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Wonders, Miracles & Blessings

by Walter Zamonsky
moiraff/iStock/Thinkstock ; photo illustration by Paul Wasilkoff
 

It came to mind that I should share some of the wonders, miracles and blessings God has worked in the lives of my wife, Annie, and myself. Last year (2013) was the 51st Feast of Tabernacles we had attended.

Annie and I began studying church literature in 1960. We had requested 14 booklets at one time and were promptly informed this was not the way to do it. We only received three booklets at that time. We also did the 48-lesson Bible Correspondence Course with a test after each 12 lessons.

In the spring of 1961, we met with some Ambassador College students. They taught us about the Sabbath and tithing and made it plain that we, Annie and I, were not quite ready to be baptized. On June 1, 1962, we were baptized by Dean Wilson and Ron Miller in Lake Agassiz, British Columbia.

By feast time in 1962, we had saved $330 in second tithe, so off we went to Big Sandy, Texas – with no money in the bank and no credit cards (they hadn’t been created yet). I had never travelled more than 60 miles from home and Big Sandy was 2,200 miles away.

By some unknown happenstance, we missed the border crossing by miles and entered the United States on a country road. We followed Route 83, a highway running from Canada to Mexico. We arrived in Big Sandy after three days of travel. One can get lost in details, but the point I want to make is that when we got home after the Feast, we had only one dollar left. On our way home, I bought two gallons of apple cider. Annie and our daughter, Barbara, wanted to stop for a hamburger. The stop was made in South Dakota to fuel up. The 1957 Dodge Monaco had a 12-gallon capacity fuel tank and we were approximately 600 miles from home. We arrived home on that one fill up with that one dollar left. We must have had a tail wind to get 50 miles per gallon.

While fuelling up, the owner gave us a box of Jonathan apples. We had gas, two gallons of apple cider and the box of apples. God must have had a smile and mercy on the ignorant. I did not even know what faith was, but we soon learned.

By 1963, the Monaco was losing her zip. At the local garage, we overhauled the motor and put new rings in. For the first fuel up in Nebraska on Route 83, we stopped at a filling station that only had fuel pumps, a trailer for living quarters and a small one-car garage. When I lifted the hood, there was oil plastered all over the motor and hood. What now? We had forgotten to replace a main bearing on the crankshaft. We were 70 miles from a bigger town to get repairs. The service man looked at me and said, “You know, I just might have a bearing for your car.” There hanging on the wall was a bearing for a 1957 Monaco.

While Annie and Barbara were entertained with tea and cookies by the man’s wife, we put the car on his tripod in the backyard. I put my coveralls on and in no time we had the bearing repaired. Was this a coincidence? I don’t think so! Here, in the middle of nowhere, was a bearing to fit our car and a mechanic willing to do the work immediately for a pittance!

While driving into Minneapolis, on an overhead railway pass, Barbara hollered, “Daddy, there’s smoke behind the car.” I shut the motor off and coasted to the bottom of the overpass. There stood a mechanic with a pail of water. We thought our meager second tithe had had it. But, no, the mechanic said I could get the repairs at a wrecking company not too far away. The repairs were driveshaft, hub, brakes, brake drum, rim, tire and tube -- all for $60. This blew me away! Again, we were on our way in no time.

After the first three years of keeping the Feast in Big Sandy, we sold our farm and moved to Winnipeg to be closer to church. On our way to the bank to deposit the cheque for the farm, this is what happened. Traffic was backed up on Portage Avenue to a crossing and beyond. Waiting to cross, a driver waved me on, not seeing that the inner lane was open, and a car hit my car broadside on the driver’s side. Annie had her head turned. The back of her head hit my cheek bone, which broke in two places, one inch apart, sinking the bone into my head. Two policemen took me to the hospital.

In the meantime, Annie phoned our pastor, Mr. Glen White. This was Friday evening. I was taken home and Mr. White anointed me. The next morning I went to church having only a slight headache. Nobody suspected I had been in an accident. Over time the bone came into place. I call this a miraculous healing. Glen White anointed; God healed.

Before selling the farm, I had promised God that I would give an extra tithe if the farm sold. On the way to deposit the money, I changed my mind and was not going through with that promise. A very serious lesson was learned – not to renege on a vow to God. This all happened for my benefit. You would think I would have learned my lesson, but, no, I did not!

After we met the Ambassador students in 1961, we kept the Sabbath religiously. At harvest time, I told Annie, “You keep the Sabbath; I’m going to combine.” Annie looked at me and said, “I’ll have to feed the men. That’s work. What do you want me to do – go run and hide in the bushes?” Well, I did not have an answer for her.

Coming to the combine, Dad and my brother Bill looked dejected. The combine wouldn’t start. All three of us knew a little about motors. It had gas and spark, but the motor would not fire even once. We called Tom, a local mechanic. He made an honest effort to remedy why the motor would not start. He looked at my Dad and said, “There is nothing wrong with this machine. Why it won’t start is beyond me. It has me beat.” We phoned Joe, the best mechanic for 50 miles. He spent at least two hours trying to find the cause as to why the motor would not start. Finally he said to my Dad, “I’ll tell you what we can do. You bring the machine in to my shop (20 miles away). I’ll put it on my analyzing computer to find out what the mechanical malfunction seems to be.” As he wiped his hands on the red mechanic wipes, my bottom lip hit my knees. That would take three days in harvest weather. The five of us trampled the ground into concrete around that combine all day long, and the motor did not fire even once.

On Sunday morning, I went to get the cows in for milking. I stopped to see the combine and pressed the starter. The motor took off purring like a kitten. I fell to my knees crying, “God forgive me.” We completed the harvest with the combine running perfectly. I call this incident the “aha” moment.

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