My Early Life and Conversion

I was born on June 24,1911, on a farm near Berthold, North Dakota. The winters there are cruel; temperatures sometimes drop as low as 40 to 60 degrees below zero, and snowdrifts may cover a house. There was a wire stretched from the house to the barn so that in a blinding blizzard we could find our way back to the house by following the wire through the blinding whiteness.

My father worked a section of land he had staked out from the government. If faithful in using the land, he could eventually own it. He raised wheat, a crop that only yields every seven years. Our nearest neighbor lived several miles away.

My recollections of this early life are rather vague, except that we were poor. I was the oldest of five children. I had to walk three miles to our one-room school.

I was one of the poorest children in the school. Some lunch-times when I had only an empty bread sandwich to eat, others would share parts of their lunch with me. Other times they threw me peanuts and laughed at me because I ate them shell and all.

One morning, I started out for school and a blizzard came unexpectedly, quickly obliterating the road. Soon I was lost, wandering around in the driving snow for hours. I know the Lord was watching over me even before I was saved because, after walking aimlessly for hours, I finally found myself on the top of our house! It had been covered on one side by previous drifts that had hardened, and I had walked right up onto the roof on a snowdrift. This was no less than a miracle.

When I was seven years old, I had an idea that I could fly like a bird. I made a pair of wings out of cardboard and climbed to the top of our barn. Proudly strapping them onto my arms, I prepared for flight, and jumped off. As soon as the air hit the wings, they swooped my arms straight up and there they stayed until I hit the ground, breaking my left arm. No doctors were around so it had to heal by itself, and today I have a crooked arm to show for it. It was another case of God’s providential care for me. It was also a lesson in blind faith. From then on, before throwing caution to the wind, I would be much more careful where I would place my trust.

I used to enjoy riding horses bareback. Not only did I learn how to ride without a saddle—I didn’t even know what a saddle was! Once the horse I was on became frightened and made a beeline for the barn. The horse went in, but I didn’t. Later when I woke up outside the barn door, I learned the importance of using a bridle and bit for guidance. This is true in spiritual things as well.

Another time I was riding in a buggy with my mother and I hung over the front safety rail too far and fell out, under the front buggy wheel. It rolled over my stomach and I still bear the scar. It seems my life has been a series of such miracles, the Lord constantly preserving me.

My life changed dramatically at the age of seven. That year my mother died, and my father went to the penitentiary. My three brothers, my sister, and I were divided up to live with relatives. I never saw my brother Harold again.

I was sent to live with my deaf and dumb grandparents for the summer, where I learned sign language. They lived in poverty on a little farm in northern Minnesota.

One day, when I was out in the woods picking hazelnuts, I looked up to see a big bear standing by my wheelbarrow, eyeing the food. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the bear was bigger than me, and he liked nuts. Without a moment’s hesitation, I decided to leave it all to the bear while I made my exit. As far as I know, the wheelbarrow is still there.

At the end of that summer I was sent to St. Paul to live with my father’s widowed aunt and her grown daughter. They both worked and had little time to devote to me. Their home was filled with card parties, drinking, lots of quarreling and violent fights. There were times when I had to run outside and hide under the porch to avoid the flying pans or dishes.

When I began school in St. Paul, I was pushed back two grades. My education from the one-room school in North Dakota was several notches below “big city” standards. Being two grades behind my classmates gave me little incentive to study, so I didn’t. The neighborhood was rough, and I became rough with it. Before my twelfth birthday, I had learned to fight, steal, run with street gangs, and was headed straight for the reformatory. I felt that no one loved me—I merely existed from day to day. I had no future and I didn’t care.

It was in this environment that I came in contact with my great-grandmother who had a great influence in my coming to know Christ as my Saviour. She had a room in the same home and although I didn’t appreciate her at the time, she was the most godly person I have ever known. She told this story to me—which I shall never forget—to explain the importance of holiness when Christians gather to worship the Lord:

My great-grandfather was responsible for beginning the first assembly in Minnesota in the 1880’s in St. Paul Park. The Christians built a small schoolhouse-type building on a tract of land about three miles from his farm. One Lord’s Day morning, when the Christians were gathered together to remember the Lord, my great-grandmother happened to lift up her head to glance out of the window and was startled to see their barn in the distance burning, with great flames licking at the roof. She nudged her husband and whispered excitedly in his ear, “John, our barn’s on fire!” Without so much as lifting his head, he whispered back to her, “Hush, we’re in the presence of the Lord.”

My great-grandmother was nearly ninety when she boarded with us in St. Paul. She knew her Bible well, and was a testimony to the grace of God. She told us often that we must be born again, but her statements brought ridicule from everyone, including me. After all, we reasoned, “How could someone be born again when they are already born?”

This ungodly home was more than my great-grandmother could endure. She moved away and I didn’t know where (not that it mattered to me in my unsaved, hateful state of mind). Then I was told that I was also being sent away. It is difficult to describe how I felt then—rejected by everyone, no adult to confide in, no future to look forward to. The street kids that I was closest to were being left behind. Besides all of this, I was being sent to live with people I had never even heard of. I hated everybody and everything. As a child, I can’t remember ever being hugged by an adult. I was truly without God or hope in the world. As I look back, all of this experience reinforces my strong conviction that without God in our lives, ultimately there is nothing.

I lived in St. Paul for about three-and-a-half years. At the age of twelve, to avoid becoming a ward of the state in the house of detention, I was sent to the Schlief home in South St. Paul. Mrs. Schlief was a distant relative of my father. Back when my mother had died, Mrs. Schlief and her husband, Adolph, had adopted two of my three younger brothers. When I arrived at the Schlief’s, I was very surprised to find my great-grandmother boarding there also.

At the Schlief home, children were forbidden to talk to grandmother very much. They did not want her to upset us, constantly speaking of the Lord Jesus, the necessity of being born again, and scaring us with the thought of hell. However, being nominal Christians, the Schliefs thought grace should be said before meals, so Grandmother was called on to give thanks for the food—thus, she was able to preach a twenty-minute sermon three times a day. It was then that I became convicted about my lost condition. Hell was made real to me, and I became convinced that, unless I was born again, I would spend eternity there with the devil and his angels. I was even afraid to cross a street for fear that a car might hit me and I would end up in hell.

I lived for a year like that, convicted in my heart that I was a sinner, wanting so desperately to get saved, as my grandmother put it. I needed to know for certain that I had eternal life. My schoolwork was a failure, and by this time my demeanor had grown so bad that the Schliefs became worried enough to call various preachers in to talk to me.

They gave me the plain gospel which I understood in my mind, but found no peace in my soul. The preachers would tell me to “believe.” I thought I believed, but still I had no assurance of salvation. I remember sneaking in to Grandmother and asking her again and again, “Grandma, just how can I be born again? How can I know for sure that when I die, I’ll be in heaven?” Each time I would go in to see her, it would bring to my mind how scornfully I had treated her in our previous home together. I had abused her with such contempt, for no other reason than her pleas and tearful exhortations concerning my condition apart from God.

I told her again and again how sorry I was. I even wondered if I could ever be saved, having treated the holy Word of God so carelessly. How could the Lord ever show His mercy to a wretch like me? Thus I spent many nights in tears, pleading with the Lord to save me.

I began attending three Sunday schools each Sunday, in hopes that I could somehow obtain assurance of eternal life. I wanted to be sure of heaven, so I took no chances. First I would go to a Sunday school class at a church not far from our house. Then I would walk to another one further on, and finally, I would ride a streetcar for an hour and a half to Minneapolis where an assembly of believers had a Sunday school in the afternoon. My grandmother told me about it, and even gave me money for the trip. In spite of this searching, I still could find no peace in my heart—even though I was doing everything possible. I was going to church, praying, studying the Bible, and reading everything I could get hold of—and still no assurance. I was desperate.

One night after I had made my weekly rounds to the three Sunday schools, I was reading in John’s Gospel. I had just finished reading a tract which recounted the story of a young man’s salvation. He had come to the same place of desperation that I was in—convicted of his sin, and understanding that no prayers, church attendance, or intercessions of others would be of any avail.

I had been on my knees by my bed for an hour, crying to God, begging Him to save my soul from hell and make me know it. I promised the Lord that I would do anything, I’d go anywhere, if only He would give me peace in my soul. It happened that night at 10:30, the 24th of March, 1924—my soul was saved for eternity.

As I read in the third chapter of John, I recalled how the man in the tract was saved by realizing that Jesus died for him personally, and had paid for all his sins. “Christ died for sinners,” and John 3:16 said, “Whosoever believeth on Him should not perish.” Of course, that was it! It was not something I could do—Jesus had done all the work for salvation when He shed His blood on the cross of Calvary, and it was for me. I only needed to accept the gift of salvation for myself. In my heart, it became clear how easy it was for me, though at great cost to God.

I trusted Christ as my Saviour that night and the Holy Spirit took up residence in my heart, witnessing with my spirit that I was a child of God. Oh, what joy filled my soul! I cried, and laughed out loud. I yelled out, “I’m saved!” I was saved and I knew it! I had God’s Holy Word for it! God cannot go back on His Word. I believed! I was saved! Nothing depended on me, but all on God. I was saved and sure of it!

This happened over seventy years ago, and I have never had any doubts of my salvation, except for the morning after that memorable night when the devil put the thought in my mind, “What if this wasn’t real after all? What if you only dreamed it, or thought it?” The doubt was short-lived, because I recalled the Word of God in John 3:16, and I simply trusted His Word. It was enough for me then, and it is enough for me now. Oh, what a Saviour!

The following Sunday, I could hardly wait to share the news of my salvation at the Sunday schools I had been attending. At the first church, I could hardly contain my joy to the teacher in class as I beamed, “I got saved last week.” Her response seemed to be as inappropriate to me then as it does now: “Oh, we are all saved; don’t you know that? Please be quiet!” I tried to make clear to her and to the class that I actually had become a new creature in Christ Jesus, that I had been born again. But they were satisfied with their religion. Like many modernistic churches that pretend to express the Word of God, they taught a social gospel—we are all already saved, they say, but we must work very hard at being good. They taught that salvation depends on our works, not the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. I never returned to that church.

Not to have my parade completely rained on, I walked ahead to catch the second Sunday school. I knew they would appreciate my celebration, because it was a fundamental church with a born again pastor who preached a clear gospel message. As I related my salvation experience to them, they immediately understood what I meant by being born again, and exclaimed, “That’s fine—when are you going to get baptized and join the church?” I was left speechless. It seemed to me that they were just interested in getting a new church member. What about the glory Christ Jesus deserved because another person had become a new creature because of Him? I did not return to that church, either. Although they were brothers and sisters in the Lord, somehow they overlooked the preciousness of the gift of supernatural life, and the direction that this understanding should lead them to the Author of our salvation.

I am reminded of the story of Martha with the Lord—allowing herself to become so busy that she neglected Him. It seemed to me these Christians were too busy about the business of their church organization to recognize that this was the time to rejoice in the work of the Lord as He created a new person in Christ Jesus.

As I rode the streetcar the hour-and-a-half to Cedar Avenue Gospel Hall, I began to wonder what kind of reception to expect there. They weren’t affiliated with any large denomination—they were simply Christians meeting in the Name of Jesus Christ alone. I hoped that they would have a different response than the two Sunday schools I had visited earlier.

When I told the teacher that I’d trusted Christ as my Saviour and that I was saved, he asked me how I was so sure. When my testimony was given, he went and brought the elders to hear it. Soon everyone in the building was in tears, rejoicing with me in my newfound joy of salvation. I realized at once that these folks had the same confidence in the work of Christ as I had. I had found people of like faith, and my spirit witnessed together with their spirit that we were indeed sons of God.

Relying on the Word of God concerning the pattern for the local New Testament church, I slowly gained a clearer understanding of baptism, church fellowship, and the error inherent in creating a denominational barrier and excluding other Christian believers. What a joy to know that I did not have to get baptized to become a member of the church, but that my salvation had already qualified me as a member of Christ’s body—which is the Church. I have never joined an organized church, and am happy to meet together with Christians in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ alone. I could say with the apostle Paul that I was “free born.”

Being enthusiastic to study the Scriptures, I quickly learned that as a matter of obedience (not to obtain, nor to add to my salvation) I should be baptized by immersion. Being very anxious to be obedient to my Lord, I found a godly brother to baptize me that very Wednesday. On such short notice, we ended up using his bathtub to completely immerse me, with a few Christians witnessing the event.

I tried to attend every meeting of the Lord’s people. I began to appreciate the value of fellowship in the gatherings of God’s people. Here was a place where I could learn, and be encouraged in my faith. I realized that this assembling of believers was just not an ordinary gathering of people, but that the Lord Himself was indeed in our midst. After all, the local church is the meeting place for God and His people. I was convinced that not only was it pleasing to the Lord for me to be at the meeting, but that this was the way the Lord had intended for me to grow. “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is but exhorting one another…” (Heb. 10:25). This is a command of the Lord which is a fundamental truth for every believer, and one which I have always taken very seriously.

Some time after I had been saved, the believers meeting at the Cedar Avenue Gospel Hall moved from the store front on Cedar Avenue to a new building on 42nd Street. This is where I first came in contact with Dr. Harry Ironside. He took an interest in me, and I considered myself fortunate to have him as my teacher. He taught us the Scriptures informally as well as in lectures. If he held meetings every night for two or three weeks, I was always there. The new location in Minneapolis still required a three-hour round trip for me on the street car, but I was eager to learn from the Word of God. I would carefully examine every scripture that was given as a reference, usually spending two to four hours a day in Bible study.

I determined that His Word would settle things for me. “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105). “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me” (Jn. 14:21). How could I do His will unless I read His Word and learned what He wanted me to do?

To understand His will for me in any particular area, I would ask the Lord to help me not to be misled by feelings or traditions, but to guide me in searching out what He said about it. I needed to see it in the Word for myself and the only way I could apply the Word of God in my life was to read it and study it! When a difficult portion of Scripture baffled me, I would pray about it, asking Him to help me understand it by the Holy Spirit’s guidance. I would study it, using commentaries of godly men, and also seeking help from older brethren. I’ve written many, many times to men like Dr. Ironside, and August Van Ryn. I’ve always believed that in a multitude of counselors there is safety.

Thank God for the simple truth that brother Ironside taught. He was a true friend. Even after I went into full-time service, I often wrote to him for an opinion on a passage and he would answer me promptly, in his own writing. He was, until he went home to glory, an inspiration to me. He still is through many excellent books, and my memory of him.

I shall always remember the last time I saw him at dinner in Detroit, when he was just leaving for meetings in New Zealand and Australia. There he suffered a fatal heart attack on the platform while he was preaching. He had always wanted to go to heaven like this. I can say without reservation that he was a truly great man, who practiced what he preached. He loved to share with others, and he never wrote to a missionary without enclosing a money gift along with his encouragement.

In the meantime, my life with the Schliefs was anything but dull. While in high school, I worked for a dairy farmer to help out with my living expenses, and to pay for music lessons. Rising at four in the morning, I would walk about three miles to the farm, then be to school by nine.

After school and on Saturdays I managed around thirty boys in selling magazines for the Curtis Publishing Co. They published the Country Gentlemen, the Ladies’ Home Journal, and the Saturday Evening Post. On the days the magazines were delivered, the boys would meet me after school at a garage and each boy would get the number they expected to sell. I was the manager for our city, but it was like having my own business—records had to be kept, reports made out, checks written, etc. I’m thankful for this training in business. It gave me experience in handling people. We would arrange outings to keep the sales boys interested. Through it all, I would try to be honoring to the Lord and be forthright in a gospel testimony.

One afternoon I had a wiener roast for the boys. As they sat on logs roasting marshmallows, I gave an object lesson. “Boys, would any of you like to help in an experiment and put your hand in the hot coals?” Of course, no one answered. Picking one of the boys out by name, I asked him to see how close he could hold his hand to the fire. Then I told them about hell. If they felt so uncomfortable just putting a hand close to the fire, what would it be like to be in the fire? I told them the story in Luke, about the rich man in hell begging for a drop of water to cool his tongue. His torment there was terrible, and without hope of even a moment of relief.

I told them that unless they were saved, they also would suffer in hell’s fire forever. It became a very emotional scene. Most all of the boys were crying and wanting to be saved. Several came to my house that night, afraid they would end up in hell. I think every one of them professed to be saved before the night was over. That’s right—professed, that’s all it was. Most were empty professions made out of fear; nothing had really happened in their hearts. I will never forget that lesson in the contrast between profession and possession. Since then, I have been careful not to simply work on people’s emotions. Emotions can be so very misleading. People get saved by trusting in the redemptive work of Christ on Calvary, and have assurance by resting on the Word of God—not because of some emotional feeling they get.

In my three-and-a-half years in high school, I profited from a whole realm of experiences that the Lord used to prepare me for my future work as a missionary to Louisiana. As a member of the debate team, I sharpened my wits and learned to communicate effectively. This helped later in public speaking, and leading meetings, studies, and so on. I also played in the school orchestra as a first violinist, and sang in the glee club. This helped instill confidence when the situation would require me to lead meetings in hymns and songs.

My love for music encouraged me in the areas of self-discipline and practice. I began studying violin with a teacher who came weekly to our home. As I made progress, I could hear it, and this would drive me to improve further. Practicing in my room didn’t last long before I was moved to the basement—and it wasn’t long after this that I was relegated to the woods behind our house to work on my music lessons. I stayed with it though, and gradually my musical skills did improve.

Sometimes at school when the music director was absent, I had the opportunity of directing the orchestra. On a fairly regular basis I would be sent to one of the grade schools in the area, teaching music and directing the orchestra. This intensified my interest in music, and gave me experience in directing.

Upon high school graduation, I believed the Lord was calling me to be a missionary in Africa. I reasoned that there could be no higher calling for me than to preach the gospel to sinners. My beliefs were soon put to the test.

Our family doctor had taken a special interest in my two brothers and me, I think because we were orphans. He graciously offered to pay all my college expenses, if I would pursue a medical degree. I prayed about it, but could find no peace in my heart at the prospect of several more years of schooling. While I was elated at such an unusual and generous offer, I turned it down. I reasoned that if I accepted his offer, I would be obligated to him to become a success in the world, at the risk of sacrificing my interest in spiritual things.

Instead of going to college, I got a job with Swift & Co. as an office boy. Although I worked for them for twelve years, I continued the whole time to be busy seeking to please the Lord where I was, in that position. Not wanting to get ahead of God’s timing, I waited expectantly for Him to give me the order to go to Africa. I read and studied the Scriptures daily, and was in contact with the Lord in prayer. I quickly learned the need to put the Lord first in my life. I always put great importance on attending all of the assembly meetings. I sought to be honest—above reproach—in all my personal and business dealings.

I sought to live as a testimony to the Lord and not be ashamed to own Him as my Lord and Saviour. This became very important to me in my Christian life. I was convinced that one does not separate a Christian life from the secular life. I wanted to be known as a Christian whether bowing at the altar, working at the plant, or living in the home.

During this time I took a great deal of abuse from the one I called Mother, even though I tried to treat her with respect. Mrs. Schlief definitely wore the pants in our house. She treated Mr. Schlief like a trained puppy dog, and he obeyed her commands, or suffered her ire. She ruled with an iron hand, and had a scalding temper. Once when I was nineteen, she and I were doing the dishes. She was washing pans, and I was drying them. Suddenly, she grasped a pan and hit me in the face. I was black and blue for quite some time. I didn’t think I had done anything to provoke her and I was strong enough and angry enough to overpower her, but the Lord gave me a portion of grace. I nursed my hurt and prayed, thankful for His help in keeping me from disgracing myself by losing my own temper. The exhortation of the Bible was very clear to me: “Honor thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee” (Deut. 5:16).

I earned $10.00 a week, and Mrs. Schlief kept $8.00 for board even though anywhere else at that time it would have been $2.00. I felt I had no complaint, since they had cared for me up to this time. I also turned most of the money over to her that I made from the milk route, from the truck gardener for weeding after school, and from the magazine business. She said (and rightly so) that I needed to learn responsibility and earn my own way. I am thankful to the Lord for this difficult lesson and I see now it was good for me.

I don’t want to give the impression that I was faultless, but the Lord was dealing in my life. Wanting to please Him, I prayed that He would help me to follow His example in learning to accept wrong behavior without resentment.

My first assignment at Swifts as an office boy was in the superintendent’s office, delivering messages and important papers to the various departments. There were about forty departments in the plant and over four thousand employees.

My boss was the chief clerk, in charge of the clerks of each department. If I had any spare time, I would go to him and ask if I could do anything else to help him. Soon, I was doing a lot of his work along with my own—filling out reports for the main office in Chicago, calling in the starting times to the departments, etc. As I worked with him more closely, I found out that he would not hesitate to advance his career in any way possible, regardless of the effect on others. Once, he lied to save his own skin, causing one of the department heads to get fired. It was inevitable that he would use me as a scapegoat, too, blaming me when he made errors or got into trouble. I prayed about these things, taking the blame time after time. He even used me to do his personal chores. I tried to testify to him, wishing he could become a Christian, but he had no time for this—he spent all his time feathering his own nest. So I just prayed, kept quiet, and worked.

It seemed like the only occasions my boss’ supervisors were aware of my work was when I was taking the blame for his errors. I figured all of this would work against me when being considered for a promotion, and I became discouraged at times. Whenever an opportunity for me to advance opened up, he would squash it. I endured these circumstances by acknowledging that the Lord was still in control, and trying to accept it as His training for me, knowing very well that there would be plenty of disappointments on the mission field. This continued for several years, but in time the Lord showed me that He vindicates His own.

When the superintendent of the plant died, the assistant superintendent took his place. He had never liked my boss, but because he was a pet of the plant’s general manager, he put up with him anyway. His first action in his new position was to demote my boss to give him charge of the company garage. My boss, very much degraded, no longer had any authority over me. Instead, the new superintendent appointed me to take over his position as chief clerk!

From then on, I enjoyed my work with Swift. The new superintendent took me under his wing, and I was able to gain experience in a number of different departments within the company. At one point, I was even put in charge of advertising at the local plant in South St. Paul. The company spent many thousands of dollars to enroll me in courses in various schools and colleges. Much of this training proved to be helpful later, as I pursued the Lord’s work.

Through my employment at Swift’s, the Lord continued my spiritual education. He was preparing me for future work in His vineyard, and I understood this to be missionary work in Africa. With no definite plans of my own, I sought to walk by faith, and not by sight. The Scriptures became more and more precious to me as the days went by. The Lord taught me to be dependent on Him, and to seek His guidance.

While at Swift’s, the Lord used some gruesome events to speak to me concerning eternal matters. As a messenger I traveled over the entire plant, and was acquainted with quite a few of the workers. One of them was a machine oiler. He regularly climbed a ladder to oil a spinning shaft located high up in the corner of the building. One day, the oil rag that hung out of his hip pocket somehow caught on the turning shaft, which in turn caught his clothes. With no way to stop the shaft, it swung his whole body around and around, and with each turn of the shaft his head hit on a sharp cement corner in the ceiling. I’m sure he was dead the first time his head hit, but what a horrible sight!

A clean-up man I knew was throwing a box of trash into the incinerator. He didn’t let go of the box in time, and, along with the box, fell into the flames to his death.

Another man’s job included testing large lard rendering tanks from which pork cracklings were taken. I went there often, to reach over the edge and scoop out some pork cracklings to eat. As he was leaning over the two-story boiling tank of lard, he lost his balance. Only his clothing was recovered.

A couple of times, several men I knew perished together. One of the departments that I visited often had a severe explosion that killed quite a few men. There was another explosion in the fertilizer department that killed many. I knew that each of these men never suspected they would meet such a violent death so unexpectedly. The Lord used these incidents to teach me the frailty of this life, and that only the spiritual life will endure. As a result of these experiences, I determined to be more bold in my testimony for Christ.

When I was transferred to the bacon department, I worked with a man who studied at night school to become a clergyman. Much to my dismay, he used vile language, repeated filthy stories, and even took the Lord’s name in vain. Since his lifestyle had no semblance of Christianity, I asked him why he studied for the ministry. He replied, “It’s a good racket—good money, and an easy life.” Turning to me, he added, “You will never get anywhere in this life with your honesty and living a righteous life.” Such things as these strengthened my faith, and gave me more resolve to serve my Saviour.

While I was working at Swift’s, I continued to room with the Schliefs. One day, I recognized an opportunity to buy a house. Although it needed a lot of repair, it was priced very low because the owner had to sell immediately. Acting quickly, I made the down payment on it from my savings in company stock. Since I intended to continue boarding with the Schliefs until I got married or went to the mission field, I made sure that the house was large enough for all of us. Shortly after obtaining a mortgage on the home, we all moved in.

About a year later, I decided to sell my shares of Swift stock that I had been buying since I first started working there. The market value of the stock had greatly increased, and my shares had made a handsome profit. I gave Mrs. Schlief the check to hold for me. I thought that if I paid the money toward the principal of the mortgage, I could lower the monthly payments. After some further thought, I decided that I wanted a more peaceful life so I rented an apartment, finally moving away from the Schliefs.

Mrs. Schlief was furious. When it came time for me to move, she hid my stock check, refusing to give it to me. Since the stock was all the money I had, I was now penniless. Furthermore, she demanded that I deed the house to her, because she felt I owed it to them for the years I had stayed there. Although I thought that this wasn’t entirely fair to me, rather than go to law, I gave them both the money and the house.

I knew that it was better to take wrong, and believed that the Lord would make it up to me. He did. Years later when Gladys and I were buying a new house in Milwaukee, we needed just the exact amount that I lost from the house and stock check. Just when it was time to make a critical payment on our new house, the Lord supplied the whole amount in an unbelievable way, one of many remarkable answers to prayer in our lives.