Paul Hiebert with his wife, Frances, and three children, Eloise, Barbara, and
John in front of their house in Shamshabad, India.
Hiebert, Fran, and their two young daughters, Eloise and Barbara, went to India to serve as missionaries in Bible and pastoral training with the Mennonite Brethren Church in 1960. Their son John was born during their years of ministry. This move to India was the fulfillment of a lifelong call, since Hiebert had wanted to be a missionary since he was a child. Though Hiebert was a foreign missionary, in many ways, going to India was like going home. But upon his return to the mission field as a missionary, not as a missionary kid, he began rethinking missiology for a postcolonial age.
Despite his determination to live out his entire life and career on the mission field in India, they could not but return to India after six years (1965), because Frances developed some severe gastrointestinal problems that required stomach surgery. Based on his field research in Andhra Pradesh during six years in India, Hiebert finished his doctorate dissertation at the University of Minnesota.
From Dr. Robert J. Priest, “Paul G. Hiebert: A Life Remembered”, Trinity Journal (30:2), 2009, pp. 171-175., Philip Wayne Barnes. Missiology Meets Cultural Anthropology: The Life and Legacy of Paul G. Hiebert (The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Ph.D. dissertation, 2011) pp.51, 52., and Anonymous, “In Loving Memory of Frances F. Hiebert”, Priscilla Papers, Volume: PP 13:2 (Spring 1999)