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...