Janet Sprunger, a mission worker for 40 years in Taiwan and Hong Kong, died Sept. 13 at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community in Harrisonburg at the age of 92.
Sprunger and her husband, Hugh, were the first workers sent to Taiwan by the Commission on Overseas Mission of the General Conference Mennonite Church. They were instrumental in planting several Mennonite churches and mentoring new pastors from 1954 to 1978. They also served the Mennonite churches in Hong Kong from 1980 to 1994.
Sprunger modeled Spirit-led, practical and culturally sensitive mission that inspired discipleship, said Mike Sherrill, executive director of Mennonite Mission Network. “Through faith active in love, Janet served both physical needs and spiritual needs, holding the two together as she persevered to see a truly kingdom-building church in Asia,” he wrote.
Marietta and Sheldon Sawatzky, who served in Taiwan, said the Sprungers “were deeply loved and respected for their humble, wise and effective service with the Taiwan Mennonite Church and mission community.”
Sprunger was born July 16, 1928, to Georgia (Pottinger) and Sidney Frost in Racine, Wis. In 1950, she married Hugh Sprunger, who preceded her in death. She is survived by five children, Cynthia Sprunger (Steve) Fogleman of Fairfax, Va., Nancy Sprunger Kettelhut of Fairfax; Meribeth Sprunger Kraybill (Art Stoltzfus) of Harrisonburg, Michael (Alonna) Sprunger of Lancaster, Pa., and Mark (Angela) Sprunger of Lancaster; 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.