By Doris Schroeder
It is so interesting to most of us that we are still discovering new truths in our world of today, not only of our own life, our country, our world, but also of God.
Now they say it is not certain that Columbus, when he sailed the ocean blue, discovered America in 1492! We do know it is here and we are glad for some of our stalwart great grandparents who took a big risk in bringing their family to America so we could worship and follow the God who made us.
I know my father’s grandparents, the Abraham Kroekers, risked everything when they sold all their belongings in their temporary home in the Ukraine, took their three boys plus one on the way, and came to the United States for that freedom to worship God. On that fateful journey they lost the one they were expecting and their one-year-old, but they didn’t turn back!
When they arrived in Hutchinson, Kansas by train, they rented some horses and wagons, looked over the land and bought some acreage from the railroad for $7 an acre. When they looked it over they discovered the aftermath of the big grasshopper plague that had even taken the paint off the barns and the clothes that hung on the clotheslines. To them, however, the freedom to worship God was worth all costs!
And the succeeded…no, not to become rich in monetary wealth but to set in motion their right to worship God. They started a church and my great grandfather was the first elected minister. Later, he even took the train to Hooker, Oklahoma, to do evangelistic work. He died at the early age of 54, however, but his family continued on.
My grandfather George enjoyed the wheeling and dealing of the free enterprise of the American system. He bought businesses with the shake of a hand. As he continued following God’s leading, he and my grandmother, had five boys and three girls. They bought a farm of 160 acres, then moved to California for four years and raised grapes, and came back to the Kansas farm until they retired to Buhler. My Dad, Edward, took over the farm for a few years until it was sold. My grandfather had farmed with five sons and two horses. My dad farmed with two tractors and two daughters.
I experienced the aftermath of their trip to America and have felt both the love of God and the joy of freedom in my life/ I have come to savor the freedom we have as Americans to follow God in whatever way He leads us and to appreciate the choices we can make.
He has led me to choose a Christian man for my life’s partner of 65 years. He continues to lead us through all the complexities of living in America when living has changed drastically. As we raised our son and our daughter, He was there for us. He led us into the carpet business for many years and helped us when we needed it (all the time.) He gave us joy in the simpler things of life and He gave us just the amount of energy we needed. It was through the harder times when we really learned to depend on Him.
Now as we are in the latter years of our life in America, we sometimes shudder at the way our country is going. It certainly has changed since my ancestors came to this country. However, we do know from past experience, God will never let us down and no matter what happens, God is always on our side because we have asked him into our hearts and are letting Him lead the way!
Doris welcomes your comments and can be reached at [email protected].