During their married life, Les Troyer
wife Madeline have lived in such exotic places as Nepal and the Philippines.
SUGARCREEK - Les Troyer's
life has taken him to a great many places beyond the Auburn Township farm he
grew up on.He's spent time as a Bible translator in the Philippines and Nepal, served as pastor of two churches, worked as an associate of a nationally known evangelist and written books and a newspaper column.Troyer
, the son of Melvin and Saloma Troyer, was raised on a farm in Pleasant Valley, south of Sugarcreek. His world travels began when he went to school at Prairie Bible College in Alberta, Canada.He
graduated from the school in 1955.
It was also the place where he
wife, Madeline, a student from Kansas City.Les was class president and Madeline was class secretary.
"That's how we met," he
recalled.They were married in Kansas City in 1955.
That same year, he
was accepted into the Wycliffe Bible translating organization.In 1957, Troyer
was assigned to do translating work in the Philippines.But before he
could go, he
had to attend jungle training in Mexico."That's where they separate the men from the boys," he
was assigned to translate the Bible for the Gaddang people in the Luzon highlands north of Manila, the nation's capital.The Gaddang spoke their own language, but it had never been written down.It was Troyer's job to translate the New Testament into their language.He
didn't preach or do missionary work among these people.He was strictly a translator. He
and Madeline lived in very primitive conditions in an area that was two days' journey from the main highway.
While living in the Philippines, Troyer
began writing a column for the Sugarcreek Budget, telling of his
been writing a column for the paper ever since.
After five years, the Troyers returned to the United States on furlough, where Les
completed coursework at Grace College
in Winnona Lake, Ind.He
needed to learn Greek to assist him in his
The Troyers returned to the Philippines in 1963 for another five-year stint.They lived in Manila, where Les directed Wycliffe operations in the country.He
had 158 people under his
During that time, he
got to know Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator of the Philippines, as well as Marcos' wife, Imelda, who gained notoriety for her
enormous collection of shoes.Troyer
served on Marcos' Commission on Minorities
, using his
experience working with the nation's minority groups.
Four of the Troyers' five children were born in the Philippines.Living overseas was a good experience for them, he
said there were 50 spoken languages in the country that had never been reduced to writing.Working with the Nepalese government, Wycliffe provided text for school books in those languages.In return, the government allowed Wycliffe to translate the New Testament into those languages.Les then spent time in Washington for Wycliffe, working as a liaison with ambassadors from countries Wycliffe was operating in.In 1980, he became pastor of Countryside Chapel at Baltic.Two years later, he became founding pastor of Valley View Community Church at Sugarcreek, where he served for six years.
During that time, he
attended a writers conference, where he
met author and lecturer Gigi Graham, daughter of famed evangelist Billy Graham.That led to him spending 16 years as her
publicist."It was one of the most satisfying ministries I've ever had," he
Since returning to Tuscarawas County, Les Troyer
has found plenty to keep him busy.He teaches a Sunday school class at Dover Alliance Church, where he's a member.He
assists Madeline with her
antiques business.And he
recently completed two books, "From the Streets and Lanes of Sugarcreek Town," about Sugarcreek history, and "Beyond the Dreams of Pigeon Run," the story of a Christian businessman in Massillon.While living in North Carolina, Troyer became a member of a storytelling troupe.
has been exercising his
storytelling skills at the Good House at Ragersville, where he
tells tales about local history.He's
scheduled to appear there the next three Wednesdays.