"God is Good to Us!"
by Elizabeth Friesen
Pete and I have said more than once, "God is good to us!" My husband had a good job, and for eight years I had been a Sunday School teacher of preschool children. Our four kids were doing well - or so we thought.
Then the police made some visits to our home, and we learned that one of our boys was on drugs and drinking. The police informed us that one of our sons was a top street fighter. Huh? How could that be?
I come from a large family of fourteen children. Mom and Dad, always loving and kind, took us to church (East Reinfeld Brethren), and we all loved to be at every community function. Our parents took us to every tent meeting, and that was where, at the age of nine, I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour. That gave me such joy and peace I naturally shared it with my parents and brothers and sisters on the way home. My whole family rejoiced in my salvation.
Pete and I met in 1964 and were married in 1966. Married life was exciting, so I put the Lord on the back burner of my life. I still loved Him, but I didn't fellowship with Him daily as I should. We soon had two children.
It was while I was pregnant with our second child that God showed me I needed Him. Our baby was born prematurely, and without kidneys. She had reddish brown hair and weighed only 3.5 lbs. She died three hours later.
While we were living in Martensville, north of Saskatoon, we started attending Martensville Mission Church, to draw closer to the Lord. Pete and I were baptized there, and that's where I became active in church as a Sunday School teacher. By that time we had 3 sons and one daughter.
As our sons got older there were troubles which often drove us often to prayer, crying out to God for our boys.
Once our second boy didn't come home for two weeks. We became frantic with worry. When he did show up, it was not with good news.
The day we learned about our son's street life, drinking and taking drugs, Pete came home and told me that the place where he worked was closing down.
Oh-my! I felt out of control!
The Lord knew that all this would bring us to our knees. I prayed harder than ever before while this son was in prison! In my anxiety and concern I had to come repeatedly to a place of leaning on Jesus more and more often.
There were nights when we didn't know where our son was, and I gave him up to the Lord again. Then I would fail again and fret and worry.
We saw some miracles too. At one time when this son was to go before a judge, the Lord told us, "You can't do this yourself! Trust in God; He will deliver you!" My husband Pete and I were present in the courtroom, when the judge realized that in this particular matter before him, our son was innocent. So the judge let him go. I was ever so grateful for that miracle!
We were invited to a drug and alcohol abuse group for those who have family members with addictions. There we were advised to show tough love by kicking our son out of the home. Our son has had some very hard times, but rejecting him would not have helped him at all. As his parents we know that. We know he has been weak and had had some hard times, but our principle has proven true.
I learned to pray and to trust again and again, until at last, our son accepted Jesus Christ as his Saviour in prison. Only then was I finally able to let go, and praise the Lord for it all.
This son has said since then, "Mom and Dad, if it weren't for you and your love and your prayers, I just wouldn't be here." Now he is very humble, tenderhearted and lovable!
There are still many hard times. That isn't the only difficulty we've had, but God is always faithful and true to His Word. He is always beside me.
When Pete lost his job, he was not able to find anything for three years. We did not give up, but it was quite discouraging as we slowly used up our savings for our daily needs.
Then, when we reached an end of that resource, we saw an ad in the paper that said; A Great Job. Great potential! Lousy hours.
Well, we bought the cleaning business and threw all the money we could round up into it. It involved a lot of night hours, cleaning the exhaust systems in restaurant kitchens, but we could work at it as a family. The first year was hard, yet as word got around that we did very good quality work, we got more and more clients and then it picked up and we were able to make a decent living out of it. Except that it was hard on our health. (I got arthritis in my hands from all the hard scrubbing work).
Four years ago we retired and moved to the small town of Hafford. (*See below for how God helped me be willing to move). Here we got involved in the church, and formed a small music band called Tri-Band. God put us here for a reason, for there is such great work here. Please pray for us to be a light for the Lord here.
Our third son, attending a Bible study with us recently was answering the question, "Has anyone ever said something to you that had a big effect on you?" by saying, "Yes. Mom once said to me, 'Do you realize that God sees everything you do?' That really spoke to me! It followed me around."
Three of our children have accepted Christ now, but one daughter has never said that she has made a commitment to trust Jesus for salvation. She married a man who does not believe. I still pray every day, and I'm not ashamed to beg that other believers would pray for them too.
We now have four grandchildren; all have heard the gospel clearly, and some have accepted Christ as their Saviour. Praise the Lord.
Our oldest grandson is turning 19. He has turned over his life to Christ and he, and our third son, are now doing street mission work in Saskatoon. They had a Christmas banquet recently, and they went out into the streets to invite people in.
I still say, and with more understanding after all we have seen, "God is good to us! He hears our prayers." I have faith that He will touch all of our lives.
P.S. Above moving from Martensville to Hafford:
Before we moved, we lived in Martensville, where we had a nice big yard and lots of flowers and trees. I loved the place. But Pete had been talking about moving to a cheaper, smaller place. We even found a house in Hafford for a good buy, but in need of a lot of work.
I wasn't going to give up my place in Martensville. I fought it. I prayed and prayed.
One night the Lord took that love for our place away and I was ready to move. Pete couldn't believe it.
But I have never looked back. The Good Lord took care of it. I praise the Lord for everything He has done and will do.
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