Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Salvation Experience

Mr. Clark visited our home regularly. Sometimes just to talk and other times to buy eggs. By now I tried to make sure I was hanging around when she visited to hear the stories she told. Never hearing anything like it ever before in my life! She would have the most amazing stories about how God answered prayer. That in itself was fascinating! She would talk about prophecies, the promises of God and stories about how much God loves us.

Anyway, I was walking home from school one day alone. Thinking about some of the stories I had been hearing. About prophecies that were being fulfilled and I felt heavy conviction from God knowing that if I died that day I was not ready for heaven. Not knowing what to do about it I certainly tried to forget all this stuff!

So after our family started attending this church in New Castle, I was alone in the kitchen one afternoon, ironing. God started talking to my heart that day. It was like I could see "the world out there", it was like God said to me that I could now go "out there and do anything that I wanted to do". The world had sparkle and a glitter about it too. I am forever thankful for God coming and talking to me. I knew in that moment and I told God that I wanted to follow in the path he set before me, I never served God before in my life and I wanted to try God. I didn't have any peace following my own way, so I would try this life that was before me.

Growing up after I learned to read. We had this tattered Bible story book in the desk which stood in our living room. I would read that book over and over again. We didn't have much reading material and since I didn't have a Sunday School to learn these Bible stories, I read them out of this Bible story book while growing up. Several stories would stick with me and I would think about them. Because I always believed the Bible, believed in God, heaven and hell I didn't doubt any of these stories, I just didn't know how it all worked.

One of my jobs was to go daily to get a gallon of milk from our Amish neighbor. I would walk through our neighbors driveway, but than they got a mean dog and chained him close to the drive way, so I was scared to walk past him and I would cut through our little orchard next to the neighbors property. I would really be scared because in the winter it would be dark in the morning when I did this chore. So I would talk to God trying to not be too scared. Having out door plumbing and needing to go out before going to bed I would make a sister go with me. Growing up we would tell each other ghost stories and all kinds of scary stories. So I was really scared. (We didn't have a TV or radio for entertainment either.) After starting going to this church and making a decision to serve God, after several weeks, it came to me that I could go outside in the dark without any fear. I wassooo happy! I was happy about this for a very long time!

After my parents were excommunicated from the Amish church, my dad put electricity into our house so places weren't so dark any more. This will be another story for another day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Exciting Events Happened

Looking back this part of my life I want to remember as closely as possible to the events that transpired. After moving to Sheboygan I went to many Mother/Daughter Banquets, did many special events for local churches and talked about "The Amish". I would tell how my parents left the Amish and other interesting episodes. I tried to write down my thoughts so that when I would start forgetting some day, it would be written down. So this is another form of getting it in a written form.

Mom became a good friend to Mrs. Clark. They spent a lot of time together. I don't remember talking to mom about this next part. My parents disappeared one day for several hours. Now parents don't need to report to their children where they go. I did many hours of babysitting or taking care of my siblings. Thats just the way things were done in our household. The oldest in the home would be responsible of thier younger siblings. So I noticed when my parents returned they were pretty excited about something. I remember asking my dad where they had gone. So he told me they went and got water baptized. Now I never asked about any details but I remember telling my dad that if they ever went back to a service at this ladies church that I wanted to go too. The name of the church Mrs. Clark attended was called the New Castle Revival Center. The congregation had around 70-80 people, it was a mixed congregation in the downtown part of New Castle PA. Not in to nice of an area either. This was in the early 1960's when people would through eggs at these types of churches. They were called names too like "holy rollers". Mom talked about how she felt when she realized that this was the type of church she was attending. But my parents decided to have God real in their lives and the Holy Spirit helping them walk through life, it would be worth anything that came their way.

Mrs. Clark brought another book to my mom called The Holy Ghost and the Mennonites. Something like that. The first time mom tried to read this book she felt the spirit of God in a powerful way and it frightened her and she quit reading it. After awhile Mrs Clark ask mom how she liked the book and mom explained that she didn't read it. After Mrs. Clark explained that the spirit of God is not to scare anyone, but to let the spirit move. Well, she did and she started to speak out in tongues like you never heard anyone do!!! Every day mom would pray and she would speak out - well this was certainly something new in our home. I sorta liked it! One of my older sisters came home for the weekend, it scared her! But she wasn't listening to the stories and wasn't experiences God like mom and dad were. I was certainly a believer even at that point. Soon after all of this happened mom and dad started going to the New Castle Revival Center. The Amish started visiting our house. Now I was either 13 going on 14 years of age at this time. After a while I also visited this church. The services were so different from what I was used too. I can't remember how I felt at that first service. Loud music. Music. Amish churches do not have any musical instruments. Everyone is white too. Men sit separately from the women and children. Amish have a pecking order. The older goes first and the rest follow. The men go first and the rest follow. The men eat first and the rest follow with the women and small children the last.

I should finish talking about the Amish visiting our home. It felt to me like every day for 6 weeks Amish people would be visiting our home when I got home from school. After the Amish couldn't convince my parents they were going to hell leaving the church, the Mennonites started visiting our home. The told my parents that if they were going to leave the church at least they could be Mennonite. Dad felt like God wanted him to attend the New Castle Revival Center. I thank God that is exactly what he/we did. So much could have happened, maybe it did but everyone is still going to church. God used my dad in many ways speaking to people about God. My Amish sister would sometimes mention this Amish person driving a car wearing Amish clothes. :-) The Amish said that my parents just wanted to change clothes, because they said that my parents didn't change clothes for many, many years. They never totally fit into the culture of today because they wanted to show the Amish the clothes were not the reason for them leaving the Amish.

My next blog I'll talk about Amish church.