Archive for June, 2009

more spinning

Next Saturday, God willing and the creeks don’t rise, I’ll again be demonstrating spinning at our town’s annual Czech-Slovak Fest, held on the third weekend of June.

Our community is proud of this cultural event, with good reason.  The Saturday and Sunday of Czech-Slovak Fest abound in music, dancing, crafts, and of course FOOD. 

But the festivities start out on a serious note.  Every year, on the Friday evening of Czech-Slovak Fest, a memorial service is held for the people of the Czechoslovakian village of Lidice where many of the population were executed by the Nazis under Adolph Hitler in June of 1942–in retribution for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi controller of Bohemia and Moravia.  Hitler’s order was given to “teach the Czechs a final lesson in subservience and humility.”

Websites and local records vary in statistics as to exactly how many individuals were slaughtered by the Nazis at Lidice.  But well over 1000 Czech civilians were massacred between that town and the surrounding area.  Countless more people died in prison or were deported to concentration camps.

During America’s immigration years, a good number of Czechoslovakian immigrants settled in Phillips, Wisconsin as well as in other areas around our county–and some of these individuals had family connections in Lidice.  In response to the 1942 slaughter, Phillips citizens built and dedicated a memorial to the people of that Czechoslovakian town.  In 2006, this memorial was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Lidice will never be forgotten.

There are some things that never should be forgotten.  I cannot foget our American Revolution.  I cannot forget our country’s Civil War and the issues involved.  I cannot forget World War I, as my parents spoke of it so often.  I cannot forget the wars that have occurred in my lifetime:  World War II and the Holocaust, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and Iraq. 

What a privilege to belong to a community that will never forget the fate of a Czechoslovakian village in 1942!

Margaret L. Been–All Rights Reserved

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Parting shot

Normally this blog is reserved for reflections on everyday life, mostly focusing on whatsoever things are lovely–although those “things” may sometimes be poignant.

But there are times to digress, when specific prayer is needed for an emergency.  Last fall many of you prayed for our great-granddaughter, Olivia, who was seriously ill.  Our family is tremendously grateful for those prayers, as Olivia has remained symptom free since then–although we continue to pray because our little girl must take a medication with unpleasant side effects.

Now another family emergency has surfaced, and I welcome prayers for our youngest daughter, Martina, who teaches English at an embassy school in Abuja, Nigeria.

A few nights ago Martina and her apartment-mate, Greta, were awakened at 4:00 a. m. by 3 men breaking down their door and entering their place.  (The young women live in a guarded compound.  The robbers had beaten and tied up the guard, and gained entrance into the apartment complex.)

Here is a great praise!  God protected Martina and Greta, and they were not physically harmed in any way.  The men took money and some things, and left the young women terribly shaken–but untouched.  In Nigeria, that is nothing short of a miracle.

Martina has been teaching in Nigeria since 2006, and has a commitment of one more year there.  She believes God has her there for a purpose, and she expresses a determination to remain in Abuja to complete her commitment. 

Ongoing prayer is needed, not only for Martina but for thousands of others called to work and/or serve in dangerous places around the world (as well as here at home)–that these people will be sensitive to God’s will while relying solely on His strength and provision for them. 

Living in a quiet, beautiful spot I sometimes forget that the world is not safe!  Disaster can strike anywhere–in Northern Wisconsin as well as in Nigeria.  But our Lord will not forsake us.  He never promises us physical safety or comfort, but He does promise spiritual security as we look to Him.  As we trust Him, He will provide what we need to endure whatever He allows. 

My mother’s heart is shocked by news of Martina’s experience, yet I praise God for her safety thus far–and for her commitment to God’s plan for her life!  Being a Christian, I realize that choosing to live in the center of God’s will and trusting Him in all circumstances are of the utmost importance. 

As the world darkens around us, many of us who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ will suffer and die for our faith.  Even when we suffer terribly, He is in control.  He will take us home to a blessed eternity with Him!

Pictured above are Martina and Joe, at Wisconsin Central Airport, just before Martina left for Nigeria in 2006.  Martina is a vibrant young woman who loves the Lord Jesus, and people.  She has a rare gift–a heart for the world!

Thank you for prayers for our Martina!

Margaret L. Been–All Rights Reserved

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