Read letters from Bruce and Lora Whearty
Bruce and Lora Whearty
Email: Bruce and Lora Whearty
Bruce and Lora are happy to speak to large or small groups of any age (including children and youth), and Bruce also loves to include story-telling and puppets in presentations. They are available to speak as schedule permits. See their contact information on the mission speakers page.
Lora Whearty and her husband Bruce left in early August 2008 to serve in Ethiopia. They returned to the States in March 2009 due to medical concerns.
Lora is now a teacher’s aide at the Early Learning Center on the campus of the University of Louisville, and Bruce is on the staff of the Communications and Funds Development Office. He raises support among churches for the sending of mission personnel.
The Wheartys served at the PC(USA) national offices from January 1, 2005, until March 2009. They came to Louisville as missionaries-in-residence after completing a three-year term as teachers and teacher trainers in the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu.
During her first spell in Louisville, Lora was the convener of the organizing team for Mission Challenge ’07, the nationwide effort to reconnect local congregations with PC(USA) missionaries around the world. Bruce was a member of that team and also served as a member of the national staff of the General Assembly council, working with missionaries in planning their interpretation assignments.
At the close of their term in Vanuatu, Bruce and Lora requested a reassignment because their two teenage daughters, who served with them overseas, needed the experience of a regular high school with a peer group and extracurricular activities. When their youngest daughter finished high school in June, 2008, Bruce and Lora accepted a new call to serve in Ethiopia.
During their seven months in Ethiopia, the Wheartys lived on the campus of a girls school in the capital city, Addis Ababa. The school is an outreach program of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (meaning “home of Jesus”), the longtime partner church of PC(USA). Lora taught English and Bruce worked with mentoring and training teachers for EECMY.
In Vanuatu, Bruce taught math, English and French while Lora organized a preschool for staff children at Onesua Presbyterian College. She also served as the assistant school librarian. The Wheartys had also served in Vanuatu as mission diaconal workers of the PC(USA) from 1992 to 1994. &ldaquo;It was a time of profound learning for us,” says Bruce. “We learned that we can be close friends with people from a fundamentally different culture, that we are far more adaptable than we dreamed and that God’s love is transcendent, more than sufficient for every need.”
Bruce holds an associate degree in child development from the Child Development Consortium, a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and a master’s in educational computing from Montana State University in Billings, Montana. He is currently working on a doctorate in teaching and learning. His dissertation will be about the views of Ethiopian refugees concerning the balance of Western and traditional cultural elements in their education. Before and in between service with the PC(USA) in Vanuatu, Bruce was an elementary school teacher in Melstone, Belgrade and Roundup, Montana. He is nationally certified as a middle cchool generalist and was awarded Montana’s Educator of the Year award in 1998.
Lora also holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Montana State University and is a certified elementary school teacher in Montana. She taught in public schools in Volberg and Melstone, Montana. Prior to leaving for Vanuatu the second time, she was a preschool teacher at the Zion Lutheran Church in Roundup, Montana.
The Wheartys are both ordained elders and are members of Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. They’re the parents of two adult daughters, Emily and Kinsey.
Bruce - February 28
Lora - January 16