When Marge Johnson heard Fargo Elim was on fire in January 2020, she had the impulse to jump in the car and go, to be of help however she could. But she was 88 and suffering from a back injury. She knew she wouldn’t be able to do much, so she turned on the news and waited. While she waited, she prayed. She had watched the construction of Fargo Elim in 1967, and now she was watching it burn.
Marge was relieved to learn that every single person at Fargo Elim had been safely evacuated. Yet, she immediately wondered…what would become of Fargo Elim? This was a profound loss for her community, and for her personally.
Marge and her family have been part of the Fargo Elim family since the very beginning. It all started when her husband Gordy was asked to sing at the groundbreaking ceremony. They fell in love with our mission and thus started a relationship with Fargo Elim lasting 54 years and counting. Gordy’s mom was a resident. Four out of their five kids worked there during high school. And Marge and Gordy volunteered together and supported Fargo Elim financially.
Initially, Marge and Gordy served on the auxiliary group Friends of Elim and helped create all sorts of fundraisers. Tremendous needs were met through their efforts. In 1989, Marge became the first Fargo Elim Volunteer Coordinator. She was able to take a list of ten volunteers and turn it into 120 in less than two years.
Marge retired in 1996, but she and Gordy continued to support and volunteer at Fargo Elim in a variety of ways until Gordy passed away in 2011. She missed him desperately, but she continued the good work they’d done together, right up until the fire. She was overjoyed to learn Fargo Elim would be rebuilt and would be even better than before.
When Marge was asked to serve on Fargo Elim’s Returning Home capital campaign committee, she only hesitated for a moment. She has dealt with debilitating vertigo for the last few years, so she knew she wouldn’t be able to make every meeting. But she wanted to do what she could to help rebuild Fargo Elim, so she jumped right in.
Marge works alongside her fellow committee members, inviting the community to help rebuild Fargo Elim. Marge has made her own gift to the campaign and is glad to invite others to join her. She says, “The years I worked and volunteered with Fargo Elim have been the most wonderful. To this day, I still love the little I can do for Fargo Elim.”
Marge watched Fargo Elim come to be, watched it burn down and is now seeing it rebuilt. Marge is now 90, and with her pain and her vertigo, she often feels her age. She misses Gordy every day, and looks forward to seeing him again in Heaven. In the meantime, she perseveres, and she’s helping Fargo Elim persevere. She continues to serve her Fargo Elim family and looks forward to the day when the doors open again.
If you would like to join Marge in helping the Fargo Elim family return home, you can. Click here to schedule a gift through Giving Hearts Day or reach out to Pastor David or Megan for more information.
Pastor David Juve