Dodie Beyler: Called to Serve

Beyler serves cake at the Groundhog day party held at the physical plant for faculty and staff.

What was supposed to be a leisurely trip to a local shopping plaza nearly three years ago, turned into a weekly volunteering responsibility for Dolores “Dodie” Beyler. It was Aug. 4, 2009, when Beyler, who lives in Walkerton, Ind., opted to “kill some time” at the Town & Country Shopping Center in Mishawaka, while her husband stayed in day care for his dementia. But the Lord had other plans.

“I felt the Lord tell me to go to Bethel,” says Beyler, “so I just turned into Bethel instead, and I said ‘I’ve come to volunteer.’” She’s been helping out in the physical plant and alumni office ever since.

Although she says she doesn’t feel a day over 42, 77-year-old Beyler has done everything from answering phones and handing out dorm keys, to shredding files and helping out at alumni events. Recently, Beyler prayed over the hundreds of chairs in the new Dining Commons and inspected each one to make sure there weren’t any problems.

“Wherever they need me, that’s where I want to be,” says Beyler. But, she confesses, “I like cleaning in the auditorium because I like to see what I find in the seats.”

Beyler does tasks that otherwise would get put on the back burner, says Miriam (Swank ’83) Wertz, physical plant office manager. “She has just been an asset. She is very faithful; she comes in regularly.”

Even though her husband is now in a nursing home in Walkerton, Ind., “Grandma Dodie,” as she’s often referred to on campus, can still be seen around Bethel on Wednesdays, helping out in whatever capacity needed. Volunteering at Bethel “is a wonderful outlet, and when I serve there, I’m serving the Lord,” says Beyler, who says as long as she can drive a car, she will continue helping out at Bethel.

Beyler is no stranger to doing God’s service. In 1997 she went to Switzerland and sang at an international choir festival; in 1998 she went to India and helped at a Bible college; and she went to Haiti with two doctors last summer on a medical mission trip. “Mission work and serving has kind of been on my heart in all walks of life,” she says. “I’ve always had a mission mind.”

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