I was born and raised on a farm in the 1940’s and 1950’s and attended church regularly as long as I can remember. I enjoyed Sunday school, church, youth group, and summer youth camp. I love the Bible stories and the hymns, where were the songs I sang when alone in the field on the tractor.
I spent one year in college and about two years on my own and drifted away from the church. I started smoking and drinking. One night, I passed our drinking and didn’t remember much of the evening which scared me into leaving the drinking scene. I got married and we moved out to Denver.
We did not attend church for about three years until we moved into the suburbs. There in 1965 a new neighbor invited us to his church. We started to attend regularly and heard the Word preached in church, the Word taught in Sunday school, and fellowship and singing of hymns in evening services. We learned we could have a personal relationship with Jesus and that if we believed in Him we would have Eternal Life with Him. We both decided to commit our lives to Jesus. We have continued to steadily grow in our relationship with Him up to this day. (But not without some bumps and trials along the way.)
We have three daughters; #1 born three years before, #2 born at the time of, and #3 born five years after the time of our salvation. Our first trial was out #1 daughter, who was rebellious since the age of 10. She became pregnant towards the end of her senior year in high school. She had the baby and lived with us for the first year until she married a young Christian man. In the earlier days we had trouble knowing what to do about her, but gradually we learned to trust in Him and turn her over to the Lord. Her pregnancy brought her back to the Lord; her marriage did not help her, and the birth of their first child sent them away in bitterness. Ashley was born severely handicapped and lived 18 ½ years. Her death, and a few other circumstances, brought them back to the Lord. Our daughter’s life taught us to trust Him, to be patient on His timing, and to pray, and pray, and pray.
The day we found out that Kami was pregnant started a year and a half period of unemployment for me. During that time I had a six month temporary job which was quite stressful, several part-time jobs and 6-8 months of no jobs. I suffered from a depression which brought me to think about suicide, which turned me back to trust in the Lord to restore me.
Before the Lord came into my life I had an anger problem; I would throw things, yell, and hit or kick things. After the Lord came into my life He began to transform me and took the anger problem away. And what was neat was I did not even ask Him to.
Another trial that I faced was my wife, LaDonna, had some health problems. She always had problems with sore throats etc. and her immune system was compromised. She had a bout with West Niles and then had some mercury poisoning from the fillings in her teeth. This has left her with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and fighting to keep her immune system strong. This has put a strain on me, both in helping her with physical duties and with helping her keep her mental and spiritual state strong. I admit much failing in this regard, but it keeps me looking to the Lord for what I lack (strength, leadership, and more).
My dad passed on in 1985; LaDonna’s dad passed in 1988; LaDonna’s mom passed in 1999. This all served well in preparation for my mom’s passing in 2006, except for the fact my nephew, age 34, (my sister’s only son), passed away exactly a week after Mom. This was devastating to us, and my sister and husband relied on me to help them with details, but the Lord carried us through. I don’t know how He did it, and I don’t remember anything He did, but I know my faith and His faithfulness got me through that time of sorrow and grief.
I have been officially retired (receiving Social Security) since 2003. I have counted over 20 jobs, including part-time jobs, and only about three times where I went into a profession I had been in before, and they were not consecutive. And I am now in my fourth part-time job situation. This sometimes makes me feel as if I am a failure, and in the world’s eyes I probably am. But, in reality, I see it is all a training ground where every job I have had contributes to who I am and to fulfill the calling He has me in at this time. I don’t know if the Lord called me into some or all the jobs I have had or not, but I do know He has called me to the Living Water Rescue Mission at this time. I enjoy serving Him, reacting with the guests, and showing them Jesus, whether it is in how I live or in what I say or teach.