Christiana Lois Pickens (Heap) came into this world on May 28, 1945, born in Fundación, Colombia, South America, and departed to join her Savior on November 8, 2023.
Christiana’s life story was one of trusting Jesus in significant ways. Her life verse was Proverbs 3:5-6. She framed her entire life based on the concepts of these two verses.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Chris was the oldest child of English/Welsh missionaries (Samuel and Gwladys Jones Heap). She was the older of twins, her brother Maynard being born the next day. Two years later, on her birthday, her brother Stephen was born. Tragedy struck the family when Maynard passed at the age of 3 from an incurable illness.
Christiana’s lifelong pursuit of Jesus began at a boarding school in Bogotá, Colombia at age 5. At that school, she learned how to make and keep good friends, and to rely on Jesus.
When Christiana was nine years old, her family returned to England and her youngest brother Philip was born. Samuel and Gwladys returned to the mission field, this time to Peru, South America. Christiana attended a new boarding school, in a jungle area, located on a tributary of the Amazon River.
Those six years at Tournavista Boarding School were formative for Chris. She continued a daily conversational relationship with Jesus, talking and listening. Little Christiana learned how to trust God fully, and soon viewed Jesus as her Savior and best friend.
At age 16, Chris immigrated to the US, landing in Kansas City, KS. At age 17, she enrolled in Bethany Nazarene College, where she met a farm boy. At age 18, she agreed to go to church with him. After further reflection, she decided to call Charles and cancel the date, but she lacked a dime to make the call. So she attempted to borrow a dime. Her friend refused the loan; Charles and Chris married on August 28, 1965.
They accepted an invitation to pastor a church in Western Kansas. They ended up serving four Nazarene churches in Kansas: Scott City, Hays, Dodge City, and Olathe. As a pastor’s wife, Chris faithfully served alongside Charles wherever was needed. She led ladies’ Bible study, 5th-6th grade Sunday School, Children’s Bible Quizzing, Missions Council, and provided countless meals during those 47 years in ministry. She taught everyone to trust the Lord; God will help you!
Chris was an assistant director for a preschool for several years. Then she invested 20 years teaching English to immigrants from many nations. Her bilingual skills served her well.
Christiana was a proud British citizen. Then in 2007, she became a proud American citizen. Chris’ hobbies included gardening, cooking, ceramics, sewing, and knitting, all the while, living a life of conversational prayer.
Christiana is survived by her husband, Charles, sons Steven (Stacy), David (Marta), John (Naomi), and daughter Christi Anna (Keith Clayton), and 10 grandchildren: Isaiah, Emma, Ruth, Elijah, Luke, Christianna, Carson, Aaron, Claire, and Sutton Grace; two brothers Stephen Heap (Brenda), Philip Heap (Marcia), numerous nephews and nieces, and a great host of friends who will miss her dearly.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Chris’ memory to The Nazarene World Evangelism Fund
or Heap Ministries
To leave a message for Christiana's family, or to share a special memory, click on the "Share Memories" button above.