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The Brand New Pastor and His Wife

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned

to their first ministry, to reopen a church

in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October

excited about their opportunities. When they saw

their church, it was very run down and needed

much work. They set a goal to have everything

done in time to have their first service

on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls,

painting, etc, and on December 18

were ahead of schedule and just about finished.

On December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving

rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.

His heart sank when he saw that the roof had

leaked, causing a large area of plaster about

20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the

sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about

head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor,

and not knowing what else to do but postpone

the Christmas Eve service, headed home.

On the way he noticed that a local business was

having a flea market type sale for charity so he

stopped in. One of the items was a beautiful,

handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth

with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross

embroidered right in the center. It was just

the right size to cover up the hole in the front

wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow. An older

woman running from the opposite direction was

trying to catch the bus.. She missed it. The pastor

invited her to wait in the warm church for

the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor

while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put

up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor

could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and

it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center

aisle. Her face was like a sheet.. 'Pastor,'

she asked, 'where did you get that tablecloth?'

The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check

the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into

it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had

made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor

told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The

woman explained that before the war she and

her husband were well-to-do people in Austria .

When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave.

Her husband was going to follow her the next week.

He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her

husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth;

but she made the pastor keep it for the church.

The pastor insisted on driving her home, that

was the least he could do.. She lived on the other

side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn

for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas

Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the

spirit were great. At the end of the service, the

pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door

and many said that they would return.

One older man, whom the pastor recognized

from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the

pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he

wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on

the front wall because it was identical to one

that his wife had made years ago when

they lived in Austria before the war and how

could there be two tablecloths so much alike.

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he

forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was

supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and

put in a prison.. He never saw his wife or his home

again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to

take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten

Island and to the same house where the pastor

had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of

stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on

the door and he saw the greatest Christmas

reunion he could ever imagine.

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Address:
George Burnett Leisure Centre
George Burnett Park
Seminar 1
Manning Road ( opp. Elderfield Road )
KARAWARA

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Ps. Peter H Aditijo

Mobile Phone: 0433 233 844
Email: hobperth@gmail.com

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