195 – We are Welcomed
June 23, 1986
Soon after we arrived in Livonia, Ted Kryzinski, a student from the Bible School, arrived to greet us and tell us to call his friend, Mike, the new Dean of Married Students. We had told Mike of our arrival date and he had sent Ted to greet us. (no cell phones!) Mike invited us to dinner, so we piled into our Suburban and Ted led the way to Mike’s house in the next town. Lima was 12 miles away and was the tiny town where Elim Bible Institute was located. What a blessed welcome!
Mike’s wife, Tish, was a wonderful hostess and a great cook and also brought dinner to our house the next night!
In the morning, our landlady appeared with 6 blueberry donuts for breakfast and later our down-the-street-neighbor, Cheryl, came by with coffee cake and a cooler of juice and paper cups. Elim students Rich and Brent arrived from Lima and helped Dan unload the containers and carry the furniture and the cardboard boxes into the house. They stored the empty shipping containers on the property.
I turned the black account book we had used as a diary of our trip into a FORGET-NOT-HIS-BENEFITS journal and listed all of the letters and cards and money gifts, which arrived often from our families and our Reno church. They took special offerings for us every couple of months. Our families and friends remembered our birthdays and sent the boys $1 bills or stickers on Halloween and Valentine’s Day. We also received money gifts from our Elim married student’s group and rides to appointments (we had one car which Dan took to school and work). We were given grocery bags of food at Thanksgiving and at Christmas and other random times, often left anonymously on the doorstep. We received clothes bags of used clothes for the whole family (which we had become used to receiving in our Reno church).
The grandest blessing of all was that 90% of the students were living by faith in God and depending on Him for their jobs, rent, and school fees. We weren’t weird anymore–like the ugly duckling we had found our flock!! And that brought us a deep comfort.
We made friends with the neighbors and two boys who were cousins, David and Chris, became great friends to all 4 sons.
Our house was on Big Tree Street, aptly named. Every 10 or 15 feet there was a giant and grand old tree. There were no fences between the houses, but acres of green, green grass. At harvest time, the apples and corn and berries ripened. Often our neighbors and new school friends shared their produce with us. Our garden grew giant pumpkins, tomatoes, corn, and the blackberry bushes thrived. We planted a several rows of veggies but could not keep up with the weeds and did not have much success.
We quickly became part of a small home school group which was part of the greater homeschool group from the Bible School. We met for weekly get togethers, celebration of holidays, crafts, fun foods, and outings to the playground.
Gramma Fern and Auntie Yvonne came for a visit and we went to Niagara Falls. Gramma treated us all to an exciting ride on the Maid of the Mist tourist boat that went up close to the falls.