God Moments

How does God speak and guide you today?  We ask members to describe a treasured spiritual experience.   Here are reports:

 

FROM STAN CONNOR

During the Korean War, Stan almost lost his life while on a UN ship in a hurricane off the NC coast. Here is his story of how God continued to add years to his life and life to his years.

“The experience of coming so close to losing my life while in the Armed Services still evokes powerful emotions in me.  I was given a very peaceful assignment by the Navy—serving on a United Nations Ship that went from port to port to build peaceful relationships. We left the USA to travel to the Caribbean Islands, but as we reached North Carolina we faced a hurricane. Now this ship, the USS Purdy, was a 2200 ton weather resistant cruiser. This was not a serious situation for this destroyer type vessel. However we were struck on the side by a 60’ wave which nearly capsized the ship, causing us to take on water, injuring a number of men. With 3 degrees more tilt, we would have capsized, meaning death by drowning to the 150 men on board including me. While crewmen were bailing out the taken on water, the captain realized the hull was severely damaged. He ordered the ship back to port. It made it and it was even able to be repaired.  God gave me the blessing of a saved life.”

Stan was asked to continue to travel with that ship.   So he traveled to many ports where he could be a representative of goodwill for the United Nations and the USA. He was asked to relate to the person on the streets in each port, starting in Cuba with Havana, Guantanamo Bay, and islands in the Caribbean. Then to ports in Italy, France, Germany Turkey and Greece.  This experience was wonderful. It affirmed Stan’s good attitude.   He says, “Once again, I was blessed by God, this time with a beneficial opportunity of service while in the service.”

When Stan was discharged, still very grateful to God for a continuation of his life, Stan faithfully weathered a period of unemployment, trusting God would guide him to the right job at the right time. And then he was assigned to a project that opened the employment doors for many, many people. He worked with Teflon coatings, even securing a patent for his company on the application to water cooling pipes—making chemically resistant flexible Teflon tubing.  It was a joy to be part of the team that allowed that company to prosper from employing 150 people to 22,000 people by a few years after his retirement.

Stan says, “This was God’s doing; not mine. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. And God gave me this additional immense blessing. I am deeply grateful.”

 

MY FAITH STORY – KAREN HUYSERS  FEBRUARY, 2017

I grew up in this church but as a young adult, I drifted away.  I had a job that I worked on Sundays, then married and moved a little bit away and then started a family. Some of the really old timers might remember that I was born with a very prominent birthmark on my neck.   My parents had it surgically removed when I was very little, but two memories that stayed with me all my life was the fear I felt at the hospital AND a beautiful white frosted cake a church member brought to me after I was home recovering. The cake is long gone but the love that came with it remains in my heart. Fast forward to 1986 and I was due to have a planned c-section. I was in St. Mary’s Hospital, waiting for the surgery to produce a new family member- a really happy occasion, but I was scared to death. A priest came to speak to me and seeing how scared I was, he prayed with me. His words comforted me and reminded me that God is with me every step I take. That moment, I felt God’s presence and peace. I renewed my pledge to be an active member of God’s congregation. And so I have tried to be ever since. The encounter with the priest, whose name I never knew, was God directed.

 

FROM WAYNE HAUSSLER

Life everlasting, life beyond moral death, just a belief?

I am an engineer, have been one for over 40 years, and for me there is a difference between belief and fact. A belief may be true; a fact is true!  Also, I have found that if you can prove one item of a group to be true, the rest are also probably true.

–now to my story. It is absolutely true, no assumptions, no exaggerations, and for the most part, documentable.

It is WWII and US Marine Sergeant Ernest Haussler returned from the Pacific and marries his high school sweetheart Elsie. Several years later they had a baby boy—me. That was early 1949. A year later, summer of 1950, the Korean War had started and Sergeant Haussler’s US Marine reserve unit was called up and left for Korea.

About six months later, on Sunday, December 3rd, 1950, back here in Jersey, I am in my playpen in the kitchen and my mother is in the bedroom folding clothes. My mother hears me saying “bye bye Da Da”.  She has been teaching me to say “Da Da” in anticipation of my father’s returning from Korea, but that is still many months away. She looks into the kitchen and sees me standing in the playpen, holding on to the side, and waving at the backdoor as I say “bye bye Da Da”. She opens the kitchen door but no one is there. She calls upstairs to her parents to see if they had come downstairs, but they had not.  She then calls her in-laws in Garfield to see if they had stopped by, but there was no answer.

My grandparents in Garfield were not home because after they had finished dinner, my grandmother started to choke, unable to breathe as if something was caught in her throat. Grandpa calls for an ambulance. It arrived and the medics administered oxygen; still no change. They quickly got her into the ambulance and started for the hospital. Just before reaching the hospital my grandmother stopped choking, but she was admitted just in case.

Several weeks later a telegram arrived from the U.S. War Department. “We regret to inform you that your husband, Sergeant Ernest Haussler, was killed in action.”

In the summer of 1951, my father’s Marine unit returned to the US. Our family met with “Red” who was my father’s best buddy. Besides bringing back my father’s personal effects, they talked about what had happened. My father was with his mortar unit, he was shot in the throat, they tried to get him to a MASH unit, but he died on the way. This happened early on December 4, 1950. They then compared times, using official records from the hospital here in Jersey and the Marines in Korea: Remember Korea is on the other side of the world, 12 hours away, more or less.

When he was shot in the throat there in Korea, his mother, my grandmother , started to choke here in Jersey. When he died, she stopped choking.

Just after he died, there in Korea, I in my playpen here in Jersey waved bye bye to Da Da.

Remember I said there is a difference between belief and fact, and if you can prove one item of a group to be true, the rest a probably also true.

You may believe there is an afterlife, a heaven, and all that goes with it. That is a belief.

I don’t have to believe in heaven and a life beyond death. I know it is a fact. It exists. And someday, when my time has come, I will see him again and I will say “Hi there Da Da.”