A Story that Is True.
This is how it began. . .
A baby girl born in Ontario, Oregon, a small community set in the midst of farms and ranches, on August 28, 1932.
Name? Vondelae Eldred (no middle name – and people always asked me why. Yes, there was a reason)
A very brief history here:
My brother was born in 1934.
In 1935, Dad sold his part of the ranch to his brother, and we moved to Bellingham, Washington, close to the Canadian border. Dad started a fuel business (at that time the fuel was coal).
My earliest memory was when I was three, and talked Dad into letting me dry the dishes he was washing. (Mom was taking care of my brother.) Dad pulled a chair up beside him, helped me climb and stand on it, and gave me a towel to dry the dishes. I was one very proud little girl – and Dad hid his nervousness well, as he kept a close eye on me.
The memories come rolling in.
Me sipping some of Mom’s perfume after stern instructions not to touch it – so, of course, I did – to my sorrow.
The ice truck driving down the alley and me running out to tell the driver how much ice we needed for our ‘ice cooler” that used huge chunks of ice to keep the food cold (before the days of electric refrigerators) and the mess it was to get rid of the ice water and put in new chunks of ice., (the kitchen floor always received a thorough mopping afterward. I loved the confusion – Mom hated it. For her, the worst part was it had to be done every couple of days.)
Me poking holes in a box of avocados to see if they were ripe (I still love avocados).
And more memories – some funny, some embarrassing.
When I was five we moved to a small farm near Bellingham. Dad loved the land, and always found a way to work with it, wherever we lived. He added another truck and Eldred Fuel became a part of Bellingham businesses. More memories 😊
Mom and Dad loved God, each other, and my brother and I… in that order. I was secure in that love, and loved them, God and my brother (some of the time). We had the normal sibling disagreements – but Dad did not allow fisticuffs. And he taught us about the heartbreaks of angry words. With time and experience, I learned the value of those teachings.
I talked to God all the time, about everything – and still do. Jesus was involved in those conversations, also – but I did not know much about the Holy Spirit, other than He was also part of the Trinity.
I understood the value of water baptism – and was baptized when I was eleven.
Now I am going to skip years of memories – I will only say that it was a different world than the one we know now.
But God was not different. He was always God and present in my life.
However . . . I did not know the Holy Spirit.
but I was about to! …
In the summer of 1967, our family (Cal Hall, myself, and our five children – ages 15 to two) moved by a Japanese freighter to Brazil. We were part of a large group (in 1968, 68 people) who moved to work together to share the Good News about Jesus Christ in Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.
The group began forming in 1962, representing years of work and learning, and was called Operation ’68.
We were as prepared as we could be – but I had no idea of some of the now indelibly printed adventures in my mind that were waiting for me, including moving next door to an active spiritualist family. That is when God began a process of deeper teaching.
I’ll share some more about that in the next post