Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The early days! 1

The following posts are not intended to be a 100% complete autobiography but it should give you a bit of a glimpse into what God has been doing in our lives for the last 30+ years.

Let's start with 1966.  Does that sound like a good year?  Some will say, yes...that was a good year.  While many others will do their best to recall the history of the 60's they learned in high school!  No problem, that is the joy of the church, young and old alike come together to live out the beauty of the Body of Christ!

Meanwhile, back to the Spring of 1966.  It was a time of personal trial for many.  The war in Viet Nam was full blown, registration for the draft was mandatory, the country was just 30 months in recovery from the assassination of President Kennedy, and I was looking for a job.  I saw an ad for a grounds maintenance position at Fort Logan Mental Health Center on the south side of Denver.  I drove across town (from Golden) to submit an application for a summer job mowing the massive lawns that once hosted huge military parades.

I slid my paperwork through the security slot as the woman behind the window at the personnel office asked me if I was applying for the training program.  I just knew I needed a job to see me through the summer so I said yes.  Little did I know that one simple blind affirmation would change the course of my life.  It was prevenient grace at its best.  I was an enthusiastic non-believer, but God was at work anyway.

In the end I was accepted for the Psychiatric Technician training program.  It was a six month program that taught us the very basics of dealing with emotionally disturbed people.  Ultimately the program brought me to a ten year relationship with the Children's Division where I worked in a residential program with children who struggled with  a wide variety of behavior and thought disorders.  That experience also opened the door to my undergraduate degree in Human Services / Mental Health.  But the best part was a tall beautiful young woman named Sue...We met the very first day I walked into Pioneer Cottage in the Children's Division.  We were married in March 1975.

It has been a marvelous journey.  In a nutshell, soon after we were married, we left the Denver area and bought a country grocery store in a small town (population 350) on the eastern plains of Colorado.  We only lived in Genoa for about three years but it is still our hometown and (more importantly) it is our spiritual home.  I will tell you in the next installment about the incredible things God did for us during our time in Genoa.

Meanwhile, know that the deepest experience we have found in our spiritual journey is the blessing of faithful prayer.  Prayer opened the door to forgiveness, the gift of salvation, a call to mission and ministry, and to every good gift we have ever received.  As a result, my invitation is to pray.  Faithfully, fully, and with great conviction...God will do the rest!

I am looking forward to talking very soon!


Kimer said...

Love, Love, Love this story! Never get tired of hearing it! Miss you all so much and think of you often!

Randy Jessen said...

When are you guys going to get back to the blue sky of Colorado???