“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” (Revelation 14:13)
Brother Reinhard Berndt was born on June 30, 1932, to his parents Emil and Augusta (nee Litke) in Gelanka, Wolhynia, and died on October 26, 2018 at his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
In 1939, his family, like many other Wolhynian Germans, had to obey the order to relocate to Warthegau. In 1945, they needed to flee from the eastern front in the direction of Germany. The Lord helped them to get safely by horse and cart to Wildenhain, Saxony. Although they were under Russian occupation, Brother Berndt was allowed to finish school there and start apprenticeship.
Even as a child while they were in Wolhynia, his parents took him to the church services in Amelin. In his nature there was a tendency to believe and fear God. At the age of 15 he gave his life to the Lord and was baptized in the eastern zone of Germany. Since I also lived in the eastern zone of Germany at the time, we occasionally met at some of the fest services of the church of God under the sermons of Brother August Link. Blessings of this kind usually remain unforgettable and still inspire gratitude today.
The mother of the deceased had a brother in Canada, who was willing to sponsor the entire Berndt family so that they could immigrate to this country. However, this immigration could only be processed from the western zone of Germany. This meant that the Berndts had to flee to West Germany. The Lord again gave them success, so that they could cross the border to West Germany without any border control. They came to a refugee camp in Ülzen and were allowed to enter Canada after only three months, in August 1950. They initially stayed with the uncle who had sponsored them for a short time.
However, because there were already meetings of the church of God in Winnipeg at the time, they also went there to attend church regularly and to have fellowship with children of God. Brother Berndt participated willingly in the church, soon became youth leader, served on the church board and also began to preach the word of God on occasion as a substitute.
In 1959, the deceased married Edeltraut Stelter. The Lord blessed their marriage with two sons, Marvin and Glen. The young couple was ready to serve God with all their devotion. In 1964, the brother visited the newly-opened Bible School in Edmonton, Alberta. In 1965 they moved to Edmonton, where Brother Berndt became an assistant pastor in the growing church, which was at the time under the leadership of Brother and Sister Gustav and Wanda Sonnenberg.
In 1967 Brother Berndt followed the Lord’s call to Kitchener, Ontario, and served this church until 1971. Then the Brother and Sister moved back to Edmonton and served there faithfully for 17 years. Finally, a call came to them from Aylmer, Ontario, where they were also able to serve this relatively young congregation for 15 years. After these many years of service, the Brother and Sister moved back to Winnipeg and retired there.
After such a long time of sacrificial service, there often still follows a difficult period of suffering. Unfortunately, that was the situation for dear Brother Berndt. Loyally and conscientiously, he had been able to carry out the work of the Lord. Thanks to his ministry, he was able to show many souls the clear path to the Lord and eternal salvation. Now his life, his work, and his time of suffering are forever ended.
We wish our dear Sister Berndt, her two sons and all other family members and friends the consolation of God.
We all want to remember the fact that Brother Berndt was a truly useful tool in God’s hand. Through his teaching and participation in the Bible courses, he will certainly remain in the memory of many young people for a long time. Likewise, even the older people in the various congregations will certainly remember him for a long time. Remarkable and comforting at the same time is the fact that he left a good legacy among God’s people at home and abroad. The work he did speaks to the visible and healing grace of God in his life.