My testimony is about our family of six living by faith and within our means, before we entered the era of credit card living...
Wanting to share the love of Christ we had recently discovered, our church family sent us off with their blessing, prayers and donations; returning us to the old neighborhood of my husbandís youth. Leaving the suburbs of Olympia, Washington with four young children, ages 13, 12, 11 and 9, we arrived in Liverpool, England; settling uncomfortably in the antiquated cobbled streets of the inner city.
The generosity of his family was heartwarming, welcoming their brotherís American family into their arms. But making ends meet was a daily struggle for each of them and the honeymoon soon ended. We began collecting the eleven pound family allowance at the post office each Tuesday afternoon.
I used envelopes, labeling them Rent (due weekly) Milkman (due every other day upon delivery) Bus Fares & Lunches (all four kids had to take public transportation to and from school daily) Baths (all six of us went to the public bathhouse on Wednesdays and Saturdays) Laundry (I did the washing on bath days). Whatever was left went into the envelope marked Groceries & Misc. The envelopes perched behind candle holders on the mantle over the coal fire (One hundred- weight of coal was delivered through the back gate monthly).
It was a day of celebration when a check arrived from back home. Initially, it had been adequate for our basic needs, and we trusted God for our provision. The hundred yearsí old stone church with the sparse congregation soon adopted us. We were blessed with army blankets, blocks of lard (to cook chips), and wallpaper.
We had the privilege of having as guests in our sitting room, believers from Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, with their delightful brogues and lilts tickling our ears with happy choruses of praise to God, accompanied by guitars and tambourines.
Clothing our brood in school uniforms kept the need for outfits to a minimum but as they were at the growing-like-weeds stage, keeping them in shoes alone was a challenging feat. And did you ever know a child who didnít occasionally lose a coat, hat or gloves? Or have an appetite to match that growth?
Thankfully, our family had a favorable influence on the personal faith of our British counterparts. Through hardship and blessing, our children have never forgotten the valuable lessons of How to Make Ends Meet from 1974-1976.
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I really enjoyed thistestimony of your time in the UK- especially your ears being tickled by the various dialects- did you learn to speak (or probably the youngsters did) with a Scouse accent I wonder?