By: Wally Vog
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. – Mark 12:30
God was taking care of me long before I ever recognized it. My chances of being the person I am today was slim to none. My first 10 years were quite chaotic. I was born to alcoholic parents on a houseboat on the Columbia River. My parents divorced when I was about two. My Dad took off and my younger brother and I went with him. Dad found jobs up and down the west coast. We moved often; most of the time we left in the middle of the night. We had at least two Step-Moms during that time. I remember lots of whippings.
Dad dropped us back off with Mom and my Grandfather when I was eight. Mom had tuberculosis and Grandpa fished at night and slept during the day. Someone needed to take care of Mom. I learned how to make toast and syrup which is what we ate. I learned to change diapers, hide when drunken brawls broke out, and not fall into the water when we played on the docks.
By age ten, Mom died. Two weeks later Grandpa died. Bernie and I were saved by a dairy farmer and his wife. They needed someone to help milk the cows. They took both my brother and I in, even though Bernie was ill. They took us to church, purchased glasses so I could see, enrolled us in school, and fed us three meals a day, every day. They were gentle, intelligent, patient, kind and hard-working. They were the hands and feet of God. It took many years to understand, it was my job to love God. But he didn’t seem to mind.
I have been so blessed in my life: college degrees, good jobs, a beautiful wife and daughter, a brother that survived rheumatic fever, two wonderful step-sons, and great friends. I finally figured out during the last 20 years, that I too should love my neighbors. It is why missions is so important to me. We can help others encounter Christ.
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