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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)

By Henry Jaegers




It took me completely by surprise. Here I was 2000 miles away from my nearest relative and there were no other churches available at the time. My only option was to return to Michigan where my wife’s family was. That proved to be the best move.

You may ask, “why did his church fire him?” They never gave me a reason. I had been there for five years and they wanted a change. There were no charges of impropriety. It just seemed the right thing to do. Ironically the man they wanted to come, decided that he didn’t want to wait for me to leave in June so he took another church.

This incident happened at the most successful time of my ministry. The community was having a positive attitude toward our church due to a community wide outreach. I enrolled in Evangelism Explosion and became certified with Coral Ridge Ministries. The future looked bright. I equipped myself to lead the church in a discipleship ministry but before I could get it in motion they dropped the bomb.. They had their camp ministry, why did they need anything else?

My firing had an effect on the community. When they heard of it, they got together and took up a collection to send me home to Michigan to see if I could
Find employment before I got there. About fifteen years later, another church was planted and they accomplished what I envisioned.

In June of 1985, we began our journey into the unknown future. We rented a large truck and moved back to Michigan. If I knew what was ahead I may have tried to stay in Canada. But we came home.

We lived with our in-laws for a while surviving on food stamp allowances. We were able to find low income housing, which was ideal for the time. Eventually my wife and I found work with the local school district. When I turned 62 the district decided on my taking an early retirement. Prior to this I went through a period of deep depression. I contacted a disease called Viral Encephalitis and they gave me no hope of ever returning to work again, but God had other plans for my life and I will close this story with that.

After I settled into the fact that was now officially retired, I decided that I would be there until I died. I took on a part time job in a Grocery store and while I was there something happened to my employers. A new ownership took place and they were cutting my bosses salaries. I went to the unemployment agency and tried to find work for them. While I was there the counselor asked me to check into my job description to see what was available. A floor care position was opened at a large hospital. Reluctantly I jumped through the hoops and got the job after they had removed the posting. I was 65, but they pulled the posting and hired me as a floor care specialist. (They even asked me how much money I wanted.) I got hired and have been there seven years. I have no intention of retiring. I work out every day and keep in good health.

You may be wondering, about all that experience in the ministry? When I hired in, my supervisors requested to be taught from the book of Revelation. After three years I put it into a book. I never thought that I would ever be a writer, but now I am working on a discipleship manual, and several other works now on the back burner. Recently someone requested that I write bible studies for children. That has developed into another book.

What does the future hold? My life and my future belong to God. I have determined to be faithful to Christ as my goal. I recall our class motto in Bible school: “As for God, His ways are perfect”. The sermon I have always wanted to preach has become a sermon I had to learn. His way, His timing, and His provisions are perfect. When the job recruiter asked me if I could change anything that has happened in my life, I replied God has had His hand on my life and with gratitude I can declare “Thanks be to God for all of His mercies. I stand as a living testament to His great grace”

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This article has been read 547 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dolores Stohler03/04/10
Dear writer, I can fully sympathize with you because I went through a difficult period myself. As I approached my 40th birthday, my husband died suddenly leaving me with three kids to raise. My younger broke out in anger, robbing the school & library and vandalizing a local feed store. Shortly afterwards, I lost my job when I had to make a court appearance with my son. Then, to add to the misery, I discovered a lump in my breast and had surgery. The upside of all this is that it taught me to really parise God for every good thing in my life. Walking through the fire is a great spiritual experience.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/04/10
A very interesting story about the trials in your life. I respect the courage you had to go at it and overcome all of the trials and tribulations. it was a well-written article, although I did have a hard time seeing the topic.
But I'm thankful that there are people like you in the world that won't give up.
stanley Bednarz03/05/10
This simple testament will touch others as it did me. I used to sit in scorn at our big church as to why they treated me like I don't belong in the minsistry with them. No one wanted to teach the first and second graders, so I took it. Since then God has soaked my tears in the river of his joy.

May this writing be a medicine to our soul, and bear fruit beyond our life.

Thanks for sharing your compelling story. You are not alone.
Marilyn Schnepp 03/05/10
As for the weekly topic of "eek"...I find that "Yikes" would have been a better topic for this "Ups and Downs" story of your professional life. Nice point, however; that " God takes care of His children and those who love and follow Him through thick and thin." Well written. God Bless.
Connie Dixon03/08/10
There is a lot of wisdom in your story and a lot of hope for many of us who might find ourselves in the same boat. God will be in control if we let Him! Glad you experienced that in your life.
Karen Pourbabaee 03/09/10
This story touched me and once again showed me God's faithfulness. Your last paragraph could be the hearts cry of us all. Well done.