35 – Bodenseehof

Delectable German breads
Delectable German breads

I was very picky eater back then, and my greatest daily challenge was dealing with the foods in the cafeteria with its fare of sausages and wursts, cabbages, pickled eggs, and pickled beets. It was difficult to conquer the strong odors permeating the lunchroom and make selections that would set right in my tummy. The various breads, which were coveted by all, arrived warm daily in the bakery delivery boy’s bicycle basket. The fresh farm butter was creamy, and the jams were homemade and tangy. I filled up on the mouth-watering breads and pastries, had a few favorite meals, and picked at the other foods.

Our weekday routine included 5 teaching sessions: two in the morning with a break in between, two in the afternoon after lunch, and one after dinner, with house chores and free time interspersed. We had Saturdays free after some work–picking apples, raking, keeping the grounds clean. After church in the lecture room, Sunday afternoons were free for those who were not assigned to go on evangelistic outreaches to hospitals and old folks’ homes. We also participated in a choir, led by the Vice-Principal’s wife, Penny Brasher, who was great with child, her fourth. We sang in the churches on the school outreaches.

An admonition obeyed:

October 22, 1978 Oh, Lord, 1 Timothy 5:2 exhorts believers to treat the elder women as mothers. I am THE elder woman here! I have been resisting this. It comes from 7 1/2 years of teaching and being a mother to about 200 children, and then 3 years at church being a mother to the singles! But when I gave in to said, “yes, I’ll be a mother here” –I was happily plunked in between Evelyn with her toothache and DebbieR. And You used me as mother. And because You did it through me, it was wonderful. And thanks. A mother’s role I accept. Continue to encourage me in it, I pray.

 Specific direction when I went to my Bible:

November 27   The night of the pillow fights and ruckus and kids up late hours so that we could not sleep, I read in Psalm 4:3-5 The Lord listens and heeds when I call to Him. Be angry and sin not; commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be silent, sorry, for the things you say in your heart…trust in the Lord. –Thank You that I did not go out of our room and berate them but turned to You and Your Word instead! Dan slept!

November 29   I cannot feel forgiveness for Mr. K because of the offense!

An insult had been hurled at me…

One of the guest speakers put me down for something that I shared in class. I have no recollection of the particular offense done to me but I was deeply wounded and humiliated in front of all of my new friends. They all witnessed it and gathered around me the next few days in empathy.

November 30  Tears, O Lord, flowing. Classes continue, tears also. Unable to forgive my brother, Mr. K, grief, such grief. I’m so sorry, Jesus.

But friends shared the burden with Enid’s initiation. Linda’s grip on my shoulder. Dear Debbie’s heartfelt, perfect prayer. Valerie’s hand and acknowledgement of love shared. Dan’s  steady, sure love and acceptance. Bruce and Rod, bearing my cause to the cross. Such relief. Then Jeannie’s broth, and Achmed’s smile, Debbie’s apfel, Vic’s and Val’s sweet gift, and soothing gift. And Dan’s cold face from running an errand for me. Thank You, Jesus.

A crushing experience, but because of my friends’ support, I had victory…

 December 1 All of us sharing peanut butter, a good start! My team, loving, warmed my heart. And lo in lecture the love was there inside me. Feelings finally in line with will. And as he left, the urge to go….I shook his hand, and God said to him through me: “I learned more this week than you’ll ever know, and I’ll tell you about it in heaven!” Satan had interfered in my life but I would not let go of Jesus. Self refused to become “nothing” –But my friends said, “it’s okay, He and we love you.”

And Jesus is real. He’s alive. I saw Him change my heart and I saw His helpers: my team, brothers and sisters. None more important than my husband. I love You, Jesus!