Arno Clifford Fast - Jun 27, 2020 at Undisclosed

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Pastor Arno C. Fast with His Lord October 14, 1929 – June 18, 2020 “Unto you therefore who believe He is precious” - 1 Peter 2:7

Arno C. Fast, went to be with his Saviour and Lord, Thursday, June 18th from his home in Winnipeg.

He went peacefully, “Home to be with Jesus”, surrounded by his wife Lena, children Joan (Pat), Jim (Beth), and a number of his grandchildren.

He loved us all dearly and prayed for us daily. We love him so much, and rejoice through tears that he is safely home with his King.

Arno was born October 14, 1929, the youngest of 10 children to Peter B. and Nettie Fast. There were 7 girls and the 3 boys that lived on the farm just outside Dalmeny, Saskatchewan, just north of Saskatoon.

Being the youngest he often found himself entertaining all his nephews, some almost as old as he was. Arno became a fun-loving uncle to many. As the youngest (little brother), his brothers and sisters played a special role in his life particularly Betty who was 2nd youngest, and Sue who often ‘looked after him’.

Arno came to know the Lord Jesus as his Savior at an early age, and developed a love for his Lord. At the age of 14 he was baptized in obedience to Christ’s command to believers (Matthew 28:18-19) as a testimony of his faith in Christ. The baptism was held in the North Saskatchewan River. Later his parents would move into town. Arno who was age 17 at the time, lived with them, and attended Bible School (Dalmeny Bible School) for 3 years. He would help his Dad and Ed with the farming, and teach Vacation Bible School during the summer months.

He wanted to be a missionary, but the Lord had different plans.

After 3 years of Bible School, he attended Normal School (Teachers College) in Saskatoon for 1 year (1951). His sister Betty was in nursing so they roomed together. At Teacher’s College he was leader of the Teacher’s Christian Fellowship, and also of a Youth Group in one of the Saskatoon Mennonite Brethren Churches. Arno taught for two years in northern Saskatchewan both at the Pineview School and Hyde Park School in the Medstead School Unit.

After 2 years of teaching, he came back home to Dalmeny to get ready to attend the Mennonite Brethren Bible College in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

But at the Canadian Conference of MB Churches in Hepburn, Saskatchewan he met Lena Krahn. Arno and Lena had met at previous times, so they found a place to visit. As they talked they realized that they both had registered for MBBC in Winnipeg. Not only that, they learned that they had both applied to teach Vacation Bible School that summer, and that Arno and another young man, George Block, would be billeted at the Krahn home in Saskatoon for 2 weeks. Arno, George, Lena, and her sister Serena all would teach VBS at the same school in Saskatoon.

In 1953 Arno went to MBBC in Winnipeg. Lena came after Christmas, and began attending. During the first year they started ‘courting’. When summer came Lena returned to Saskatoon to work at Woolworths, while Arno sold Fuller Brush door to door in Winnipeg. That summer when Arno was able to visit in July they were engaged. Upon returning to Winnipeg, Arno bought the ring, and sent it by registered mail to Lena.

On September 11, 1954 Arno married his dear wife Lena Krahn. They moved to Winnipeg as a married couple and finished schooling at MBBC in 1955.

Arno and Lena moved from there to Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan where Arno taught school for Grades 7/8 from 1955-57. It was here that they had their first child in March, 1956, a son, James (Jim). In 1957 they accepted the call to pastoral ministry, and moved to Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan to plant a church. They were there from 1957-61. It was here that a daughter was born to them in July, 1960, Joan. From 1961-69 they planted a church in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. In order to supplement their low income Arno used his training as a teacher.

In 1969, believing the Lord was leading them back to Winnipeg, Manitoba to pastor the Salem Mennonite Brethren Church (now Salem Community Bible Church), they moved. The church was very close to closing its doors, and was in a very needy situation. Arno and Lena ministered there for 50 years through many tough times seeing the church become a loving and fruitful multi-cultural ministry. Many, many people have come to know the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior, and grown in Christ through the faithful ministry of Arno (and Lena). Glory to the Lord.

God put His hand on Arno and used him to faithfully stand for, preach and teach God’s Word. There are many people whose lives have been touched, and are ministering in different parts of the world because of this faithful ministry.

Arno loved the Lord, and lived God’s love to others. He was a man of God, standing for truth in a mixed up world. His family, the church, his neighbors, and countless people will miss the influence of this wonderful man. The original desire to be a missionary came about in a different way than first expected. His legacy that he has left is a life that has taught us how to live and how to die. He taught us to love Jesus. He has taught us, as the Apostle Paul writes under God’s Spirit in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

See Distinguished Alumni Award -

Arno is survived by: Lena, his dear wife of 65 years, his son James Fast (wife Beth), and his daughter Joan Rapko (husband Pat), his grandchildren Jonathan Fast (Amber), Jared Fast (Colleen), Peter Fast (Deanna), Matthew Fast (Kelsey), Andy Rapko, Kim Rapko, Sarah Fast nee Rapko (Eric), and 10 great-grandchildren.

He is also survived by his sisters Sue; Leona, Ann Friesen (husband Harold), and Betty Schmidt (husband Ed), his sister-in-laws Serena Balzer (husband Ernie), Esther Krahn and many nephews and nieces.

Arno is pre-deceased by his parents Peter B. and Nettie Fast; his parents-in-law Abram and Lena Krahn; brothers Peter W. Fast (and wife Mary); Edwin Fast (and wife Linda); sisters Linda Andres (and husband Abe); Martha Labun (and husband Ray); Mary Dyck nee Fast; brother-in-law Abram Krahn.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Salem Community Bible Church.

The family of Arno C. Fast