Author Archives: Thomas Christoe

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My Salvation: Part Two

Category : Glenda's Soap Box

Salvation: 6 to 12 Years

(Note:  The following is the multi-part testimony of Thomas Christoe that will be given in multiple blog posts.  They are taken from his book entitled, "Witness".)

Romans 2:4 the goodness of God leads you to repentance.

On May 8th of 1945 the Second World War was declared to be over as Germany surrendered to the allies. I clearly remember the whole town of Anacortes celebration, first with sirens and whistles, and then with the closing of businesses

and a town-wide party.

By this time my Dad had finished building the fishing trawler, The Lorna L, (which was named after his sister). He built it from surplus materials from the ship yard and the other necessary materials purchased from the marine hardware located at the foot of Commercial Street. I still have the bill in my Dad’s file. My Dad was born in Douglas, Alaska and his lifelong dream was to live on the boat and fish for the rest of his days.

At the end of the war we were in a good place financially because of the size of my Dad’s salary at the ship yard. We bought a house and some acreage close to Heart Lake and Mount Erie.

My Dad pursued his dream to fish although my Mom would have no part of it. This of course caused a lot of friction in the family. My Dad would go to Alaska every fishing season and be gone for months, and both of my parents spent a lot of money drinking. In the early summer of 1947 my Dad purchased one of the first

2-door Ford convertibles released off the assembly line after the war. The family took its first and only vacation and drove highway 101 to California to visit all five of my Grandfather’s brothers. When we returned my Dad returned again to Alaska to fish, increasing the tensions on the marriage. By the end of the summer of 1948 my Mom was at the end of her rope. The following year when my Dad left to go fishing, finances were dwindling and my Mom decided to move back to Langley where her Mom lived. I remember being excited about the adventure and didn’t put together that this was a crucial turning point for the family. My Mom bought a 1940 4-door Oldsmobile and we painted it with hand brushes with fiberglass speckled pink paint. By the end of the summer finances were gone, and my Dad found out that we had moved. We had not only moved but we were broke, and my Dad and my Grandmother hated each other. (Before I was born, my older sister had died at 18 months and my Grandmother blamed my Dad.) So we moved into a house with no electricity and no functioning indoor toilet. We did have running water. My Dad’s brother had taken us under his wing and arranged for us to stay in this house for free. When my Dad came home he was depressed and ashamed of the situation, and this didn’t help the drinking for either one of them. My Dad went to work in Seattle for a boat builder and that kept him absent from the family because of the long commute. This of course facilitated not dealing with the relational issues. My Mom became addicted to prescription drugs and had several mental breakdowns. She spent three different seasons in the state Mental Institution in Sedro Woolley, Washington. It was there that she endured shock treatments each time.

The years from 1949 to 1952 for me helped form relationship with the Father; there were many deeply emotional and hard times for us as we moved from house to house because of financial reasons and health and relational problems as well. I learned to spend time in prayer as I took the weight of these things to the Lord by going to the Methodist Church at night by myself. The churches in those days were open 24/7 - thank God!

When I graduated from 6th grade in 1952, I received a Bible from the Gideon’s which I still have. In the fall of that year when school started I suddenly remembered that Bible and I became extremely hungry for the Word. I would run home every day after school and get my Boy Scout flashlight and jump under my covers and read and cry. The little Bible started in Psalms, and included Proverbs and the New Testament. I never got past Chapter 2 of Psalms.

On December 6th of 1952, the Lord spoke to me out of Psalms 2: 7 "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, ' You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.”

It was at this time that the Lord gave me his heart for Russia and Finland, and Estonia was a part of Russia at that time. I did not get to go there until the 1980’s.

To be continued...

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My Salvation: Part One

Category : Glenda's Soap Box

Salvation: The First Years

(Note:  The following is the multi-part testimony of Thomas Christoe that will be given in multiple blog posts.  They are taken from his book entitled, "Witness".)

Romans 2:4 the goodness of God leads you to repentance.

This truly is the capstone of my salvation as I witness about my salvation experience.

I was born just one year and 37 days before the declaration of WW2. December 6th 1941. My parents were already being engaged in preparation for the possibility of War. By the time the war began our family life was fully engaged.

We had moved to 319 34th street Anacortes Washington. My father was running the Dakota Creek shipyard as a civil service job as the government knew that the boats that he built were faster than the government boats.

The atmosphere was one of fear and chaos as the war started and my grandmother and her girlfriend were living with us and working at Ault Field Navy Base in Oak Harbor Washington. My first taste of God’s goodness was that Angels would visit me in my crib and I would find a super natural place of peace and safety. I spent most of the first years there in that place of safety. In 1943 we moved to 1217 12th street because my father wanted to build a boat from the surplus materials from the ship yard and it had a large yard. It was there that the atmosphere became worse as my parents had lots of money and our home was the center of partying as a form of relief from the pressures of a country at war.

In this atmosphere of uncertainty, stress and chaos many dark and malevolent elements were opposing the kind of life that the Lord had planned for me.

My parents were fully engaged in the war effort as the shipyard was manufacturing PT boats and LST’s. My mom was a model for the war effort as well as providing entertainment for the workers at night at the local Elks club, Community Centers and the Odd Fellows. My siblings and I were a part of the regular act. Mom was very talented as a musician, writer, artist and singer.

It was during this time that my life was traumatized by several things. Parents were working long hours and children were left to take care of themselves and a gang of young men regularly terrorized my brother and sister and I. We were all sexually molested several times. My sister had her collar bones broken by a young man standing behind her and pulling back on her shoulders. We were subject to them shooting us any time that they caught us with BB-Guns loaded with finishing nails; they stuck into our flesh and were quite painful. Many times these boys would have a bonfire going at night and if we were not careful they would catch us and scare us with the fire. They would put me on their feet and shoot me across the flames as a kind of torture game. My clothes caught on fire several times. One Christmas they lined up the old Christmas trees in a row and lit them on fire and made us run through them as a gauntlet. I remember my green and black checkered coat that I got for Christmas was ruined and I was punished for it.

As a result we used to walk several miles to the forest to play regularly which is located south of Anacortes around Heart Lake and Mt. Erie. My brother and sister used to use me to catch frogs in the lake as I was very small and they could hold me by my feet. Because of this I was not afraid of the water. One day I went to the Lake alone to play. I walked out on the floating logs as I regularly did when I caught frogs. Well I slipped of the Log and as I was falling into the water I heard the voice of the Lord for the first time “Stand and Wait”. So I stood on the bottom of the Lake looking up through the water with my hands stretched up toward the surface and I waited without fear. Then an Angel came and lifted me back up on the log. I learned to hear the voice of the Lord and I learned to trust God as well as understanding that my Angels were there to help me.

You may ask why our parents didn’t do something about this. The reason was that we were threatened by knife point and told that if we told anyone they would kill us. Considering the other things they were doing to us we didn’t doubt that they would follow through. What the enemy meant for evil the Lord has healed and used for good.

To be continued...

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