The Hartmans served the Lord with NTM in western Brazil for forty two years. Throughout their time they did language study, tribal contact, initial relationships, beginning language development, Bible stories and translation to administration. However, their hearts were in tribal work with the Yanomam. They retired in 2001. Bruce was born in Washington State in 1933, and Dorothy in California in 1930.
Bruce was saved when he was twenty four while working in Seattle. A Billy Graham crusade was scheduled and the town buzz was what all this salvation talk meant. On a Saturday night, neighbors came to his house rejoicing with the news that they were saved. Bruce’s response was quite skeptical and brusque. His irritation with them led to serious Bible study where he came across John 14:6. The truth was revealed and he trusted Christ for his salvation. He shared the Gospel with his neighbors and coworkers, and began attending Bible studies in the housing project where he lived, and along with other new believers grew in Christ.
Dorothy was raised in a churched home where she accepted Christ as Savior at age seven. At twelve she went forward to dedicate her life to serve God as a missionary. When she was thirteen, her parents, who had always wanted to serve the Lord, met NTM missionaries who told them of the need for a mechanic at their training facility at Fout Springs. Her father owned his own repair service and felt assured he could take on this need. He shared this information with her mother who agreed readily. They worked there for four years.
After WWII ended, veterans who were with the mission came to Fout Springs where her father heard about the opportunities in Japan. When Dorothy was seventeen, God led the family to serve in Japan. She was able to pick up Japanese easily so was in the work as much as she could be. They served for six years until her brother’s health issues brought them home. Dorothy then applied to NTM, was accepted and assigned to the Modesto facility.
Bruce became aware of NTM through presentations by mission associates soon after he was saved. Both he and his first wife had made the decision to devote their lives to missions; however, the Lord chose to take his wife home at this time. Now alone, Bruce followed through on his commitment and made application to NTM. Soon after, he was enrolled at the training facility in Chico, California, then off to the Modesto jungle training camp. It was there Bruce and Dorothy met and married.
Now together, they moved onto language studies at Fredonia where Bruce, finding language study difficult, was chosen to be a part of an experiment in developing an accelerated course enabling missionaries to grasp language fundamentals quicker in order to be effective on the field sooner than what the regular study program offered. Dorothy studied under the established program. They finished the language training, paid off their bills and were in Brazil three months later.
They each faced life changing difficulties before going to the field. Bruce’s first wife died soon after salvation. Dorothy struggled handing over to God a personal relationship when she realized it was not the Lord’s perfect will. God undertake and brought her through. God brought her to the Modesto training camp where she met Bruce.
On the field, learning languages for Bruce remained a challenge as did dealing with initial contacts with dangerous tribal peoples. Dorothy struggled for the three years she and the children were separated from Bruce while he was making tribal contacts. After four years he was able to build their house and bring Dorothy into the tribe. This move brought the additional challenge of being separated as a family. Both of them so missed their children left behind at the school. One son nearly died of black water fever. But, when asked, the children said they would not have changed a thing as they received a good education, interacted with MK’s from diverse locations, and had the greatest preparation to meet and encounter the world around them.
Bruce and Dorothy went to the field with the support of one church. Although they did not have what is termed a sending church, God saw fit throughout their years of service and beyond to faithfully bring in support from missions, churches and individuals to always meet their needs.
Would they do all it again? “Yes. God filled our lives full of miracles.”