July 18 – I knew she would be surprised by my answer, so I began my story, by saying, “You’ll never believe the story, but it’s really true. Just after I graduated from college, I began teaching in a school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After I had been there a year, I was asked by our church denomination to go to India to teach. Why, sure I would like to do that, so I accepted the offer.”However, my school and the parents and kids were not happy at all. Several parents and the school board pointed out that we were only halfway through the school year, and it would be harder to find a teacher then than it would be when the year was over. OK, that would be fine with me. But the way things turned out, the result was a miracle in my mind. I was told that someone else had gone to India, but a teacher was needed in Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia), and if I accepted I could go in a month or so. Once again the offer sounded great!
So, in September of 1952, I was off on my journey aboard a cargo boat with four other passengers—two brothers from Johannesburg, South Africa, and a mom with her young daughter from Cape Town. Now that was a real journey, which I may write about some day, but not now. I almost feel sea sick—again– as I remember those stormy days!
In Rhodesia I settled in to my new position of teacher in the class equivalent of eighth grade, with a total of 45 students, most of whom were older than I!
After a year or so, Dale’s folks, who lived about 20 miles from the Lower Gwelo Mission where I was teaching, were going back home to the USA on furlough. They needed somebody to keep their dog Blitz till they returned. Since Dale’s dad was my principal at the school, they thought I would do a good job. Dale stayed behind to continue his work with a travel agency and customs clearing firm.
To make this long story a little shorter, I will tell you that about a year later, Dale asked me to marry him! I surely couldn’t refuse that invitation, as I had learned to love him so much! So preparations for the wedding in the little church in Gwelo began. We waited until his folks returned from the States, bringing with them gifts from so many of my family and friends, and were married on May 1, 1955. I loved his folks just as if they were my own, and when Dale became acquainted with my folks after we returned to the States, he felt the same way. – CHRIS