The next few blogs are going to go back in time to when my husband was attending seminary in Ohio..when our kids were still quite young (and we were too). I hope you will enjoy some of the adventures and "misadventures" that we experienced during that time.
It was an exciting day when John received a letter from the Seminary telling him that he was accepted to begin his studies that fall. The Associate Dean of the Seminary wrote to John in April, and said, “You were right this is a big leap of faith but it isn’t often that we get an opportunity in life to completely trust God. While it makes one apprehensive to launch out this way, we are reminded that God says, “Trust Me”, paraphrasing from Malachi 3:10, “and see if I won’t open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings such as you cannot contain.’” We were on our way to our next big adventure! We were moving to Ohio!
The little church we had been serving in Florida sadly bid us farewell as we departed for Ohio in early June. It had been a marvelous time of growing together in the Lord, and yes, the church had also increased in numbers as well. We loved the people and they loved us, and we had made some wonderful friendships that would last us for eternity, but it was time to move on.
So now you are probably asking yourselves, how are they going to pay for this adventure? Well, that’s a good question! We had managed to save a little from John’s extra teaching job to pay for the move and help sustain us through the summer. We were going to look for jobs as soon as we got up there, and trust that God would provide as always! When we drove onto the campus of the seminary several days later, the Dean of the College met us at the door of our little two- bedroom apartment, which was on the seminary campus. He gave us the keys to the apartment and asked John how he would like to preach on Sunday! There was a little country church, which needed someone to preach Sunday mornings only, and they could pay $100.00 a week. Of course we jumped at the opportunity and marveled that God had indeed provided so quickly! Obviously $100.00 a week wasn’t going to go very far for a family of five to live on, but it was a start. That, coupled with our small savings, would tide us over for a couple of months any way! There was a lot of praise going on in that little apartment that night (as soon as we could find our way through the boxes and furniture piled from floor to ceiling in an apartment that was about half the size of our previous home!).
That summer we were in a whirlwind of activity settling into our new life far away from our home in Florida. One of the first things that happened, however, wasn’t so great! We had visited with some new friends whom we had met previously in Florida who were also attending the Seminary in Ohio, and who lived in a nearby city. Our kids had a wonderful time together and it was the beginning of a great family friendship. Their little girl had something that appeared to be bug bites on her back, but we didn’t think too much of it, until a few days later her mother called us and said, “I hate to tell you, but those weren’t bug bites! Those were chicken pox! So guess whose kids had the chicken pox not long after? Right! Ours! Only, they couldn’t all three get them at the same time and get it over with. Oh no! That would be too simple! They each had their turn about two weeks apart, so that it totally wrecked our whole summer as far as being able to go anywhere!
A few weeks later our older son Benton, who had not yet gotten the chicken pox, was out playing with some neighborhood children, while I was inside our apartment taking care of the other two boys. Suddenly there was a loud pounding on the door, and there stood our neighbor lady in her bathing suit with a towel wrapped around her (she had been sun-bathing), and she practically screamed,
“You better hurry up quick and get over to the hospital! I think your husband is going to need you!” “My husband!” I cried, “What happened to him?” (He had been outside watching the kids playing in the yard the last I knew). My neighbor was almost hysterical, and I was beginning to panic. She then said, “Your husband is ok, but it’s Benton!” I shouted, “Benton! What happened to Benton?” She then said, “I don’t think he’ll lose his finger, but you better get over there quick!” By now I’m really confused and scared, and I cried, “What happened to his finger?” She said something about a big rock smashing it, and then yelled, “You’d better hurry!” I cried, “But I can’t leave Matthew and Scott here alone! They have the chicken pox!” She almost recoiled and said, “Well, I can’t stay with them either! My kids haven’t had the chicken pox yet!”At this point I wanted to strangle this woman for scaring me half to death and then not being willing to help me do what she said I had to do! So, what WAS I going to do? Thankfully, about this time another neighbor, overhearing this rather loud conversation going on at my door, came to my rescue! She volunteered to watch the kids so I could leave and go over to the hospital and check on Benton and John. Apparently, this hysterical neighbor lady had driven them over to the hospital in her car as things had happened so quickly that John didn’t have time to come tell me before they left.
I hurriedly drove myself over to the hospital, which thankfully was near by. I found John in the emergency room, looking rather pale and shaken, as he tried to prepare me. Apparently Benton and the little neighbor girl were playing in the yard and decided to pick up a very large heavy rock together and tried to move it over to a concrete pad where they were building a little “fort”. The little girl couldn’t hold up her end of the rock and let go so that it came right down on Benton’s middle finger, smashing it between the rock and the concrete! Ouch!
John took me into the cubicle where they had taken Benton, who was also looking rather pale and shaken. But in spite of his obvious pain and discomfort, he was so sweet and concerned about me! He very bravely said, “Mommy, maybe you’d better not look at my finger. It might upset you!” I said, “It’s ok sweetie. I think I can handle it.” So he uncovered it a little so I could see, and I must say I started to feel a bit nauseous and faint. The end of his finger was split in two, and it looked a lot like the end of a hot dog that had been cut at the very tip. The Doctor came over and said that they were going to remove the remainder of the fingernail, and then try to sew it all back together. She felt that it should be able to heal, but it would probably always be a little sensitive and look different. I was allowed to stay with him while they sewed him up and then they put tons of gauze bandages around his finger and hand.
We took him home and tried to all calm down. A few days later Benton broke out with the chicken pox, and the area that had the worse pox on it was, you guessed it! His poor little sore hand! So now it not only hurt like the devil, but it itched too! And to make matters worse, I also broke out with a mysterious, very itchy rash all over my torso! The doctor said it was a type of contact dermatitis or possibly a variation of the chicken pox virus. Whatever it was, I was miserable!
Needless to say, it was not a great summer, and certainly not the way we had hoped to start this new adventure. We could only hope that the rest of our giant leap of faith was going to be better!
Thank you, Lord, that even though our summer days were a bit difficult, You were there, guiding, protecting, and comforting. You did not leave us or forsake us, just as you promised!
Tune in next time to hear more of the adventures of the Steiner family as they answered the call of God to prepare for the ministry.