Kumferman calls for fasting and prayer for Ukraine

Kumferman calls for fasting and prayer for UkraineBruce Auld

News Review Contributor

On March 7, 2022, Edwin Kumferman (BHS 1977), was a featured speaker at a gathering in Rexburg, Idaho. More than 5,000 miles away from the invasion in Ukraine, Rexburg residents gathered together to show their support. “The focus of today is to support the Ukrainian community here in Rexburg,” said Ukrainian native Alla Delton (Rexburg Standard Journal, March 9, 2022) Rexburg is the home to Brigham Young University (BYU)-Idaho, a private university operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Having studied Russian with Burroughs teaching legend, Charlie Humphreys, Ed has spent most of his career teaching Slavic languages at BYU-Idaho, a professor in the Department of Languages and International studies. “…in spring 2017, the church assigned Ed to the position of President of the Ukraine Kyiv Mission. His wife, Karen and youngest daughter Maggie accompanied him to Kyiv for his three-year assignment.” In his youth and fluent in French, Ed served a mission in Troyes, France and Liege and Mouscron, Belgium. (Liz Babcock)

During Ed and his family’s assignment in Kyiv, stepmom Liz Babcock, was watching PBS Newshour. Liz was shocked to see Ed’s “thousand – watt smile” as Ed was being interviewed for a PBS episode on Chernobyl tourism, following the nuclear power plant’s disaster. Liz had worried about Ed and his family and was relieved that all was well. (Liz Babcock)

In his remarks Ed “explained that one of the reasons why Putin invaded Ukraine is because he views Russians and Ukrainians as the same people and believes that Ukraine shouldn’t be a sovereign nation. Obviously, this is not the case. The two countries have different languages and different, although sometimes connected histories. Kyiv has actually existed longer than Moscow, centuries longer. It is known as ‘the mother of Russian cities.’ Given that logic, if they are to be one country, Russia should be a part of Ukraine.” (Rexburg Standard Journal, March 9, 2022)

“Ed remarked on the courage shown by the people of Ukraine and invited everyone to help them in their fight for freedom. Ukrainians, including its president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy have become heroes, modern day Davids taking on Goliath. Ed emphasized the power of helping through fasting and prayer. Along with fasting and prayer, Ed also encouraged people to continue showing their support through spreading the word, participating in peaceful demonstrations and by financially supporting the army, the people of Ukraine and humanitarian efforts.” (Rexburg Standard Journal, March 9, 2022)

Ed and Karen Kumferman have six accomplished children and a growing number of grandchildren. Ed’s sister Kim was a swimmer and cheerleader. Ed’s brother Kevin was a standout athlete. Liz Babcock recalls a newspaper article: “Is Kevin Kumferman the Man of Steel?” Both Kim and Kevin are members of the Burroughs Class of 1980. (Liz Babcock)

Burroughs High School Class of 1977

Ed Kumferman grew up in Ridgecrest. At Burroughs, he wrote for the Blockbuster and played on the varsity basketball team, garnering the “scholar athlete” award for the 1977 season. Ed’s classmate and fellow athlete Ernie Bell was recognized as football team captain, best offensive lineman and received the coveted Kelly Award. Ernie would retire as superintendent of Sierra Sands.

Ed’s basketball teammate Robert Campbell received the basketball Most Valuable Player Award and would retire from Sierra Sands, having coached many men’s and women’s varsity basketball teams and serving as athletic director for many seasons. Classmate Kevin Silberberg was recognized as basketball team captain. Kevin served as superintendent of Kern County’s third largest school district, Panama-Buena Vista. Ken Hayes was BHS football defensive lineman of the year and a standout swimmer.

Ken retired from China Lake as the head of the Applied Manufacturing Technology Division. Rick “Ricky” Lovett gave back to Ridgecrest as a police officer, Burroughs Criminal Justice teacher and proprietor of the Indian Wells Brewery Company. The Class of 1977’s 45th reunion will be at the Brewery on October 15.

Unique to the Class of 1977 are Cheryl and Sharon Burklund, the only sisters to be crowned Burroughs Homecoming Princesses on the same court.

Karen Kumferman Photo: Ed Kumferman in a sunflower field in Ukraine in 2018.

Story First Published: 2022-04-01