G) Mr. Art Hendrickson: Old friend of Stadems, family lawyer and attorney
H) Stadem Children:.........Spouses of those married:
1) Pearl Ginther............Bob Ginther
2) Bernice Schaefer.........Russell Schaefer
3) Myrtle Svanoe............Bill Svanoe
4) Cora Taylor..............Carl Taylor
5) Alida Spilde.............Hans Spilde
6) Estelle Rangen...........Joseph Rangen
7) Arthur Stadem
8) Ruth Stadem
9) Leroy Stadem
Dear Loved Ones,
For a number of years of past I have made it
a point to write some letters at the beginning
of the new year, and thus in part, pay off old debts
to dear friends. And as our own children have flown
out of the home next and established home nests of
their own, we have made some effort to also write
them such a letter. And as the years have rolled by,
it has become a practice to send off a so-called
Round Robin with duplicate copies. Then as we were
aware even that could become wearisome to our readers
and mostly old stuff at that, plus also a combination
of circumstances made for a change, and mainly this,
that our dear friend Frank moved so far away that
instead of talking by the hour, we had to take time
THE HARBINGER OF MANY UNSUSPECTED EVENTS
And of course Frank did write three letters
to our one, and more and more interestingly too each
time. Then as he was so appreciative of anything
we mighty slap together, we hit upon the idea of
writing him hit and miss of all our family doings,
knowing here was no jealousy or envy regardless
of what blessings we had enjoyed and told about.
And thus while we were writing to Frank, we stuck
in carbon copies that went off as a letter to
the rest. Then as the year of 1946 was drawing to
a close and we had been thinking about the many
happenings of the year so swiftly passing, and even
while we got out carbon copies to begin a new letter
to send to our children, the rural deliveryman came
to the mailbox at the gate. I got the mail and we
opened it by the kitchen table, and we found one
letter from Oswego, Oregon, and it was not Frank's
handwriting which we expected.
A JOLTING LOSS OUT OF THE BLUE
No, it was his sister Ruby's, and as we started
to read it said, "Dear friends: It is with heavy
heart that I write this to you tonight. Frank
passed on Friday afternoon at 2:30 pm.
at that the letter continued....
TEARS USHERING IN MANY TO FOLLOW
This could have been expected, of course, but
and I did not expect it, and it made us feel very
sad. Our tears were still trickling down our cheeks
when here comes Ruth and Leroy in the door as a
complete and pleasant surprise. Leroy came from
the U.S. Navy in Japan, and Ruth had been informed
of his coming home, so she came from Minneapolis
and met him at Sioux Falls and they came up to
the Farm together. But they noticed the sorrowful
looks on our faces, and were somewhat baffled
until we got to explain.
DEAR FRANK'S HOMEGOING CHANGES OLD WAYS
Many thoughts and happy memories passed before
our mind's eye in days to come, and a book could
be written on the experiences we enjoyed together
times past with Frank. But we humbly confess that
one thought came to me time and again as a reprimand
--"To whom are you going to address yourself now
when you write the letter you have been contemplating
to write to Frank this year?"
...STILL, 1946 WAS CROWNED WITH BLESSINGS
Yes, you know how we have been signally blessed
as a family and as individuals this year. We
planned to tell of son Arthur's homecoming,
the second day of the New Year, the happy
days that followed in that connection; then
how Hans and Alida purchased a little home
sweet home in Sioux Falls; then how Bill
and Myrtle sold their old place and purchased
a new house and home near their church
and closer to his work at John Deere's;
also how Bernice and baby came home to
stay for some time while Daddy was still away;
how Pastor Joe and Estelle accepted a call to a
church at EauClaire, Wisconsin--making it
140 miles closer to Plain View Farm;
how Bob and Pearl sold their little home
and bought a berry farm and started to build
a big enough house to accommodate the size
of the family and live where the work was;
how Carl and Cora moved from the sweltering heat
of Arizona, taking post-graduate work in Washington
State in preparation to go out as missionaries for
our Lord to the most neglected peoples of the world;
then Ruth taking her last year at the Lutheran
Bible Institute, hoping to go into full-time
service for Our Savior as a parish worker possibly;
and Leroy in the U.S. Navy plowing the Pacific as his
brother Arthur had done for three years, only this,
that he was expected to have it over with in 1947;
furthermore, how everyone of our children and the 18
grandchildren and all but one of the son-in-laws got
home on the old farm in this eventful year--some
after four years of absence.
EVERYTHING LED UP TO--TO--BUT
And possibly you have already noticed one or two
things we had intentionally omitted so far,
that gave us all considerable joy at the time,
and Frank had also been so happy about it when
he heard about it. Oh, yes, we are going to
speak about that too, but we can feel how we are
beginning to cry inside already.
JOYS OF A FOND FATHER RECALLED
Well, let us tell this first. Arthur had
saved his money while in the Navy, and it was
not urgent that he should get out and work for
wages, and it seemed to be a joy to him to
help Mama and Papa in so many ways, fixing up
tools and things in need of repair, painting
and planting, and everything else as it came along.
Then as Bill and family came to spend a couple
weeks early in the summer, we talked Arthur
into going back with them to Waterloo to visit
many of his friends there, which he did, and he
stayed about three weeks; he also spent some
time with Hans and family at Sioux Falls, all
this he really did enjoy.
A HUMAN TWISTER HITS THE FARM!
Then one night we were aroused out of bed
when something that seemed like a small cyclone
struck the place. It was our dear Bob and family
that arrived after about 2000 miles of trip.
We cannot go into details about this either, but
to be sure, things were lively on Plain View Farm!
All were well and happy, and more was to come.
BOB GOT HIS WINGS, AND A WONDERFUL 4TH
Bob, of course, had dealt for an airplane and
struck off for Omaha to claim it. Then on the 4th
of July, 1946, here comes a plane from the south
and lands by Grandma's house, and that with taking
motion pictures, and getting something to eat for
everyone is enough for anyone's 4th of July.
Most everyone had a plane ride the next couple
weeks, but Arthur and Bob made the most lengthly
trips. Yes, others arrived--those from Massachusetts
in the East meeting West, also Ruth getting a
vacation from her hospital duties, etc.
FRIENDS GALORE JOIN THE FAMILY FROLICS
Perhaps, it suffices to say Mama served 35 for
dinner one day and 16 was a common occurrence,
and on different occasions it was a delight to
see the movies Bob and Pearl had taken out
in Washington State of places, trips,
and berry picking, also of their trip coming
East and some films taken while here as well.
BOB AND RAY TAKE OFF FLYING TO THE WEST COAST
By this time Bob had been talking about
getting Arthur to drive the car and take the family
home while he would have to fly the plane of course.
So one morning, Bob and his long-time friend Ray
Wicher took off from Plain View Farm and soared
into the sky while we were watching them, till we
could see only a tiny speck in the distance,
and they were on their way to Washington.
ART RETURNS WITH GINTHER FARM'S
Report came back later that all went there
All went just fine. Arthur, who had driven out,
enjoyed some berry-picking too, also remembered
us back home with a big box of the finest berries
ever picked. Then one day, before we expected it,
Arthur stepped out of a car by the kitchen door,
and he was back on the job again, helping us here
and there all the time.
MORE GLORY DAYS, BUT--DO YOU
SEE A DARK, UGLY CLOUD SAILING TOWARD US?
>The Taylors also arrived in fine shape and happy
after driving hundreds of miles from Tucson,
Arizona, by way of Waterloo and other places.
But while you are reading this, I surmise you
are all the time thinking there is a dark cloud
in the distance! From our way of thinking, you
might be right, but let us go on and thank our
Loving Heavenly Father that He has hid our
future from us, and that we can go on with
our plans, enjoy each other's fellowship, and be
happy in the Lord. But before I exhaust your
patience, I must hasten with my reminisences and
ARTHUR MAKES PLANS TO FORGE AHEAD
By this time, Arthur has decided to attend
Augustana College in Sioux Falls, has made his application,
filling out blanks, and an autobiographical
sketch was required. We have copies of this,
and value it highly. [Copies of this, and original
too, are in the PVF Archives, 2012--Ed.] When time for school
to start, Mama and I went with Arthur down
to Sioux Falls, and thank God for the privilege;
also got to visit at the new home of Hans and Alida
for the first time. Stayed over the weekend
and enjoyed it.
Then according to plans Arthur got off
from school and came home October 18th for the
State School land sale at Clark, when he purchased
the quarter section adjoining the old home place
on the west side of the road. This transaction
was in his parents' estimation tops of all the
deals made by our loved ones in that eventful
year of 1946--as you can surmise that underneath
lay the hope and prospect that one our ours would
some day, God willing, be our neighbor! And soon
we are nearing the time when he, who had to leave
home for the Navy on the 2nd day of Christmas
to miss his brother by just one week as he came
home the 2nd day of January--yes, Leroy got back
to Sioux Falls for Thanksgiving Day and enjoyed
some precious hours with loved ones there.
Then is when our story started where Ruth and
came home while we were reading Ruby's sad letter.
Now, of course, we have had to omit so much
of interest to us, such as Hans and family here
when they brought Arthur for the Land Sale;
Bernice and her boy returning after a couple
months' absence while helping at the Svanoe home
during the arrival of a brand new boy and visiting
in Wisconsin and Michigan, etc.
LOOKING TOWARD CELEBRATING JESUS' BIRTH
Now that Leroy has gone back to the Navy, Ruth
to her studies, and all fall work in full swing
at Plain View, the only variation until Christmas
was receiving interesting letters and answering them and
making plans for Christmas--while hoping some of our
loved ones would be here to enjoy it with us also
this year. Of course we have had to get used to
the fact, by this time, that it would not be
possible for all of our dear ones to gather on
the old homestead of Plain View Farm as they
managed to do year after year to celebrate our
Savior's birthday until Cora went to Alaska and
got married there, and Arthur had to spend
Christmas night riding the waves of the great
Pacific later; thus the circle could not be
complete, hence others also had to forego the
pleasure but some have been able to make it home
every Christmas so far.
CHRISTMAS JOYS OF 1946
So also this year. Yes, Arthur planned to get
home for sure, also Ruth and they made it--yet,
even to help with preparations for the great
holidays-then the Spildes made it in fine shape
too, thus making it 10 of us in number, and we had a
blessed Christmas together. And while we missed those
who could not be here, they seemed very close
to us at that. We received letters from them,
full of good news and happy plans they were
making for the same occasion, and then came
packages and boxes of all descriptions, and by
Christmas Eve they were piled high by the Christmas
CHRISTMAS GREETINGS FROM A BLACK WHIRLING
Then after a small program, yes, even
Christmas greeting pieces performed by two
and three year olds, they were privileged to
distribute the mysterious packages, and again
we were all wonderfully close together with all
our loved ones. And one thing that made that
happy feeling more real than usual was when a
package with phonograph records was opened
and we put them on the phonograph, and had
the joy of hearing Christmas greetings and well
wishes from the Ginthers and the Taylors way out
there in Washington State.
HINDSIGHT IS NO HELP NOW;
GOD'S WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS
Truly they were a
thrill-they were so real to us on the records.
Oh, how we thank our Loving Heavenly Father
for giving us also this Christmas of 1946
unmarred. You know what I mean. Oh
yes, Bob had written very plainly at that,
and we were really looking for him every time
we heard a plane coming. Mama did say she wished
he would not take off in the midst of winter,
yet we all wanted to see him, of course. Yes,
Ruth was really disappointed that he did not
arrive before she had to go back, and Arthur
did wish he would arrive before he had to go
back to school, as he would like to go with
him hunting for a day or two as Bob had intimated
--but nope, no Bob came. We took Ruth to Vienna
for the trip to Minneapolis on Saturday, p.m.,
and then Arthur to Bryant in the evening for
the train to Sioux Falls, and had we known Bob
was in Sioux Falls then dealing for plane,
"THANKS FOR EVERYTHING!"
I have before me Arthur's last message home
written on a postal card, Monday, 9:50 a.m. It
reads in parts: "Dear folks at home, Well, I just
came back from one class and chapel, so I'm right
back in the swing of things again." Then it closes
thus: "There's more news, but due to space,
time, and other reasons, I better sign off.
Tak for alt! ["Thanks for everything!"] Lovingly,
THRILLS WITH BOB IN THE PLANE
This other reason was that Bob was down there
at Sioux Falls dealing for a plane. Of course,
Thursday noon, while we were sitting at the dinner
table, came a plane from the south, straight for
the house, as he turned and tilted the plane,
we saw it was our Bob, and he landed, and soon
was ushered to the kitchen table while answering
questions and telling things. Sure a thrill and joy!
The weather was perfect , and all were happy!
The question was, "Would I go along with him
and hunt foxes, and do the shooting?" to be
sure he had to be back to Sioux Falls Wednesday
night, as he and Arthur were going fox hunting
Thursday, as Arthur did not have classes that day.
Sure, I told Bob I'd go with him and hunt! And hunt
we did--way west of Clark then back for lunch,
then another trip all around Goose Lake, then
next day to Brookings, and back, then to Sioux Falls.
All went just fine, and if the weather would change
and start to get rough, we would go back to Bryant
on Thursday. Otherwise, we would plan to stay over
until Friday morning, then go back, as he wanted
to get over to his folks that day if possible.
BOB'S CARE TO GLORIFY GOD IN HIS SPEECH
After being served a big supper at our Spildes
Wednesday evening, we got their car, and went
by and picked up Arthur at college, then went
to some dear friends of Bob's, the Fredricksons,
and showed movie pictures as the arrangements
had been made previously. A most enjoyable
evening it was, and Bob as usual, did not pass
up any chance to say something to glorify the Lord.
Then as it was getting late, we took Arthur
back to his room at school and Bob and I went
on to Spildes, where a bed was awaiting us.
And here in peace slept two together for the
last time on this earth.
DAWN OF A BEAUTIFUL DAY
January 9th, 1947, dawned, and as nice as we
could wish. I and Bob the two bedfellows awoke
as happy as could be, and we began to talk
and tease and joke as two happy little boys
naturally would do. Bob was complimented how
much better he behaved in the plane than he did
in bed (we hasten to say he never made a move
or awoke us up once). As a comeback, I was
complimented how smart I was to get to bed first
and choose the best part of the bed, etc. Well,
there was not much time for playing around like
this, as Hans had to be at work by 8:00 a.m.
BOB'S PERSONAL TESTIMONY GIVEN
But while Bob was getting dressed, getting
something out of his satchel, up came his hand
with a little old and worn book in it with the
remark, "I've still got my dear Testament with me,
the little book that brought me face to face
with God through the conviction of sin." Upon
my asking to relate it, he went into details we
would like so much to relate here, but for the
lack of space must omit. Only this, Bob saying,
"I was reading from the first Epistle of Peter,
third chapter, verse 10, when I was reminded right
here, I'm guilty and have willfully sinned against
God, and by His power I must overcome this, and so
I knelt right down and prayed about it, and when
I arose I was possessed by a peace and calm as
never I had experienced before, and from that
time as a boy of 15 years, I have always enjoyed
the fellowship of the Lord."
LAST ARRANGEMENTS BEFORE TAKE-OFF
We must hasten on.
It was agreed that I should go along, so that I
should have the car and could call on some of
our dear friends while in town, as Bob was not
too sure he and Arthur would come back for dinner,
depending on where they would be hunting at that
time. Just as we drove up at 2006 S. Euclid,
Arthur came out of the house with a smile,
got in the car, and the four of us in the Plymouth
schuttled off. Hans dropped off at Lock's Electric
where he worked, and Bob, Arthur, and I left for
the airport with the agreement that I should come
by and take them along to dinner after the flight.
Arriving at the airport, some time was spent
looking at the many different planes on hand.
Then Bob suggested that I'd better go back to enjoy
the visit with some of the friends in town,
but I replied, "I want to stay and see you take
off." Then we went out to get things ready and
start the motor.
BOB WAS UNEASY
Some frost had accumulated
on the plane. Hence we wiped the windshield, etc.,
then as a helper out there I helped Bob start
the motor, and I also showed Arthur how to
operate the automatic shotgun. The motor just
did not seem to run right. Not much was said
about it, as we reasoned that as it warmed up,
it would start to purr alright. But as we waited,
it just did not get any different. Bob not being
satisfied with that motor as it took too much oil,
had registered his complaints with the owner,
and now this kind of action made him kind of
"JUST GIVE HER ANOTHER TRY, BOB!"
He again suggested that that I better take the
and go to town. Again, I replied as formerly.
Then he invited me to go in the hangar and see
another plane he could take for the same money,
and thought he would if this one did not let
up on taking so much oil by tonight. But as
the salesman and owner, Mr. Shoop, had urged
him to give it another try-out, he thought he
better do that just once more.
A STRANGE LAST IMPRESSION
delay, we went out again to the plane where Arthur
was watching it, and the same jerky motion and
smoke from the exhaust was prevalent. After
wiping some more frost off, and some attempt at
talking for passing the time, Bob and Arthur
decided to get in and go down the runway, thinking
a pull on the motor would bring about the desired
adjustment. While watching our two boys get in to
the plane, I could not refrain from saying to them,
a second time, "The way you two are dressed,
it looks more like you are going to church than
that you are going hunting."
GOD'S MERCY IN THE LEAST DETAIL
Well, they were
seated and we closed the door as we said good-bye;
Arthur motioned to me to hold back on the strut
to help make the short turn. Then as I let go,
we waved a good-bye, and they were on the way
down the runway. As I was watching and waiting,
expecting he would turn into the wind most any
place--to my way of thinking, Bob was always too
over-careful anyhow--they went clear to the farther
end of the field which seems over a mile away.
Again a stop and a standstill, then as I was
watching, the plane started ahead, and as it
accelerated, it came at an unusually low level
for a long ways before it raised to a flying level;
then, as I saw it swing off to the north like
the bird in the spring, I hurriedly got in the car,
and started back to town. I also thank God for
this, as if I had witnessed the plane a few
minutes more, I might have seen it dive to earth
and from fear of what might have happened,
been promptly informed, and gone to the scene
indescribable to behold for those who loved
THE LAST MOMENTS OF NOT KNOWING
Hence, now we have seen our dear Arthur
and Bob for the last time on this earth.
To complete the mental picture, we will hasten
to tell just this. As I got back to the Spildes,
Hans had just called Alida at home to have her
tell me to come down to the garage at once,
but on her inquiry, he did not tell what it was
about, as he always did, she said. I with
pleasure drove his car back there, wondering
a little what it could be about, but rather
unconcerned as I thought possibly he had
something to show me.
WORDS OF DOOM
As I entered the office
at Lock's Electric, looking around for Hans,
I saw the Mr. Schoop, the man who sold Bob
the plane, but thought nothing, and thought
that he did not even see me. I went back in
the shop to locate Hans, and as I asked him
if it was something he wanted to see about,
he answered as he pointed at Mr. Schoop,
who had followed me, and said, "He has some
bad news for you!" Still setting hope against
hope, I replied, "What is it?" He said,
"The plane crashed!"
"IS THERE NO HOPE?"
By then, I said, "Is
there no hope?" When both of them intimated
there was none, I felt as if the marrow went
out of all my bones and asked that they take
me out to the car. I ventured to
ask what really happened, and Hans said that
the plane crashed and burned up. I
surmised the rest.
A BLESSED ASSURANCE AT THE DARKEST TIME
While Hans went back in
to take off his work suit, Mr. Schoop stayed
in the car with me, and as I bemoaned the terrible
tragedy, did say I did know our boys were in Glory,
because they loved the Lord and lived for Him,
but oh! how I wished everybody would surrender
to God and get ready to meet Him at any time.
TWO WAYS TO RESPOND TO CALAMITY
To this Mr. Schoop said nothing, but when I
"I know this could not have happened if God had
not permitted it" he replied, "Yes, but some
question God's justice in doing things like this."
In reply to him, I said, "I would not do that, as I know
God knows best, and I would submit to His dealing
even though it is hard to take."
GOD, THE HELP OF THE HELPLESS
Hans then came,
and we two went to tell Alida, at which time we
had to humbly kneel and ask God to give us strength
to carry on. God answered our prayer in many ways,
but to us the answer was Hans. We had needed him
before, but never as we did right now. And
the beauty of it was he recognized God's hand
in every move that we made.
PRAYERS SAVE THE SOUL FROM SINKING
At this point we were
aware how many prayers by believing hearts were
offered up on our behalf. And that has been
substantiated by the many hundreds of sympathy
cards when it was often stated: "We prayed for
you folks when we heard it over the radio." Now we
are thinking of the messages that had to be sent
to all our loved ones, and not the least, to our
dear Pearl, who had lost both a husband and a
brother, and then the receiving of those messages
--"Oh, dear Lord, help us poor creatures" was
our prayer for all concerned. A book could be
written on just this....
[website visitors, please refer to Tributes
and other sections dealing with this incident
...and accounts of how gently the Lord dealt
everyone. Yes, He has promised to hear the prayers
of those who call on Him in time of need. It was
busy moments for Hans in particular from now on,
as we hoped to get up on the farm and break the
news gently to Mama and Bernice too.
THE FATHER'S ORDEAL OF IDENTIFICATION
WAS SPARED HIM
was much to do and be arranged for first, and
then God had another way. Some of us, for
instance, had to go to the funeral home and see
them. Was it not possible that it could still be
a mistake, and that there still was hope?
They were burned, but indications were that
they never knew it. Oh, no, I would rather remember
them as they looked this morning, well-dressed,
smiling, and happy, so I asked, "Will you go in
and see them, Hans?" "I will try," he
GOD'S MERCY IN THEIR INSTANT DEATHS
a little later was, "Oh, yes, it was them alright,
but the indications were that their deaths were
instant. Bob had an anxious look on his face,
and Arthur had a pleasant look on his face
indicating that he never knew the plane was
steering for the ground. They were burned some,
especially the clothing, but the blow as the
plane struck the earth, was evident on their
bodies, that they were killed instantly."
FATHER AND DAUGHTER SHARE THE GREAT LOSS
We thank God also for this. It seems more
terrible to burn to death. Now we have to pass
over so much here, but like to make special
mention of the phone call from Bryant. It was
our dear Bernice calling. Yes, it was Bob, we
said, and the other was Arthur.
Martin Waldow had heard it over the radio--
"Bob and one unidentified as yet had crashed."
Martin suffered with us like so many others did,
so it was in a gentle way he conveyed the sad
news we already knew.
FRIENDS, PASTORS, GOD'S PROMISES
BRING CHEERING FIRST AID
By this time kind neighbors
called to be of assistance both here and there.
Pastors Blegan, Stavik, and a Baptist pastor made
brief calls at the Spilde home, and poured out
their hearts to God, that He alone would supply
the comfort needed in this dark hour, and they
read from God's "love Letter" the Bible His
promises that did supply our needs.
FRIENDSHIP'S GOLDEN MOMENT
home was not a joyous ride this time as it so
often had been, and the meeting in the home was
not the usual one with smiles as loved ones meet.
But the Lord was also now present, and helped to
bear the burden, and here was our friend Arthur
Hendrickson come to cheer and comfort us
--illustrating what it says in I Corinthians 12:26,
which proved out its truth in a double sense now,
and in the following days, that "And whether one
member suffer, all the members suffer with it".
Who but Arthur Hendrickson would get in his car
alone and drive a hundred miles more or less
to come and shed tears with you and witness your
sorrow? Poor indeed is the person who has no
friends like this one, and truly rich are we
when we have many such friends. And then to
know our loved ones were so well known and highly
respected. We thank God for that. But oh dear,
this is still hard, and life wlll never be
the same for any of us, I'm sure. To think
our hopes and plans for years to come so
suddenly come to an end, and this way!
THE BLINDERS OF MERE MORTAL PERSPECTIVE
And then in following days as we are trudging
along, the weather
is unfavorable, things come hard and this
thought comes again and again, "If only our
dear ones were still were still here."
Then we must turn our thoughts elsewhere,
and the thoughts as expressed by Marie Turk
seem the only way out when she says, "Could
we read the final chapter of our life, then
we should see great advantages and blessings
in all our adversities. We should know that
in His mercy--though our sight were very dim
--He had blessed us in each trial just to keep
us close to Him." Oh, yes, dear Lord, that is
after all what we want. How inverted our way
of thinking is after all. Truly it is selfishness
on our part to wish them back here among us.
Just think, what is He has to offer? Some more
years of hardships, struggle, sin, and temptations?
Yes, a lot more along the same line. The trouble
is that we do not really believe with our whole
heart that Heaven is what the Bible says it is.
We are like the native prince of Burma after
an Englishman had tried to describe to him
Europe in winter, frozen ponds, skating, etc.,
etc. The Burmese ruler looked at him, shook
his head sternly, and exclaimed, "You have
told me many wonderful things, but I will never
believe nor can believe that water becomes hard enough
to walk on. If the whole world told me so I
would not believe it."
WE SEE IN A GLASS DARKLY
I recall what
we read years ago about slavery in Russia.
Their prisoners were sent into Siberia to work
in the mines for life--men and women, children
were born, raised, and lived down in those
deep mines and as grown-ups, died there, and
they all never saw the day light with all that
goes with it. How do you think we can describe
the heavens, sun, moon, stars, earth trees,
vegetation, rivers, lakes, and oceans to those
unfortunates, and make them understand it? So
while we know Heaven is wonderful, no human
language can describe it. And if there were
no Heaven, nothing is lost, but all is gain,
living a Christian life here anyhow. But there
is a Heaven, and there is where our dear ones
are with all those who put their trust in God
and His plan of salvation, which is Christ the Door.
"So I will just trust my Savior. He will give
me strength day by day to bear my griefs
and burdens, as I journey along life's way."
LEGACIES OF INSPIRING LIVES NEVER DIE
Thus we could go on and on, as we view the many
mysteries and so-called mysteries of creation,
the here and the hereafter, the purpose of creation,
and the purpose of our individual little lives.
And then this before I conclude this letter
--"We are here left behind with the memory
of our dear ones, but not that only, we are
inspired by the memory of their conduct,
to live a more consecrated life for our Lord.
BOB'S CHARACTER AND HUMOR SHINES
First, I think of Bob, how often have I wished
I knew my Bible and could quote it by memory
like he did, and that as a final proof
concerning problems of the day. And I recall
his dislike of conversing about the unpleasant
things and his ability to forgive and forget,
and swing the conversation unto the profitable
things that build us up rather than tear us down.
Also I remember his generosity and the unusual
sense of humor original with him too. God be
praised for memory of Bob Ginther.
"TRAIN UP A CHILD THE WAY HE SHOULD GO..."
Then for Arthur
--without a question he remained in his baptismal
covenant with the Lord since his infancy. Truly,
he never said good-bye to the Lord in his heart
when a child and later as a young man. And what
a joy to recall his appetite for spiritual food
from the Bible and from sermons and messages
--anywhere it was to be found. God opened my eyes
through him that this theory--"Children's patience
will become over-exhausted if kept or held too
close in a spiritual atmosphere"--is of the Devil.
Space will not permit to say anything about
Arthur here, but you may refer later to his
college roommate's letter, that we think much
of, and thank God for it.
And now while their
bodies are at rest in the cemetery here, where
loving hands will decorate the graves, their
spirits are in Glory while their bodies await
the day of Christ's return when the soul will
reunite with the bodies glorified. And this we
know, their message to us now would be,
"Weep not for us, but stay close to the
Lord Jesus Christ all your days, that where
we are, ye may be also."