In Memoriam – Merle Jacobs

Dear friends, it is with a mix of sadness and joy that we report of the passing of Merle Jacobs. He passed away Wednesday 27th of July 2022 after a short battle with cancer, with his wife Maria by his side. We are rejoicing over his legacy and his promotion to heaven. Maria wrote:

Merle left this world and entered Heaven. It is a great loss to our Family, but he lived a good life seeking to do God’s will and follow His call.  Sometimes those choices do not come easy, but the Rewards are great.  The Bible says “Obedience is better than sacrifice.” I can almost hear the Lord say to him, “Well done my good and Faithful servant”

It was a difficult  passage at times, as saying Goodbye from a Heart of Love is difficult, but he knew where he was headed and He kept His eyes and Heart on our Lord and Savor and went home in Peace..

His Nurse had just left the room and joined my friend and I on the couch to give us her report of what to expect.  I already knew what was coming and coming soon because I had spent most of the night sitting by his bed and holding his hand often during those hours.  I am grateful for those hours of listening to Praise music and saying my Goodbyes. I was grateful for the past 5 weeks of caring for him and for my many neighbors and church friends who just could not do enough for me.

Maria Jacobs

Photo Memories of Merle

Merle & Family Ministry

  • 1990 Merle and Maria attended the FMS (Family Ministries School) in Weyerhaeuser, Wisconsin
  • 1995 Merle & Maria joined the pioneering team in Hainichen, Germany.
  • 1999 – 2019 University of the Nations – Family Resource Center (FRC). Merle was one of the founding leaders of the FRC. In 1999 an Ad Hoc committee was formed and the FRC was officially recognized by the UofN in 2003. Merle worked tirelessly as a committee member developing schools and seminar curriculums. He worked on policies and training materials and submitted countless FRC forms and applications. He and Maria pioneered several schools in new locations and ran new seminars for the UofN. Several Family Ministry leaders and school leaders considered them as mentors and as a spiritual “Father and Mother”.
  • 2000 they worked with the FMS in Norway
  • 2004 they pioneered the FMS in Ukraine
  • 2007 they pioneered the FMS in Kyrgyzstan
  • 2016 they pioneered the FFS in Worcester, South Africa
  • 2018 they launched the FFS in Kona, Hawaii.

They worked with several other leaders across the globe in setting up schools and seminars.

Messages of Sympathy from around the world

We all owe a great deal to Merle (and Maria) in their tireless pioneering work and in later years laying the foundation of the AFC

Paul Marsh – Switzerland

A great loss for FM of a man of great wisdom. Maria we send our love to you and the family in your grief. We know Merle will be rejoicing now with Jesus.

Ross & Sheryll Watkins – New Zealand

We have a cabin in the Norwegian woods and Merle and Maria have spent some time there before. I just came from a few days there with my dad. Yesterday we talked about Merle and my dad reminded me of a lot of stories from earlier days and the legacy of Merle and Maria in Norway and around the world. His heart for families was remarkable and their impact in many peoples life is substantial! Lots of love from Norway to Maria in this time of grieving!

Trond Saethren – on behalf of FM Norway

We have very good memories of Merle.
We met him at the FMS in Châtel and he came to Togo several times to teach. May the Lord comfort Maria and the whole family. We send our Love to them.

Solomon & Elisabeth Hadzi – Togo

Our condolence to your family Maria. May His peace, and strength sustain you and your family during this time of grief.

Arthur & Eva Banganan – Philippines

Our deepest condolences to Maria.
We met Merle in our first FMS we ran in 2012. We have a good memories of him. In our hearts and prayers

Achille & Leo – Cameroon

Deepest condolences to Maria and loved ones. Praying for you … may the hope of heaven give you peace and love of the Father bring you comfort at this time. Thankful to God for the many contributions and influences both Merle and you have had in many parts of Asia.

William & Patrena – on behalf of FM Asia

Our deepest condolences to Maria and the family. Praying for God’s peace and comfort for them at this difficult time.

Josiah – India

All our love from Brazil ❤️ praying for Maria

Peter & Selma Thomas, Claudia Nielsen – Brazil

We love and admire Merle and Maria! So many memories together! They made a great impact in Family Ministry in Ukraine 💙💛 We are honored to continue their work!

Alyona Yukhymchuk – Ukraine

It is a blessing to have some one who did invest so much in us personally and in family ministry in Ukraine.

Tetyana Sokolovskaya – Ukraine

We are mourning with you, Maria. We are deeply thankful for the privilege of knowing and working alongside Merle the encourager, listener, the pioneer, supporter, promoter, friend, clear thinker and man of wisdom. YWAM Family Ministries, the FRC, YWAM Hainichen and many FM initiatives around the world wouldn’t be what they are today without Merle’s (and your) commitment and involvement. We are deeply thankful for the years you spent in Hainichen when we pioneered the base. Lots of challenges, dust and dirt, but also lots of opportunities (teaching English in high school) and fun. The people in Hainichen will remember Merle also as the American walking the streets with a big hat and a big mug of coffee. You are in our hearts and prayers! Much love…

Angela and Andreas – Germany

Merle Jacobs has been part and parcel of training to us in the area of registration for FM schools in Tanzania. He was a great motivator to us. Our heartfelt prayers from FMS Tanzania go to our dear mum Maria and the whole family. May the Lord Comfort you!

Langson & Mary Zulu – East Africa

The FRC owes a huge debt of gratitude to Merle. He attended to many details and had boundless energy seeing to it that many FRC programs were launched and that they were quality programs.

Larry Ballard – USA (former leader of FMI & FRC)