On September 29, 2013 Isaac Fehr, minister of the El Temporal colony in Campeche, Mexico, died at 80 years and 1 day, of a suspected heart attack in Hopelchen park, two months after the passing of his second wife. The following is a tribute to him by Galen Nissley from Mennonite Mutual Aid, a Beachy Amish outreach program centred in Hopelchen. According their newsletter it was “Isaac’s letter of May 1995 to Steve L. Yoder requesting aid for the drought-stricken Mennonites of northern Mexico was what led to the formation of Mexico Mennonite Aid. Over the years, he was a good friend and a valuable colony connection for the MMA board and staff.”
A Stable Figure of My Time in Mexico, Galen Nissley.
As I look back over our time in Mexico, there are many memories that come to mind. One memory that is etched in my mind is of one day when the going was a little rough – homesickness! A man by the name of Isaac Fehr came into the office. As usual he took a few books from our library. Then, as it was a slow day, he sat down across from our desk and began a normal conver-sation. Soon, though, he began to ask a few more personal questions, like – how are you doing? -and so on. Meaning, are you going to be ok? On another occasion he said, “You are understanding more of our language than you let on.” He said, “I can tell, because you are giving some facial expressions as people talk our language when they are making phone calls.” I did not realize how much of an encourager Isaac was until later. (He was also the only man I knew who had extra holes in his hat. I asked him about them and he said with a twinkle in his eye that it’s his air conditioning.) Once Isaac transcribed an entire long sermon he’d preached from the old German script to the present-day letters so I could read it. There were several note-book pages of this handwritten message. Isaac’s fluency in English speaking was often a great help.
Mexico Mennonite Aid, Update, January 2014