Should the undersigned ever find time and interest to write his “memoirs” of his experience as Home Missionary he would not omit, a chapter at the most, or a large footnote at the least, of “A Fourth of July in South Dakota.”
It should be understood that South Dakota abounds in Rodeo events “around the Fourth.” Mobridge, a city some 60 miles east from Isabel, makes it a three day event. It goes somewhat in the “spirit of the West.” Many a young aspirant tries out his spurs! The purse is not high—but there is glory and fun! And possibly a young admiring maiden on the sunny bleachers! That alone might make his heart beat just a bit faster or cause it to “skip a beat”!
However, some thirty miles eastward from all this fanfare, there is a State Park of South Dakota. There were no crowds present. It was a blessed quiet in that beautiful park. Mirabile dictu! “Here the two congregations met on July 4, 1958. Not all were able to attend. One family remained at home in the Forbes group to welcome visitor relatives from Michigan; they arrived in late afternoon at the paternal home in Leola, South Dakota. Those who did attend drove about ninety miles to get there. It was at the Hidden Wood Lake Park, situated almost half way between Isabel and Forbes. There were about thirty-five present.
It was a good day.
At 10:30 C.S.T. (Isabel has M.S.T.) nearly all arrived at the Park. There was horseshoe pitching, ball game before dinner. Since it “almost rained” all that day tables were somehow put through the drop doors at the sides of the pavilion. At noon all gathered for a bountiful repast. “No one went hungry” was the understatement of the day!
At 1:30 a program was rendered. There was community singing of various Psalter numbers. Mr. (elder) Edoch Hauck from Forbes led in opening prayer. The little children from both congregations sang Psalter No. 69. It was all without accompaniment of music. The three Hauck sisters sang in harmony two Psalter numbers. The undersigned gave a forty-minute speech on “Christian Freedom in Democracy.” We had some more community singing from the Psalter. The undersigned explained the purpose of the “Reformed Free Publishing Association” and suggested that a collection be taken for The Standard Bearer. After this a written Bible Quiz was conducted by Miss Jannet Hauck. This program was concluded by elder Jacob Reichert leading in closing prayer. The latter is one of the elders in Isabel.
A few games and contests planned by the Hauck sisters were held afterwards. These were enjoyed and participated in by young and old. All too soon the time came to wend our way homeward once more.
Since the undersigned was halfway to Forbes from Isabel he and Mrs. Lubbers went to Forbes and preached there the following Sunday morning to return that Sunday (July 6.) to Isabel for the evening service.
Upon requesting the deacons of both churches as to the amount of the collection I was informed that the collection was just a bit over $50.00.
Ultimately we can get along without the $50.00 I am sure. However, we cannot get along without the love and devotion which account for this collection. It still is true that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Giving is living! Otherwise the waters of life become stagnant.
That memorable Fourth was ended for Mrs. Lubbers and the undersigned in a home in Leola, where once more an evening of singing was enjoyed both from the Psalter and in the German language.
With joyful weariness we fell asleep that night in sweet repose.
It was a good and blessed Fourth!