LIFE IN MANITOBA, NOVA SCOTIA AND BACK TO SASKATCHEWAN
Pictures with Chapter Four
Early in the spring of 1955 we loaded our belongings again and moved to Manitoba. Carman was not a strange place to Carlos, for he had attended Bible College there before I ever met him.
The frost was coming out of the ground and the roads were muddy. The truck got stuck a few times but managed to get going, and about nine a.m. the next day we arrived in the town that was our home for the next four years. There were many happy events that took place during that time, with which I am sure you will agree when you read this account.
The work was encouraging and we were shown every cooperation in whatever effort we made for the furtherance of the work there. From the minute our things were unloaded, there were those who came to lend a hand. Brother and Sister Russell Laycock were there ready to help us get settled and it didn't take long to unpack and put things in place, for each box was labeled. So as we unpacked we knew just where things belonged.
The summer Bible School was well attended and attendance at the services increased. A greater interest was shown among those who had been careless in their service to God, and we were happy there.
We learned that the Church in the Province of Nova Scotia had been almost wholly taken over some years ago by the Digressives, so my husband wanted to see for himself what could be done to rebuild the wall and establish the Church, and make it strong like in days of long ago. As is always the case, where digression comes, division follows and as a result of this, only a very few remained faithful in following the New Testament Way.
The Church in Carman were in agreement for John to come there from ACC and work in his father's absence, so after the morning service one Lord's day, we left on our journey, going as far as Grand Forks, North Dakota for evening meeting. This has been the pattern we have followed on our trips, to arrange to have a meeting each night if it were possible. It is always a pleasure to visit those in Christ whose interest in Spiritual things help to edify and build us up in faith.
We spent the night with Brother and Sister Stebbings, at least we spent most of the night there, but we were up and away before four o'clock. From there to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, was about seven hundred miles and we never stopped to have a warm meal, but hurried through and arrived in time to prepare for the meeting that had been previously arranged. I know many times my husband was very tired and weary after such a trip but never once did he complain, but was always prepared to preach in such a way that those who heard were built up in the faith of God. After the service that night we drove another sixty miles and spent the night with a brother, Lloyd Bailey and his wife, and this made us that much nearer our next stop. Not many hours were spent in bed that night either for it was a long way to Collingwood where we were to have the evening meal with Brother and Sister Kneeshaw. Wherever we stopped to visit, folks would tell us how much they appreciated our visit, for we had done them good, but they could not realize just how valuable the time we spent with them had been to us. That evening we had a meeting in Meaford. It is always a pleasure to be there. We sat in the same pew that we used during the four years of our work there. It was like going home.
The next night we were in St. Catharines where we had a fine meeting and enjoyed the warm hospitality of Brother and Sister McPhee.
By four p.m. the next day we were in Springfield, Vermont where we had another meeting and then we journeyed on to Manchester, New Hampshire to be with Norman and Evelyn and boys. Mavis had planned to remain with them while we surveyed the prospects of advancing the Cause in Nova Scotia, but not long after we arrived there we had other plans for her which I shall relate later.
We stopped in Prince William, New Brunswick to visit Brother and Sister Betts, as well as having a visit with Sister Thomas who, with her husband, was working hard to plant the Truth in the State of Maine.
Brother W. Murray had studied his way out of the Christian Church and was trying hard to strengthen the few remaining ones in the Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and it was through his faithfulness, and some of the Wallace's, that the work did not completely perish.
The old meeting house at Mill Village had been used very little for many years. At a place called Nine Mile River, stands an old building where some seventy-five years ago, Brother Ellmore and Brother Franklin preached the glorious Gospel of Christ. Inside were old hymn books which were yellow with age and I noticed a few pencil marks that proved there were children there at the services too.
Some five miles farther stands another building where those men preached many years ago. It is kept in good condition, although never used. An elderly man, though not a Christian, would not permit the Christian Church people to use it and out of respect for his father and grandfather, he keeps the building in good repair. We never had a service in it. Thus we were reminded of what was once accomplished for the Lord there and the urge for rebuilding the walls became more forceful, so we worked hard.
A Bible School was held in the Mill Village meeting house and we sent for Mavis to come and help teach classes. This was the beginning of reestablishing the work in that Province.
To find a place to stay in Halifax that was priced within our budget was almost like looking for a needle in a hay stack, and to find one at all was difficult, but we finally found a place where one room was vacant, at $8 per week, so we took it. I am sure we had never seen such a filthy room. It had one big window and that was soon opened as far as it could be to air the place, and there was a small store near, so provisions were bought for cleaning, and while Carlos wrote letters, I cleaned. I shall not attempt to describe that place. However, with a lot of spic and span, hot water, a scrub brush and plenty of elbow grease, I cleaned the room and, although we were there very little, we did appreciate a place to sleep.
Those three months were busy ones and when we left we planned to return for the next summer too.
The next summer was spent there again and we had a fine co-worker with us. Brother David Lidbury, who is teaching at WCC now, was with us and he remained for some months working tobuild up the Church there and later the work took on new life again when Brother and Sister Hart went there. Today the work is growing and we are so happy that we went to Nova Scotia when we did, for each year would mean too much loss.
For once in our life we thought we were not going to be rushed for time. We left Nova Scotia for a short meeting at Springfield, Vermont and planned to spend 6 days driving from there to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.
John was in summer school at ACC and had completed his work for his Bachelors Degree. He was to graduate on August 23. Dad and Mother Bailey were celebrating their 55th Wedding Anniversary on August 26. John knew this but he wrote and said, I surely wish that one of you could be here for the occasion, but I know you can't. John really underestimated his dad. Road maps to cover the distance from Springfield, Vermont to Abilene, Texas were hurriedly studied. To make a long story short, we drove 4,000 miles in five days in the Volkswagon. We attended the graduation exercises and the Anniversary celebration too.
We drove all night and till late the next night, spent a few hours resting in Atlanta, Georgia and hurried on as far as Terrel, Texas where we enjoyed an air-conditioned motel and also some cold watermelon. We really felt the heat after having been in cooler regions. The next morning we arrived in Abilene, and was it hot! I was glad the graduation exercises were held outside.
About midnight, after we had loaded John's clothes, bedding and books into that Volkswagon (we just stuffed anything that would crush into any little place we could find to empty a box, for there was just no room for it), and away we went to Sault Ste Marie, Ontario to attend Dad and Mother Bailey's golden anniversary. We had to hurry home, for Mavis and Virley had set September 7 as their wedding day. That week was a busy one, but the ladies in the Church at Carman were simply wonderful and worked so hard to prepare and serve food at the reception.
Before we left for Nova Scotia for our second term of labor there, we had made arrangements for two little half-Chinese girls to come to our home and the day after the wedding, my husband brought them to our home. We had not been with them much and to them we were strangers really, and when he brought them in, Carol was as white as a sheet and Debra was crying like her heart was broken. Before many minutes, Debbie's tears had vanished and Carol was feeling better too, for they were made to feel that we really loved them. The feeling of insecurity was with them for some time however.
While we were having breakfast the first Sunday morning they were with us, my husband suggested we should, in the afternoon, go to a town some twenty five miles away to visit an elderly lady. When the service was over that morning Brother and Sister Russell Laycock invited us home with them and we accepted the invitation. Their little girl was about Debbie's age and this was a good way for them to get acquainted. From the time we left the meeting house, not one word did they say during the seventeen mile drive. I could not understand what was wrong. When we got out of the car at Laycock's, Debbie began to cry and soon Carol was crying too. I took them into a room so we could talk and I could find out the trouble. They assured me they were not ill. Finally Carol said, Well, we don't want to live at this place. When I assured them we were not going to leave them there she said, Well, you and dad were planning to go to Morden this afternoon, which they knew,and they were sure we were trying to get rid of them. I did not go with my husband to Morden, and one of those girls came downstairs every few minutes to make very sure I was there. They were not going to let me get away from them. As soon as my husband returned, Debbie just made a run and jumped upon his knee, threw her arms around him and whispered, Let's go home. Although we only had about ten minutes at home before the evening meeting, we went home and those girls were so happy. They laughed and hopped around so lively. They felt secure there.
The few clothes they had were clean but not very attractive, but I took them to school the next morning and enrolled them. Debbie was six and Carol was eight. They never wore those dresses to school again. I went direct to the store and bought cloth and before I retired that night they had pretty dresses, although from cheap material. They still say those were the prettiest dresses they ever had.
To them, that old house was the most wonderful one in the world and they were never anxious to leave unless I was with them. One time I took them to WCC when John was teaching there. They loved him and enjoyed being with him. Cecil and Lavine Bailey were also on the staff, so we stayed with them. In one bedroom there were two beds so we were going to occupy that room. Word came that Cecil and Lavine's daughter would be there sometime during the night, with two girlfriends. The girls were going to have to sleep in the next apartment with a cousin, which was perfectly fine, but they protested. They cried for a long time because there was no room for me to go with them and they didn't want to go without me. They went however, but believe me they were back in my room early the next morning, and they both vowed they would never sleep in a strange room without me again.
Within a very short time we were so attached to those little darlings, the very thought of ever giving them up was too much for us, so we decided to adopt them. Our age was against us and we knew it. We wrote to their mother, who had deserted them, and she said if we would take the other little girl and raise them together she would sign the papers. It took some time, but we finally obtained the adoption papers. Margo came to live with us in April. She was a tiny little gal but just like a doll. Now we have five sons and five daughters.
There was plenty of adjusting for me for it really was not easy for me to be interested in what a four year old was interested in and to stop some work I thought needed to be done, and have a tea party with her was just a wee bit difficult, but she never knew that I was really enjoying every minute of this. Debbie said when she was last home that how I tolerated all those drawings, etc. she and Carol brought from the school and taped on the kitchen walls, she could not understand. Those pretty drawings and colorings meant a lot to them and I appreciated their talent in such work, so it never bothered me to have the walls decorated with their work. I am thankful God gave us these girls. They have blessed our lives and their seven brothers and sisters love them with an affection that is hard to equal. We could have searched the world over and never have found better girls. (Margo is now in Grade Seven, Debbie is taking Grade Eleven and Carol will graduate from High School in June of this year - 1968.)
There have been so many wonderful happenings in our lives but an event came that caused us much concern. My husband suddenly took ill and underwent surgery for what the Doctor thought was appendicitis but it proved to be much more serious than that and he spent many days in thehospital. His suffering was so severe, but by the grace of God he was spared to us and to the work of the Lord, not only in Canada and the United States but, in another chapter, you will read of our sojourn in India.
Indeed this had been an unusual year. Pioneering in Nova Scotia in the Lord's vineyard, attending a graduation ceremony of our youngest son, attending the Golden Anniversary of our parents, witnessing our youngest child become the wife of Virley Elliott and bringing into our home three little girls who became our very own.
Blessings always bring responsibilities, but He who blesses will give wisdom and strength for every burden that we may be called to bear.
BACK TO SASKATCHEWAN
July 1959 found us in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Our stay in Carman had been enjoyable and we felt much had been accomplished, but the Church in Moose Jaw was without a preacher and the elders asked us to come and work with them in serving the Church there. Living nearer the twins and Marie was a drawing card, and we could see John often as well, for he was teaching at WCC.
When we knew the date of John and Rosalyn's wedding the next year, we began planning to make the trip to Ft. Worth, Texas. Our tomatoes were ripening and I was concerned about them not being used, so I canned all that were ripe, before we left on the trip. Again, the first evening of our journey we had a meeting.
The closer we got to Texas, the higher the temperature rose, and when we arrived there the afternoon of the 16th of September 1960, we certainly appreciated the air conditioner at Rosalyn's parents home. The wedding was the next evening. This was the fifth wedding ceremony my husband had performed for our children.
A NEW CHALLENGE
We were happy in the work at Moose Jaw, and we had moved so many times. How true it is that man proposes, but God disposes, we were there only four years.
One day a letter came from Brother Ira Rice announcing the fact that Canadians could enter India and preach the gospel to the teeming millions who had never heard about Jesus Christ and His Church. He suggested my husband should accept this challenge. This was not an easy decision to make, but when we really thought of what the Great Commission says and what the Church was built for, plus the scores of sermons that he had preached in regard to the Great Commission, surely we were going to fulfill our obligation in presenting the gospel which we know is the power of God unto salvation.
Within a few months he was in India and the three girls and I followed three months later. The house and car were sold before Carlos left, but I had the responsibility of disposing of the furniture, storing what we wanted kept and packing the boxes to ship to India. Brother Ed Ashly who had bought the car was kind and insisted on my using it until my license expired. I really appreciated that. The next three weekends the girls and I spent with some of the family. I would have the suitcases packed and lunch packed too, so we would not have to stop to eat, and away we would go. The weather was fine and the car behaved well. There was not one flat tire even, so the miles we traveled were pleasant.
We were invited out for most of our meals. One day we had our evening meal with Brother and Sister Leo Seibel. Leo had been so wonderful to us and was so helpful in so many ways. After the meal, his wife said, I promised to go to Sister McCuaig's this evening, so will you go with me? Certainly I would go. When I walked into the house, there were women everywhere it seemed. We engaged in some contests given and suddenly a huge box that was beautifully decorated and had a large BON VOYAGE sign on it, was brought in. I have never had so many beautiful gifts given me in my life. Before my husband left, three suitcases and a beautiful friendship quilt were presented to us and I certainly never thought of a shower in my honour. Those women are among the salt of theearth. One fine Sister phoned and asked me to meet her down town for she wanted to take me out for lunch. I went. We had lunch but she said she wanted to go into the shoe store for a few minutes so I went in too. The only reason she wanted to go into that store was, I was to have the best pair of shoes that fitted me. This dear lady had a large family and worked hard for a living but that never entered her mind, at least it never curbed her good-heartedness. I felt that I had never done anything to deserve such kindnesses and it caused me to realize more than ever the bond of love that binds God's people together.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
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