Warwick businesswoman serves with foreign missions

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    WARWICK-Few people may be aware that Bonnie Oswald, a prominent Warwick businesswoman who owns the State Farm Insurance Agency at 40 1/2 Main St., has another life. Oswald recently returned from Avellaneda, Argentina, a 12-hour bus trip from Buenos Aires. Traveling from Warwick to that remote area in South America actually takes two days since it's a 15-hour plane ride just to get to Buenos Aires. The purpose of her long journey was to help build a church. "This was my 5th trip to the Mission fields," said Oswald. "I went on the first one to Pueblo, Mexico, in 1998." The Women's Ministries for the Assembly of God for the State of New York, she explained, sponsor the trips. "The women I travel with," she added, "are mostly the wives of pastors from all over the State of New York." Oswald, who is a member of the Assembly of God Church in Warwick, raised her four children in this community and has owned her State Farm Agency for over 23 years. She was once recognized by Who's Who of Professional Woman for her professional designations and accomplishments. When Oswald is not behind her desk, she looks for ways to serve the community such as volunteering to be a counselor at the Tri-State Christian Camp for underprivileged children. She is an active member of the St. Anthony Community Hospital Auxiliary (SACHA) holding various chairmanships for the organization's fundraisers. Oswald has also been directly involved with fund raising for St. Anthony's Community Hospital and has served on the committee for the hospital's annual Spring Gala, as well as its latest holiday home tour event, "Winding Through Warwick." When Oswald and her companions travel to distant lands, they figuratively and literally build churches. The hands-on tasks range from sanding, acid washing and sealing bricks to applying the paint. "We start with a tent on a dirt lot," she said. "Then we invite the people to come and build the church." Oswald reported that in Mexico, for example, over 200 people accepted the invitation during the 10 days that the missionaries were there. "We returned two years later to finish the details and to have the church dedication," she said. In Argentina, she said, the number of people who responded was even much larger. Besides Mexico and Argentina, Oswald has worked with missionaries in San Salvador, and closer to home, in the Harlem district of Manhattan. This coming spring, she plans to spend much of her free time working in New York City with the Billy Graham Crusade, scheduled for the end of June. And, her next trip to the mission field will be to Africa next summer. There, they plan to build a church for homeless children who now meet in the fields because the adults will not allow them to come to their church. "We go to these far away places to bless others," said Oswald," but we come back so very blessed ourselves. It is such rewarding work."