A New Partner for Life

By 1932 I had left the home I bought for the Schliefs, and rented a room in South St. Paul. Still working for Swift, I was determined never to marry. With all of the misery and fighting I had observed in the homes I grew up in, I thought that the single life would better afford me an opportunity to productively serve the Lord. As it turns out, however, the Lord had different plans in store for me.

Returning home from a meeting one sunny Sunday afternoon, as I got off the street car I noticed a big sign advertising a special young people’s meeting at a local Baptist church. I went inside, and there on the pulpit I saw a young girl leading the meeting. Her sincerity and humble attitude impressed me immediately. While I listened to her, I remembered the instructions in God’s Word, teaching that women should be silent in a church meeting, and wear a head covering.

After the meeting, I confronted her with what the Word says concerning these things. To my surprise, she replied that she had never seen this before, and that she would indeed bow to the Scripture. As we talked about her plans, my interest was further aroused when I learned that she too intended to go to Africa as a missionary! Immediately this gave us a common bond. We recognized in each other that both of our lives had been dedicated to the Lord for His service.

Gladys lived with her folks in Invergrove, about eight miles from me. She was enrolled in Bible school, preparing for the work that she felt the Lord had laid on her heart. I had a goal of putting a tract in every home in my city, and all the small towns around. I knew firsthand the power a tract could have to bring the gospel message to others, and had begun distributing tracts shortly after my own salvation. I was delighted that Gladys joined me in this goal, helping to distribute them house-to-house on Saturdays and holidays.

Gladys freely gave more than just her time and effort to the Lord’s work. Before we were married, she did some housekeeping for a family, earning two dollars per week. Gladys gave fifty cents to the Lord’s work. Traits like this, being revealed every once in a while, endeared her more and more to me as a woman after God’s own heart. She still is a great giver. She has given of herself, and of everything she has. “A virtuous woman, who can find?”

As we spent more time together at meetings, and working together distributing the tracts, we started to think that maybe the Lord had made us for each other. We each listed reasons for and against marriage, putting on paper everything we could possibly think of. We prayed about it, both individually and together. More than anything else, we wanted God’s leading for our lives.

It was at a meeting on the Lord’s Day that we decided to marry. We agreed that the Lord must be put first in our lives together. I still had one week of vacation left before I had to return to work, and if we were married right away, we could still use most of the last week of my vacation giving out tracts. Our conclusion of all this deliberation and prayer were finalized that Sunday night. The next morning, I asked Gladys’ father for her hand in marriage.

Mr. Trog, her father, was already out in the field hoeing melons when I arrived to pop the big question. I took up a hoe to help him, intending to ask him for his approval as soon as we came to the end of the row. We finished the row, but I was having a hard job gathering enough courage—so we hoed another row, then another, and soon it was noon. Finally I dared to risk the question, and cautiously awaited his reply. “Well, I really figured this would happen, as I’ve noticed that you two must be in love. When do you plan to get married?” When I told him that we planned to get married that very afternoon, he dropped his hoe, and I thought he was going to faint. He managed to regain his composure and informed me that there was a waiting period of at least five days for a marriage license, and was concerned that we might be acting too hastily. After much discussion, I convinced him that we were both serious and certain that the decision was from the Lord. He agreed that it would be all right to marry that Saturday. It would be a very simple wedding, in a mission where we spent a lot of time. The Lord has blessed me mightily through the former Gladys Trog—helping, encouraging, inspiring, and serving the Lord alongside me these many years, seeking to honor Christ together with me.

Our honeymoon was something else again. Having only a few days left of my vacation, and with only a few dollars in our pockets, we decided to visit Gladys’ aunt and uncle a hundred miles away. We both felt close to them, having frequently visited with them. Since we felt free to drop in on them anytime, why not for our honeymoon? We figured that we would have just enough money to pay for the gas.

We were both excited about our little honeymoon, but when we arrived that afternoon we were both too shy to mention to Aunt Lid that we were married. They didn’t notice the ring on Gladys’ finger, and soon Aunt Lid was apologizing that they only had one extra bedroom in the house. You guessed it. Gladys got the bedroom and I spent the first night of our honeymoon on the front room couch. Fortunately for us, dear old Aunt Lid did notice the wedding ring the next day and they gave us a royal shivaree, complete with banging on the washtub and some dishpans. They allowed us to share the bedroom that night. Thus were our first days of married life!

After a wonderful three days, it was time to bid farewell to our gracious hosts. I had been a little concerned about being able to afford groceries because although our honeymoon had only cost us gas money, it was all that we had. Committed to live by faith, we decided not to let anyone know that our money was nearly gone. As usual, God worked it out in a simple way: Gladys’ folks raised Hubbard squash to feed to the cows. We offered to buy some squash from them, but they insisted we take all we wanted! We loaded down that car with squash, living off it for weeks to come. We had squash for breakfast, squash for dinner, and squash for supper! We never wondered what we would have, only how it would be prepared.

We still faced the challenge of setting up our home. We had nineteen dollars to rent an apartment, buy furniture, buy a stove, make the utility deposits, get some clothes, and buy groceries. We were prepared to live frugally, but could all this be done on nineteen dollars?

We found a second floor, three-room apartment without a bathroom for $10.00 per month, and the owner required only half a month’s rent to move in. We shared a toilet with the owners on the first floor, and borrowed an old, round, galvanized wash tub from Gladys’ folks to use as a bathtub.

We got the furniture we needed from a friend who was a furniture dealer. He offered us the chance to buy the whole three rooms of furniture for two dollars down and two dollars per month—no interest.

For heat, we found a pot-bellied wood burning stove and put it in the middle of the kitchen. We hauled the wood from the banks of the Mississippi River and then cut it to length. It seemed like that wood bin was always empty—especially during Minnesota’s long, cold winters!

The Lord used these circumstances from the beginning to train us to endure hardships which we would encounter later in His service. He also tested our resolve to be faithful in giving of our substance to the cause of Christ. Gladys and I firmly believed that He must be our source of wisdom and sustenance. We both realized that if we were going to live by faith in Africa, with our dependence for financial support wholly on the Lord, we should be serving Him in faith at home.

Gladys and I took this verse to heart: “Every man according as he purposed in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). This Scripture, like John 14:21, “He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me…and I will love him, and will manifest Myself to him.” We understood this to mean that Christ will manifest His love to cheerful givers, to each one who keeps His commandments. We thought that we should give to the Lord as a family, not because we had to, but because we love Him. Like David, we realized that we could only give from what He has already given us.

When we began our life together, we decided to give at least ten percent of our income to the Lord—not as a bribe, or a way to bargain with God for favors, but as a sweet-smelling sacrifice of love to the One who gave His all for us. I heard of a man who asked his pastor to pray for an increase in his salary. If it came through, he would give more to the Lord! Someone said that if a tenth was required under the law, it would be a shame to give less under grace.

In our home we placed a jar on the mantle and marked it “For the Lord.” On each payday, $1.20 of our $12.00 was put in the jar. In a short time my salary was increased to $14.00. Since we had managed to get along just fine on $10.80 before, we decided to give 30% of the raise to the Lord (60 cents). Soon my salary was raised again, making it possible to share even more for the Lord’s work. It seemed the more we gave, the more the Lord increased our substance to give. As a family, we confess, “The Lord has blessed us abundantly.”

About two-and-a-half years after we married, the Lord tested us severely by allowing a tragedy in our lives. Gladys was in the hospital preparing to give birth. Because of an acute infection that settled in her heart, her heart swelled to twice its normal size. A fever of 107 degrees caused her to lose consciousness, and the doctors suggested that I take off work to stay by her side. They told me that they did not expect her to live from one hour to the next.

The third day, after the doctors had given up hope, I knelt at her bedside and cried aloud to the Lord. I begged Him to spare her; I couldn’t bear to live without her. Just then, Gladys gained consciousness for a moment. Squeezing my hand, she whispered, “Honey, don’t worry about me, I see heaven and Jesus and the angels. It’s so beautiful!”

At that instant I realized afresh that our lives were in His hand, and that was the way we would want it. Gladys belonged to Him, and if He wanted to take her, I would be in subjection to His will. The doctors said that she had suffered severe brain damage so even if she did live, she probably would never walk again.

As I recalled the doctor’s words over and over again in my mind, I began to become aware of the Lord’s presence. I prayed, “Not my will, Lord, but Thine be done.” The scripture came to mind, “He doeth all things well.” He knows all, the end from the beginning, and never makes a mistake.

Resigned to accept my loss, I could no longer detect her pulse. My fingers on her wrist betrayed that her life had slipped away. I have relived that moment many times, and thanked the Lord for His presence. There was a peace I cannot explain, knowing that this life is for a moment, and it is in His hand. I thanked Him and called for the doctor. Putting the cold stethoscope to her heart, he discovered that her heart was beating again. Still unconscious, she was breathing!

I fell to my knees and thanked the Lord for sparing her. I had the feeling she was going to live now. He had given her back to me. The doctor still didn’t share my diagnosis—he doubted if she would live at all, and if she did, she would surely have brain damage. For three long months, she drifted in and out of consciousness until gradually, her high fever finally subsided. The doctors were amazed, and they could not understand how she had survived.

Psalm 27 meant so much to us during that time. Although we read other passages, we read Psalm 27 together every day, and it was soon committed to memory. What comfort we discovered while reading His Word. We dwelt on the fact that with God, nothing is impossible. He has proven this again and again over the years. How great is our God!

I stayed by her side almost day and night for three months. Throughout the illness, my boss was understanding, paying me the whole time. Every activity was canceled, except for the assembly meetings. Then I would kiss Gladys, telling her that it was important not to miss meeting with the Lord and His people. If she went to heaven while I was gone, I’d meet her there. If she were at all conscious, she would say, “Go and be with the Lord, I’ll be O.K.” We had determined that it was of the utmost importance to the Lord—and therefore to us— that we meet with Him in His assembly. After all, this is an expression of our love to Him.

“Take, eat…this do in remembrance of Me” (1 Cor. 11:24) He had said. This command of the Lord must be taken seriously. Anyone who can look back to see a suffering Saviour at the real beginning of their life belongs at the Breaking of Bread meeting. The Lord expects us there. It has been over seventy years since my conversion, yet I can probably count on my fingers the times I have missed this important feast with the Lord.

Our son turned out fine. Baby Vernon stayed in the hospital with us in another ward, cared for by the nurses. After three months, an ambulance finally brought the three of us home. He is a miracle-working God, and although it was another year before Gladys walked again, walk she did! She suffered no brain damage from her months of high fever. Her three doctors were amazed. They called it a miracle. I know it was!

The medical bills were enormous, as you can imagine, with three special nurses around the clock, and no insurance. We prayed about it, and left it with the Lord. When we got ready to leave the hospital, the manager for the billing department simply told us, “There is no bill. It’s been paid, and the doctors are not charging you at all.”

We will never forget the trip that the Lord used to teach us a lesson in obedience we have never forgotten. From the beginning of our marriage we were very zealous in the Lord’s work, and used our vacations to either hold special meetings, or to distribute tracts.

The story really began the summer that A. N. O’Brien, an older brother who meant much to us in our spiritual life, called from Duluth, Minnesota. Dedicated to giving his life to the Lord’s work in the Midwest, he was pained to learn that he would not be able to conduct two weeks of gospel meetings in the community of Hibbing, about 40 miles northwest of Duluth. Since this little assembly needed a substitute speaker, he asked me to consider going in his place.

Gladys and I prayed and felt a definite leading of the Lord to go. However, this would be a trip of faith. We had already spent almost all of our vacation money on printing tracts, planning to distribute them house to house, so we only had enough money to get us there—about a two hundred-mile trip. We had been practicing trusting the Lord for everything, and making our needs known to none but the Lord. Did we dare trust the Lord to supply our gas money for the journey back? And what about food for two weeks?

We went, and the Lord did indeed supply for us, providing for all our meals and needs while we were there. Our prayers had been answered those two weeks, but when it came time to leave, we had nothing to get back home. At the end of our resources, we didn’t want to have to borrow from those Christians, but we wondered to ourselves just how our needs would be supplied. The Lord was able to do anything, but could our faith be lacking? Just when we were about to leave, I looked in the little box by the door. Now when we came, we had made it clear that there would be no collections for us. We were going to pay our own way, not wanting to be a burden on these poor folks. Nevertheless, the saints said the contents of the box, if any, would be a love gift. I had noticed that the box always looked empty up to this time, but now in that box happened to be just the amount we needed. Just happened? No way! It was the Lord answering our prayer. Since this was the amount we had prayed for, we took it, thanking the Lord for His goodness, and for strengthening our faith.

The meetings had been good; several souls were saved. The saints were overjoyed, and asked us to spend next year’s vacation there as well. We promised to pray about it, and we thought we probably should. It was such an open door.

Over the course of the next year, we heard of another assembly in the town of Alexandria. It was a much larger assembly than Hibbing, and had a nice large chapel building. They were planning two weeks of children’s meetings, and they wanted us to help them. We began to think that it would be nice to go there, but in the meantime the folks at Hibbing wrote us to be sure to come. We really wanted to go to Alexandria, though—it seemed that it was the better place to go, and we could reach more children there.

We basically shut our ears to the inner call of the Lord to go to Hibbing even though deep down we knew it was our duty. Just the way bright lights of the city attract some, we were attracted to Alexandria. We made arrangements to arrive on Saturday, giving us plenty of time to begin the first meeting on Sunday. These meetings were to be advertised, and maybe I was a little impressed by my name being in large letters on the flyers and signs.

After all the arrangements were made, Gladys turned to me and said, “Honey, I have a strong feeling that we should go to Hibbing; those poor folks really need us.” I was growing more and more uneasy about our decision and I too wished we were going to Hibbing because I feared that we were doing our own will, rather than the Lord’s. However, the advertisements had gone out and the folks in Alexandria were expecting us, so we decided to go and make the best of it.

It was only a three-hour drive, but we left early Saturday morning so we would have plenty of time to set up for the meetings the next day. As we pulled out of our driveway, Gladys said, “I sure wish we were going to Hibbing.”

I replied, “Me too, but it’s too late now.” We stopped and prayed, asking the Lord to bless the trip, keep us safe, and use us to His glory. There really wasn’t much spirit in that prayer, though, because we already knew that we were acting outside of the Lord’s will for us.

This trip would be different from the previous year when we went on faith, setting out without having enough money to make the trip. This time we had all our vacation money in hand, plus some extra that we had saved up for the trip. Plenty of money; nothing to worry about.

We were hardly out of the city, when “Bang!”—a tire blew out. As I was changing the tire, Gladys said, “Vernon, I think we should have gone to Hibbing.” I agreed.

Back on the road, about ten minutes later, “Bang!”—another blowout. Now we had no spare, so we had to buy two new tires. The Lord is good to us, though, even in rebellion. This blowout happened just about a quarter of a mile from a filling station, thus making it easy on us. Already, our money was beginning to be depleted faster than we had planned.

I should state that before we left home, I had inspected all the tires. They all looked as though they were in good shape, with enough tread left to last another 20,000 miles.

Impossible as it seems, we had not gone another fifty miles before we had two more blowouts. Altogether we ended up purchasing five new tires—at premium prices. Every time we got going again, Gladys would pop up with, “I sure wish we had gone to Hibbing.”

Finally, all the obstacles seemed to have been surmounted. We were purring along nicely with all brand new tires, when suddenly a pounding noise in the engine signaled more trouble. Again, the Lord was mindful of us in our folly, a garage being right at hand, and we pulled in.

When the mechanic lifted the hood, he let out a long “Uh ohhh.” Our hearts sank. We had blown a piston rod. He could fix it, but it would take the rest of the day. The cost cut very deeply into our funds again. While we walked a bit with Vernon Junior and the dog, Gladys reiterated that she sure wished we had gone to Hibbing, and believe me, I did, too. We were out of the will of the Lord, and He was letting us know it in no uncertain terms.

When we got the car fixed, we still had about sixty miles to go. Arrangements had been made to stay with a family who had agreed we should bring both our little boy, and our dog. We could tie the dog in the yard, and they assured us it would be no trouble at all. We were sure we could reach their home before they had gone on to bed.

We were feeling better as we set out on that last sixty miles. Surely everything that could happen already had, and we would buzz right up to Alexandria. Not so. A rainstorm came that was so severe it made it impossible to drive. We ended up parked beside the road the entire night. To make matters worse, the dog insisted on going out every so often and every time he came back in, he would shake himself until we were all sopping wet. What a night! There’s no telling how many times we said that we wished we had gone on to Hibbing. We slept as best we could, and in the morning the sun came out. It was a lovely day, but we smelled terrible!

Finally arriving at our host’s for breakfast, we tied the dog outside, changed our clothes, and went to the meeting. The children’s meeting was a flop. The attendance was only about a tenth of that expected, and my message was bogged down. I never felt like such a failure in all my life.

Our host had arranged for us to live in the basement of his home. He had fixed up two guest rooms, complete with a bathroom. Brother Black, an evangelist, occupied the other guest room. He had dropped in unexpectedly, and I agreed to share the meetings with him. He would speak to the adults, and I would speak to the children.

Monday morning, Gladys and I were feeling down. The dog had broken loose and dug up all the flowers and shrubs in the yard. If we only had gone to Hibbing! Brother Black was a gracious brother and sought to comfort us, as he knew we were feeling discouraged. How could we expect to feel, knowing that we were out of the will of the Lord?

The climax came when Brother Black noticed a leak in the basement bathroom and suggested that we ought to fix it. He had tools in his car, and this would be a nice thing to do for our hosts. In the process of fixing the leak, the water pipe broke. Our hosts were off shopping, and the water shut off valve was nowhere to be found. By the time they came back, their beautiful thick carpet was completely underwater. If we’d only have gone to Hibbing!

At last, it was too much. We got on our knees and confessed our sin in forsaking what we knew to be the will of the Lord. Then leaving the meetings in the hands of brother Black, we tried to make amends to our hosts, who graciously forgave us. All packed up, we headed rather sheepishly back home. The people were probably glad we were gone—I know we were! What a lesson we learned! That trip has remained in our memories throughout the years, constantly reminding us of the folly of taking a selfish, self-centered path.

In our first years of marriage, Gladys and I built large highway billboards. In an effort to spread the gospel, we placed them along the highways with a scripture message. Later, my brother Marius joined us, and we began placing verses in streetcars and buses all over the Twin Cities. Our goal was that wherever and whenever people used public transportation, they would read a verse.

As our project grew, we incorporated and named it “Scripture Signs Crusade, Inc.” Various Christians joined in the expense, allowing the work to expand. Soon, many billboards lined the highways, and a verse was in every streetcar and bus in St. Paul and Minneapolis. When Gladys and I were transferred to Milwaukee by Swift, Marius and others took over the corporation, continuing it for quite a few years.

The sign business began gaining impetus soon after we had started the work. Gladys and I were using a back room of the small rented chapel to make the signs, so we built a large outdoor billboard sign with Amos 4:12 on it—“Prepare to meet thy God”—and placed it right next to our building. We didn’t realize when we put the billboard up, what a strategic spot we had chosen, nor what an impact it would have. The sign was right at the exit of the cemetery, so that everyone coming from a funeral would see this sign in large bold print—“Prepare to meet thy God.” This sign continued to bear testimony for several years while we used the building for a chapel. However, when we left the building, the new tenant promptly tore down the huge gospel sign.

The owner of the building was a wealthy Christian. He expressed regret that the gospel sign had been torn down. He was afraid the Lord would be grieved, and he blamed himself for not renting the building with a stipulation to keep the sign up. He made an offer to help build another sign—an even larger one—to be placed on a highway. He had a hundred tons of decorative stone, and he would deliver it—at his own expense—to any highway site we chose.

We looked for a strategic spot along some farmland that was large enough for such a huge sign to be built on, and had it surveyed. Finally, we secured a deed to it from the farmer so we would have complete control over the site. The spot we chose bordered the busiest highway in the Northwest. A Christian commercial artist in the Minneapolis assembly designed and helped us build the sign with John 3:16 in three-foot-high letters. This sign was a hundred feet long and clearly visible to millions of passersby. Even the public utility company was impressed, and provided lights to illuminate it at night.

The sign bore testimony to everyone passing by—over 200,000 cars daily—for over thirty years. The history of this sign demonstrates the power of prayer. When the sign was dedicated in a small service at the site, we prayed that the Lord would defend it from desecration and keep it standing for many years. When the U.S. became involved in World War II seven or eight years later, the government expropriated much of the land in that area for a large defense plant, including the site of our gospel sign. At the time the government secured the land, we understood that they intended to destroy the sign. We were heartbroken, and prayed for the Lord’s intervention. Watching over it all, the Lord heard our prayer. Miraculously, the sign was left standing on the main highway from the Twin Cities to Chicago, even when the highway was expanded to accommodate more cars. There is no explanation for this, other than the Lord’s intervention. After the war the defense plant was sold, and the new owners still allowed the sign to stand. It continued to bare testimony for more than thirty years. Gladys and I considered this to be a high point in our life for our testimony of the gospel.

All during this time, I was still very interested in music. While I was with Swift & Co., I studied violin under a teacher’s teacher, he himself having studied under one of the world’s greatest violinists. Very often, these lessons would last only ten minutes. Seeing an excellent opportunity to earn some extra money, I opened a studio and began teaching violin myself. I also taught for a local music store one day a week. A member of the Minneapolis String Orchestra, I quickly had a lot of students. The orchestra played regularly over the radio, and was considered among the finest in the Northwest. This gave me considerable prestige as a teacher. My students would display their skills at recitals in the high school auditorium.

My brother was also a violinist and we gave concerts all over the Twin Cities. It seemed that this would be a comfortable career for me to follow, and Gladys and I prayed about it, also reasoning how a life in music would glorify the Lord. In time, the Holy Spirit convicted us that this could be a departure from a life of faith as missionaries to Africa. Being convinced that music as a career was not the Lord’s will for me, I closed my music studio, put my violin in its case, and devoted my time to the study of His Word. It was twenty years before I took the instrument out of its case again. When I did, it was not to focus on music for its own sake, but rather for a children’s meeting for the Lord’s work.

While we were in South St. Paul, the Lord used several incidents to teach me lessons to prepare me for my future work for Him. There was the case of Harry, a cook at the plant to whom I had been testifying. Harry was very near retirement age, and had a hard time getting around due to the terrible condition of his legs and feet. I was also witnessing to another young man at the plant who was enjoying the lifestyle of a playboy. This young man would talk at length about his soul with me, but when we would set up a time for him to come to my home, he never showed up. Instead, the next day he would brag how he had spent the night with some woman instead. It frustrated me that he would seem to waste my time with his irresponsible behavior.

One afternoon I was working at my desk when Harry stopped by to tell me yet again that he would like to come to my house. I had heard this before—he would come by to talk about the Bible, and learn more about being saved. I cut him off with a shrug. As he was leaving my office, I quipped that if he were really interested in his soul, he should show up at my house after work that night. I went on with my work, putting Harry out of my mind. I knew he didn’t have a car, and that walking those three miles to my house would be a greater chore than he could probably handle. I thought if he were really concerned, he could find a way, or ask me for a ride. The truth was I was angry with these folks who made promises, not intending to keep them.

That night, after Gladys and I ate a hot meal, I was getting ready to go out when a knock sounded at the door. There was Harry. He was so exhausted and his feet were so swollen from the long walk in the summer heat, it was all we could do to get him into a chair before he collapsed.

It was more than an hour before he was revived enough to talk. I felt terrible! I could have given him a ride, but I had been too arrogant. I confessed it to the Lord and asked Harry to forgive me. Praise the Lord, he was gloriously saved that night, and I learned a valuable lesson. It’s not for me to judge which people are serious about their souls. I had the pleasure of baptizing Harry and seeing him attend the little assembly faithfully until the Lord called him home about a year later.

Another time, a man asked me to visit him in the hospital. I had a busy schedule and didn’t go for three nights. When I got there, it was too late—he had just died. This haunted me for a long time, and I vowed never again to put off a call for help in spiritual matters.

We related these experiences to our future work on the mission field, as well as gathering from other people’s experiences. We read about Hudson Taylor’s experiences in China, and were particularly impressed with how he handled himself with the people. He lived among them and ate with them as one of them, and we decided that if this was helpful to him in winning the Chinese, it could be helpful for us to practice also for our calling to Africa.

With this still impressed on our minds, a very poor Christian family invited us to their house for Thanksgiving dinner. We had other things to do—which we would rather do—but we accepted the invitation anyway. When we arrived at their property for dinner, we looked for their house, but we couldn’t find it. They raised turkeys, and the only building we could find was their turkey barn. You guessed it—this was their home.

They greeted us warmly, and took us into the barn, completely filled with turkeys. The smell was awful, and we began to wonder where we would be eating. They took us up some open steps to a platform. Separated by some 4’ x 6’ room dividers were two small bedrooms, and a kitchen with a table and chairs. There was no ceiling, as everything was open to the roof of the barn, including the staircase. This allowed all the noise and odors of the turkeys to waft up during the dinner. Just as we were doing our best to keep it down, their little boy burst out, “Mom, remember all the worms we scraped off this turkey when we were cleaning it?” As disgusting as it all sounds, we considered this as useful preparation for the day when we would take our place on a field of service the Lord had chosen for us.