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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)

TITLE: Dear Melinda, How Are You?
By Dee Yoder


September 22, 1965

Dear Melinda,

How are you? Iím fine. Iíve only been in Griffith for two weeks, and I already miss Ohio!

Weíre going through the neighborhood tomorrow to pass out flyers about our new church. I hope I donít see any kids from my school. Iím embarrassed enough to have church there every Sunday.

Weíre staying with the Richards, but I hope we get our own house soon. (Get this: Sister Richard freezes the milk! It makes my cereal cold and slushy.)

BFA, *


October 10, 1965

Dear Melinda,

How are you doing? Iím fine.

Brother Richard helped us find a house! Itís really cool. It has a breezeway, and a patio! (FYI: the milkman on our route is cute, too.)

We had 23 people in service on Sunday. Afterward, we visited a family who lives in the country. They have a LOT of kids. Dad said theyíre poor, and I believe it! There were CHICKENS running around in their yard. All of the kids had tennis shoes with holes in the toes. I felt sorry for them, but Mom said theyíre rich in the Lord, so I guess thatís good.

I miss you. I wish my Mom would let me live with you in Ohio. Why did MY family have to come to Indiana to help start this church?

Thereís a mean man on our street who slammed his door really hard when Brother Richard invited him to church this Sunday. Brother Richardís face turned red, but he said he was going to pray extra hard for that man. I hope so because he needs it! I donít like him at ALL!!!

Iím going to help Sister Richard with a puppet show this week. Itíll be so much fun, and I wonít have to help set the chairs out. Yippee! Mom said the Richards are getting tired, and we should do what we can to show our support. Easy, if I can help like this!

Iím going to use Prell tonight to shampoo my hair. I hope I get the pearl from the bottom! Iíll send it to you, if I do!!



November 20, 1965

Dear Melinda,

How are you? How is Scruffy? Did his poodle cut turn out right?

Weíve invited the town to come to the school to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Iím going to bake chocolate pies! Mom and Sister Richard will cook the food, while Dad and Brother Richard set up tables. Brother Richard said the Lord wants us to share with needy families in town. I hope weíll have enough food for everyone!!

Guess what? Weíre going to start building our REAL church! It will take all winter, but I canít wait for the church to move out of my school. Mrs. Smith, a teacher who comes to church, embarrassed me at lunch today. She spied me as I propped my arms on the table, and she yelled, ďThompson! Elbows off the table!Ē All the kids looked at me and laughed. Boy! Some Christian! I donít think Iíll speak to her on Sunday.

Iíll write more later-- American Bandstand is coming on TV!

UR2sweet2B4gotten, ***


December 26, 1965

Dear Melinda,

Guess what? We had a blizzard! The Richards are stuck at our house. The snow is up to the front window! Dad and Brother Richard shoveled sidewalks all Christmas afternoon for the neighbors. Most of them donít even come to our church. I wouldnít do that!

Our new church finally has walls. Dad says itíll be ready by spring. There are 55 people in our church now. The Richards and my parents pray every morning for the church to grow. I hope God listens; the faster it grows, the sooner we can move back to Ohio.

Stay sweet,


April 18, 1966

Dear Melinda,

The building is finished, and there are 72 people in our church! The Richards are moving to a new town, but weíre moving home!

The church gave us a good-bye party, and all the ladies cried. I cried, too. I guess Iíll miss them, even Mrs. Smith. (A little.) Itíll be strange not seeing them anymore. I hope the church keeps right on growing and growing.

I canít wait to see you! Iíll show you the pictures of Griffith and our new church when we get home. The families are so nice here; maybe weíll visit them again someday.

See you later, Alligator, in just a while, Crocodile!

Lydia (Your Soon-to-be-former-Hoosier Friend)

Girlfriend Lingo: *Best Friends Always, **Oh you cute-tee, I envy you, ***You are too sweet to be forgotten

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This article has been read 1032 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/08/07
I liked your idea to tell the story of church planting through a teen's viewpoint in her letters to a friend. You got the voice just right. It was a pleasure to observe the spiritual maturation and improved attitude of your MC.
Bonnie Way11/08/07
Neat idea - I liked Lydia's point of view and how her letters changed as time went on. Well written!
Julie Arduini11/08/07
A creative way to present the topic. I loved the progression. Great job!
Charla Diehl 11/10/07
Inventive way to tell your story--your MC's voice was believeable as she matured on this spiritual journey.
Beth LaBuff 11/14/07
Great way to tell the story! I love the girlfriend lingo too. Is any of this based on a real-life? I enjoyed this well-written entry very much.
LauraLee Shaw11/14/07
This is so creative. The personal nature of it really got me involved. I especially loved the extra touch of the message abbreviations. GREAT job!
Patty Wysong11/14/07
This is so real it had me chuckling at the way she expressed herself and the girlfriend lingo. Good job!
Laury Hubrich 11/14/07
This was most creative. It's also giving us a small blast from the past! It was nice to see the growth in this young girl through the years. Great job!
Jan Ackerson 11/14/07
I love the way you always remind me of my childhood or youth! You got the teenage lingo and voice perfectly, and I think Lydia will be just dandy. Really clever.
Pam Carlson-Hetland11/14/07
This is just excellent! It showed the growth of maturity of the MC. This is a unique way to take the reader over an extended period of time to show the growth of the church as well. Very creative. Good job.

BTW* loved the girlfriend talk!

*By the way
Sara Harricharan 11/14/07
Oooh! Loved this! Especially the note with the girlfriend lingo that was just too cute! ^_^ Excellent story and I liked how her own heart changed over time in her letters.
Kristen Hester11/14/07
This is great. It was fun watching the teen's enthusiasm for the church grow. Great POV. You did good, girl.
Peter Stone11/15/07
Very creative account of a church planting episode, and great to see the MC maturing during the course of the 'letters'.
Janice Cartwright11/15/07
The "voice" was perfect as was the feeling for time and place. Normally when reading a book I tend to gloss over personal letters, but this one because of its authentic dialogue captivated me. Great job, Dee.