A Little about George
George Robert was born in Chicago, IL on January 1, 1942 to Benjamin and Mary Jane Foster. Life growing up in NE Minneapolis with brothers Doug, Burt, Bart, and Kenny wasn’t always easy. While his father could be very violent, his loving mother encouraged her five sons!
At sixteen, George ran away from home to his grandpa’s farm in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, where he stayed the summer. His grandpa was a preacher and a kind man. Instead of telling George what was wrong, he told him stories. Maybe that’s where George learned the formula:
“Tell a story, make a point. Tell a story, make a point. Wrap it up and leave the joint.”
At the end of the summer, he made a decision to be a minister.
After graduating from high school, George spent a year at Asbury College in Kentucky where he grew spiritually and felt called to missions. Back in Minnesota, he made lifelong friends and prepared to be a missionary with Bethany. He married Dolly Haase, and they ministered on the West Coast and pastored a church in Lincoln NE before boarding a Norwegian freighter and heading to Brazil.
In Brazil, George initially used his graphic arts skills but was soon preaching in local churches and promoting Editora Betânia, which became one of Brazil’s leading evangelical publishers.
George was well-liked in the Christian community and received speaking opportunities throughout his life. He wrote and published several books, including the booklet Following Jesus Christ, which sold 1.5 million copies in Portuguese and was translated into 12 languages.
After 25 years in Brazil, George and Dolly moved to Minnesota where George became Bethany’s mission director for Europe. He and Dolly traveled extensively visiting missionaries. In his later years, he became International Pastor to missionaries, and his ministry extended to all five continents. In all he visited 62 countries with a continued goal to visit all Portuguese-speaking countries.
George was committed to advancing the Kingdom and standing up for what was right. He was a loyal friend, trusted counselor, and encouraged others in their work and ministries. He was instrumental in growing Bethany’s ministry in Brazil and beyond and lent a friendly hand to ministries in Brazil like YWAM, Peniel, and Atletas de Cristo.
George was a loving and supportive father to his children Rob and Marci and never let his ministry role overshadow his fatherly role. He had a special place in his heart for kids. He loved to entertain them, bounce them on his knee, and sing his famous composition “I know an old lady who swallowed a fly…” He was beloved to his oldest grandson Nicolas, who lit up every time he appeared on WhatsApp. He will be missed by all!
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, brother Doug, and son Steven. He is survived by children, Robert (Clarissa) and Marci (Keith); grandsons, Nicolas and Oliver; brothers, Burt, Bart (Donna), and Ken (Linda); as well as many other relatives and friends.