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To Borneo and back again – mother and daughter are “back home” and loving life at Aberdeen Village

To say that Rey (Valencia) Schuman has the heart of a missionary would be an understatement. She met her late husband at a church and the pair devoted much of their lives to serving God by serving others. It’s a passion that rubbed off on their daughter, Beckie Kim, who now lives with her mother at Aberdeen Village.

“We were living in New Mexico,” Beckie explained. “I moved there from Hawaii after I lost my husband so I could take care of my parents. When Dad passed away, we moved back to the Kansas City area, which is home.”

Rey’s husband (and Beckie’s father) was Dr. Norvin Schuman. Rey, who was born in the Philippines, met Norvin while he was premed at Baker University. She attended Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas, and was at Baker with a church group.

“He was working as a custodian at the church, and I needed to find a phone,” Rey recalled. “He said, ‘follow me’ and I followed him all the way to the altar.”

That’s where the missionary work comes in. The pair, inspired by faith in God and Norvin’s admiration of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, spent 6 years as missionaries on the island of Borneo.

“When people expressed concerns about the dangers we held firm to our faith,” said Rey. “God was already in Borneo and He would take care of us.”

Eventually, the pair settled in Kansas City when they returned home. They planned to go back, but a civil war on the island altered those plans. Dr. Schuman instead worked at KU Medical Center and Research Medical Center during his time in the area. Upon retirement, the couple moved to New Mexico, where they lived for 34 years.

Beckie, who has a great admiration for both of her parents, also got their servant’s heart.

“I was a CNA in Hawaii and volunteered in long-term care communities,” she said. “Now I’m volunteering here even as a resident.”

She also continues to enjoy another of her mother’s talents – the piano.

“Mom’s piano is now in the dining room here at the Village,” she said.

“I still play sometimes,” said Rey. “I’ve always enjoyed music.”

The notes she and Beckie have hit over the course of their lives have brought joys and challenges. They feel fortunate to still be dancing to the music of life together.

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