One thing remains constant — Dennis Boettger passionately communicates the lessons God is teaching him through dreams, visions, and revelations of His Word. Defining Dennis, however, isn’t easy! Husband, father, physician, pastor, author, song writer and composer or photographer?
An encourager and contemplative, Dennis is remarkably sensitive to God’s voice. He possesses a sincere love for others, especially pastors. After meeting with Dennis, one cannot help but sense a portion of the Father’s heart!
At the same day as the atomic bomb dropped on Tokyo, August 6, 1945, Dennis was born. It was August 5 in Canada.
“I was just born, but obviously things like that have a deep impact. As a kid I was afraid someone would drop a bomb on me. I can only imagine the pain, fear and anxiety that refugee kids experience.”
The third of eight children, Dennis grew up immersed in faith. His farming father also assumed responsibility as a self-supporting Mennonite pastor. It was natural for Dennis to give his heart to the Lord, when about four years old.
“I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”
From very young, Dennis sang the songs of faith from his heart — often in four-part harmony with siblings. “God was good to us! There was a sense of God’s presence.”
The Mennonite church emphasized being born again and walking in discipleship: faithful, servant-hearted and loving. Dennis wanted to please the Lord and personally know His will.
Missionaries, especially missionary doctors, had a big impact on Dennis’ young life. Although nobody in his family had attended university let alone medical school, Dennis nurtured an impossible dream of becoming a doctor. He equally sensed the call to preach.
Which path should he choose? For advice, Dennis approached one of his teachers who had also been his youth pastor. He received this directive:
“If you go to seminary
you will have answers for people
but you will have to convince them.
If you go to medical school,
people will come to you with problems
and you will give them answers.”
Dennis committed one year to bible school. The Lord also gave him freedom to consider medicine. Dennis’ mother said, he danced when he received the letter of acceptance to medical school.
During his second year in medicine, Dennis married Lucille whom he had known since Grade 3. She was a nursing student who had graduated from Prairie Bible Institute. They had their first of three children while Dennis was interning.
After receiving degrees in both pharmacy and medicine, Dennis and Lucille responded to God’s call to Ethiopia. For two years, from 1972-1974, Dennis became a missionary physician with the Eastern Mennonite Mission. In this time, during Ethiopia’s first modern famine, they witnessed many children dying from starvation and cholera. The experiences deeply impacting the Boettgers.
They attended an indigenous church, but without translation understood nothing about what was going on. A move of the Spirit was taking place in Ethiopia in those years. This season would prove to be the preliminary to receiving the baptism of the Spirit.
With the deposing of Selassie, the bloodless revolution began and the Boettgers returned home.
A Mennonite pastor, baptized in the Holy Spirit during the Charismatic Renewal, prayed for the Boettgers. Dennis felt convicted to repent of attitudes towards others, but nothing more. The seed was planted!
During their time at home, Dennis and Lucille did receive the baptism in the Holy Ghost. Dennis experienced healing and deliverance from anxiety and fear. This touch of Jesus transformed Dennis’ life and prepared them both for the return to Ethiopia.
“God gave revelation to me!
He could heal issues of my life
and restore things that had been damaged!”
As the Red Terror swept across Ethiopia, significant violence filled the nation! Victims of famine and leprosy, plus those beaten, burned and tortured were brought to the clinic.
With tears Dennis recalls, “We could hear the bullets hitting the bodies of innocent victims.”
Communication back home was non-existent! In two years, they phoned home once. But the Lord was gracious!
Dennis affirms, “The presence of the Lord in the midst of uncertainty, even death, calms our soul!”
Back to Canada
Back home, the Boettgers asked, “Where do you want us Lord?” Through a prophetic word, God gave a clear call! The Lord miraculously used them to plant a church in McLennan, a French community in Alberta.
Within 3 weeks of holding a bible study in their basement, a study they didn’t organize, a church was birthed. During their 25 years in McLennan, Dennis became ordained as a pastor/elder with the Fellowship of Christian Assemblies while continuing to practise medicine.
God was opening Dennis’ understanding through pictures and revelations both through him and the voice of others.
Dennis says, “At that time, I totally operated in revelation in the “night seasons”. God told me what to preach about. I had no plan or purpose other than sharing what God wanted me to hear.”
Thus his sermons presented fresh impressions God put upon his own heart.
Lucille developed ovarian cancer. The Lord was very near.
“Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of his faithful servants.”
Several significant revelations during her terminal illness confirmed her home-coming was near. She went to be with the Lord in 2002.
“We prayed and hoped for healing.
It was revealed to us it was her time to go.”
In a dream, Dennis saw himself standing on a hill alone. God showed him a river, familiar but diverted, rushing along in standing waves. When he woke up, the Lord said, “… Everything will change. You will be directed along a new path. You will not be able to go on as you thought it would be.”
Dennis thought, “How can they do this to me and I not know it?”
Not wanting to be single, Dennis questioned, “How can I do this?” At 59 years old and almost ready to retire, he didn’t want to give a woman false hope. He had no interest in dating or having women pursue him.
Through revelation, God showed Dennis that his future wife would be like the sons of Zadok who drew near to minister to God. These priests could only marry a virgin or a widow of a priest.
God said, “I have someone for you. It’s a very narrow field.”
Dennis was neither wondering or looking!
He started a sabbatical, travelling to Israel and Europe. Upon returning, Dennis spent time at the Toronto Airport Church before driving to Quebec to meet pastor friends who had been part of his Alberta congregation.
“Seek the LORD and His strength;
seek his face continually.”
1 Chronicles 16:11
Betty, a widow, was already there when Dennis arrived. She had been a farmer’s wife, was the mother of three sons, and didn’t fit the letter of what God had given Dennis. He had no sense there was or could be anything between them.
Just prior, Dennis had been meditating on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and its pervasiveness in our thinking. At the pastor’s meeting, he stayed off by himself, deep in thought.
“Not paying attention,” he comments!
While touring Ottawa together, Dennis had a fleeting thought, “What about Betty? Don’t exclude Betty?”
That was November 2003. They parted ways. Betty continued her ministry in Quebec bringing hope to the abused. Dennis went to preach in Peace River.
In another vision, Dennis looked out of a window of a high-rise building. He could see a long way. Yet, his focus became fixed toward a “secluded corner, surrounded by snow and trees. There was a swimming pool without any tracks to it.”
An avid swimmer, Dennis recalled swimming recently in “the Dead Sea, Red Sea and Med (Mediterranean) Sea.”
He asked, “Lord, what are you showing me?”
“We have an elevated point of view.
We’re educated, can read and write.
As Christians, we’re filled with Holy Spirit.
We’re born again.”
“God was dealing with me!”
God called Dennis to leave his “high” point of view to catch God’s higher view.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
God clearly revealed, “What you need is a change in attitude.”
Through revelations, visions and divine encounters involving windmills, God increased Dennis’ understanding. God brought Dennis to realize that with the right attitude the wind of Holy Spirit moves in unknown ways to generate things.
Dennis knew God was answering prayer! The Lord was dealing with something that needed to be changed in order for him to receive all God was prepared to give him.
In 2003, people were talking about the next wave of the Holy Spirit. God said, “I am going to take the former moves of the Spirit and connect them with what is coming. It will be one move of my Spirit. I want to use you.”
“There was a time when
I could not hear God’s voice
and did not understand these things.”
God had already shown Dennis that He had received ministry from Betty. She fit the picture of a “Son of Zadok”. “Lord, was it an accident that I met Betty,” he asked.
“No!” God said, “I am in charge of the microseconds.”
“You can make many plans,
but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.”
Dennis was meditating about that when he saw another vision of a large Saskatchewan field. It was an enormous farm with huge implements: tractors, combines, cultivators, discs, all kinds of equipment.
In my vision, the Lord asked, “Where are you in this picture?”
Dennis thought and thought and thought but said, “God, I have no idea.”
He said, “You are the draw pin. The tractor is the word of God. The fuel in the tractor is Holy Spirit and the driver is the will of the Father. All the other implements are the gifts and operations of the Holy Spirit.”
“The only thing God needs
is someone to be in the word,
in the Spirit
and in the will of the Father.”
He says, “I am so thankful for the voice of the Lord. He is able to reveal things to us, taking us through anything!”
After God showed me that meeting Betty was no accident, I wrote her a letter asking, “Is God telling you anything about us?”
“If there is to be an us, He will talk to you first,” She curtly responded!
They didn’t physically see each other again until July in Langley, British Columbia. Dennis was preparing to ask Betty to marry him. On his way there, the Lord reminded Dennis about the dream of walking along the river, diverted and rushing along in standing waves. He asked, “Do you know what that rushing water was?”
Dennis said, “No!”
God said, “It was a swift current.”
Betty was from Swift Current. Through one more revelation, God confirmed He brought and put them together.
“I’m so thankful because she has been good for and to me.” Dennis says.
Dennis and Betty were married on Thanksgiving 2004.
“Whoever you are!
Whatever your life circumstances are!
Jesus wants to walk with you,
talk with you,
and go through life with you.”
“With God there are no accidents! God has a plan! We don’t have to wonder or search. He will make His ways known.”
“For I know the plans I have for you,”
declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Through the joint calling of ministry and medicine, Dennis has impacted untold lives in many nations. Whether in the pulpit or on a hospital ward, Dennis leans heavily upon the wisdom of God.
On multiple occasions, God has supernaturally spoken to Dennis specifically revealing life-threatening conditions of his patients.
Dr. Boettger’s patients, as well as medical staff, know that both he and Betty pray. Those who have worked beside Dennis have witnessed God use him in miraculous ways. A hand larger than his leads! There is more than medical training directing this committed servant of Christ!
“And then he told them,
“Go into all the world and preach
the Good News to everyone.”
In addition to Ethiopia, he was also part of a team who carried bibles into China. Dennis has ministered in Canada, India, and the Philippines.
Together Dennis and Betty have carried the message of Christ to the nations of Costa Rica, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, and the United States of America. In Canada, they continue to impact lives in eight provinces and territories, faithfully returning to Inuvik twice a year.
Dennis humbly defines himself as “semi-retired” working part time in family medicine and surgery. “Semi-retired” hardly describes Dennis! Ministering hope and healing everywhere possible remains priority for the Boettgers as they follow God’s call!