Monday, April 21, 2014
ELMER CONTINUES ON HIS WAY WITH THE LORD
Anna and I have had a lot of bad times together and good times together, but the Lord has been with us through all of them. We have had many more good times than bad. I remember when our daughter had the accident where the car hit her buggy. We weren't sure she was going to live for almost a week. After, we found she would live and she was on her long road to recovery, I wondered why the Lord had let us go through that and I can remember what my Father said. Father said it is like when you were in school and on a certain day you thought you were going to just have lessons that day, but when you get inside the teacher gives you a surprise test on a subject that you weren't so good at. When you ask the teacher about the test, she says she wanted to know how you were coming in this subject. So with the Lord, He tests us to see how well we are doing. He might want to show your strength or maybe you were swaying away a little bit and this is to bring you back. Maybe it's a lesson. The Lord has a reason for everything that happens. We just, at this time don't understand it. Because of this accident our family is closer together. We also have more strength in our prayers with the Lord. We know He can do anything. Sometimes it is not what we think we want.
How do Anna and I make life changing decisions? Well, we first discuss it and then we pray. Sometimes, if it is really important, I will ask Anna to pray in one room and I in another, and write what she thinks the Lord is telling her and I will write what I think the Lord is telling me. After praying we compare and see if they match. If they match, we feel that we should do what we both wrote. Sometimes it is not that easy. We sometimes write the good side and the bad side of what we are going to do. Yes, we sometimes go to our Bishop, but as I said, he is also my closest friend so I go many times friend to friend rather than member to Bishop. But sometimes he says to me: "Do you want my friend advice? Or my Bishop advice?" I tell him, I will take whatever advice he wants to give.
As far as starting a new business, I went to see the Bishop to make sure what I wanted to do would be okay with the church. He knows and has approved our house for a Bed and Breakfast with certain regulations, that we knew anyway. We know he would approve Anna and I buying a cottage in Pinecraft as he has one there, too and would like us to retire there when the time comes. Anna and I are still tossing that around.
How do Anna and I make financial decisions? We usually talk it over. Anna does the books in our home. Our church does not make us donate a certain amount. Once a month there is a dark bag in the back of whose home we have service. We put in whatever we want. Unless we write a check, no one knows how much anyone puts in there. Anna and I discuss how much we should put in.
Our church keeps the money for sort of an emergency fund. Like when our daughter was in the hospital after the accident, the bill was very expensive. We paid what we could and the Bishop paid the rest from the church fund. I felt bad, we had to get money from there, but Bishop said, it was partly our money. We had paid in there many years and never used it. Now we used it. Over the years, we had probably donated more money that we received. He said look at it that way. So we didn't feel so bad.
Not all our helping others is through money. Shortly after we moved here, one of our neighbors roof came in on his barn because of the weight of the snow. It killed some of his cattle, but most of them got out. He had to have a roof on the barn and fast, so many of us: Amish, Old Order Mennonite and Englishers went over and got the roof back on. We also told him next he has a snow storm to clean the snow off the roof.
Sometimes it is just visiting someone or bringing them dinner or going to the store for them. If they are farming, maybe it's giving them a hand. Where we use to live, or neighbors house burned to the ground. Money was nice, but they needed food, clothes, blankets, furniture, etc. The ladies were sewing for days and many of us men not only helped with the new house going up, but the making of the furniture. We help where we are needed, in the way we are needed. We also know, if it was reversed, they would be here.
We contribute to our local community in many ways. I along with David - Jean's husband, Bishop Joseph-Martha's Husband and their son Kevin are members of the fire department. Many items that we make are donated to sales to raise money. We also donate our time helping them put on these sales.
Not just local, either. I was down in New Orleans after Katrina. Was down state after another storm. We go where we are needed. Now it is getting so not only do the men go, but women too. Amish will go where they are needed.
When we went to Katrina, Eli and I went with a minister in his motorhome. Now that is whole story by itself. Although there was a lot of tragic and hard work in New Orleans, we did have fun it that motorhome.
I am not bragging, but I want you to know that not only us, but Old Order Mennonite and many others do what we do. You just don't know about them.
Trust God's Wisdom,