Faith and five dollars — I

When the economy is bad, I stop and remember a story about my great-grandmother.

My Dad was raised on a dairy farm just outside a tiny Iowa town. When he was young, his grandmother lived with them for a while. Her family tree boasted many German ministers in Pennsylvania, Indiana and Ohio. She shared their strong faith and belief in God, hard work, and giving to the Lord. The Midwestern Protestant work ethics were deeply engrained in her.

On cold Iowa winter nights, the fireplace in their living room invited the family to be together. Dressed in her high-top button shoes, floor-length dress, and ever-present apron, Great-grandma loved to sit in front of that fireplace, reading aloud every night. Dad curled

up beside the rhythmic creaking of that rocking chair and listened as

she read Bible stories, making them come to life.

She believed God would take care of you if you did your part first, no questions asked.

In 1932, Dad graduated from high school. The depression was at its darkest stages and the family had just lost their farm. Without money, any dreams of going to college seemed hopeless.

But a recruiter from a private college called Carleton, 230 miles away in Minnesota, came to his town looking for potential students. Dad had been an outstanding athlete and was a straight-A student all through high school, excelling in maths and science.

The recruiter was impressed and Dad won a scholarship to attend

Carleton. But there were obstacles: no transportation, and not a penny for food.

He didn’t want to miss out on this opportunity of a

lifetime, but there were no jobs to earn money. Discouraged, he feared

he might not be able to

go to Carleton.—