Since the majority of church members were farmers who had animals to care for and a distance to drive, church began at 2:30 in the afternoon in the little Seventh-day Adventist Church in the town of Gilbert Planes. I looked forward to this journey each week, though I must admit that it was because we always went to my grandmother’s home for dinner following the service. She always had pirogies and cabbage rolls, my favorite Ukrainian foods.

On the return trip on one such occasion, we could see the dark clouds and realized it had likely rained a lot near the farm. Normally, rain is a very good thing for the farm, but the last three miles of our journey home was on a dirt road with one long, rather steep, hill. I could tell from my parents’ conversation that they weren’t looking forward to that stretch, but I was excited and perhaps a little fearful.

When we finally reached the dirt road, our car began to slip and slide, though my father was able to keep the car out of the ditch and moving slowly toward our destination. Then we began the ascent of the hill. At first, it seemed we might make it, but as the incline increased, the tires lost traction and began to spin, trapping us in the mud. We were stuck.

After a short conversation with my mother, Dad got out and headed toward the nearest farmhouse. By the time he returned, we were caught up in the smell of the freshly washed land, the sound of the running water and the brilliant full moon that peeked out from behind the dissipating clouds.

“Gordon’s going to hitch up the team and come and get us,” Dad announced.

Before long, I had persuaded my parents to let me take off my shoes and socks and roll up my pant legs and go out into the mud. Gordon, the teacher who boarded at our place, drove up with the horses and wagon in about 20 minutes. We climbed up onto the bails of hay covered with blankets, turned the rig around and headed home.

Though the storm caused considerable inconvenience on our journey, it resulted in a unique and wonderful family experience I will never forget.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

June 5, 2008