and Paul’s daughter, Carol. The group was joined by Bob and Bill McAllister as well as David and Sabine McAllister. The historic eight-day visit was marked by a very warm welcome at many of the mission stations where these two families had invested their lives.