PART SIX– Harvest Haven to Surprise Visitors (cont.)
It was January 1, 1997. At the farm were Paul, Kerri, Nathan, Chris, Sean, Danny, Marilyn, and I. My memory doesn’t serve me well here, though the event stands out in itself. That day, we had to spend time in the root cellar, checking a ton or more of bagged carrots, examining them for any spoilage (New Year’s wasn’t an event we observed). I recall being very frustrated with what I saw as laziness, carelessness, irresponsibility, and a grudging participation in the affairs of the farm, primarily from Paul, Kerri, and Nathan.
When the work was done, we met at the house to talk. I opened my mouth and asked the leading question: “What complaints do you have against me?” As suspected, there was much and bitter complaint. I don’t recall specifics now. Marilyn had been very angry with me, angry that I was telling everyone what to do, angry that I was expecting competence, efficiency, and proper attitude from them, and perhaps angry because I was often angry.
However, Marilyn didn’t say much that day, except to sit in agreement with the others as they voiced their complaints. Chris had some things to say, though not as during the night in the square. Nathan was quite outspoken (he often seemed to think he knew better and could seldom recognize or value elders’ judgments). I don’t recall if Sean had much to say, though Marilyn and Paul thought they recalled he did; perhaps he thought others were doing a good job of it.
Kerri was most outspoken and came out in all boldness, speaking her mind, which was not at all in agreement with mine. One of the things she insisted on was that we shouldn’t have to work to make the farm pay for itself (which I said it should). She felt that we should be able to relax and take it easy, and the Lord would provide. To the simple, it could sound like faith in action; I also wondered about it. I think she also believed that since I was going, it wasn’t up to me to tell people what to do, that they had to find their own way – which seemed reasonable in a way.
One of the obvious problems was that I was supposed to have been long gone by now, according to Marilyn.
One of the things that bothered me about Kerri was that she was somewhat “loose.” She would sit at the table or on a couch, lean back, put her hands behind her head and, without intention, have her chest sticking out under her short-sleeved blouse or tight sweater, a distraction I didn’t think suitable for anyone, especially young men like Sean, Nathan, and Chris. She lacked social etiquette, judgment, and discretion.
The part that was even more distressful was Paul’s compliance with Kerri in her perspective and criticisms. He was her willing lapdog. I perceived it as a betrayal to all that was good, holy, and true, having sold his soul for a wife after all he had presumably learned from me.
He agreed with Kerri and augmented her complaints, appearing to have bitterness toward me. He had previously complained about being “micro-managed.” I was floored. I had said so little to him, yet he felt he was so hard done by. This day he stood with Kerri, who led him by the nose, even as was prophesied.
Paul now tells me he was trying to offer constructive criticism, or at least bring things up that we could discuss. While I don’t remember any specific complaints he made against me in bitterness, I do recall resentment, beginning the first day he arrived at the farm from Florida. I believe the general spirit of negativity was there.
When the others had their say, Lois spoke. She had been sitting by, quietly observing their countenances and hearing their words. She warned those complaining that it wasn’t good to speak against me, that she was quite uncomfortable about it. She recalled how some time ago, in her presence, members of her family were speaking against me (I wasn’t there), and she had felt in her spirit to warn them against doing so. She felt a similarity between that situation and this one.
The evening ended with unresolved issues, attitudes, and relationships. Indeed, “each man did that which was right in his own eyes,” including Marilyn and me (and Paul, one I considered to have been our best friend).
On the evening of January 14, 1997, as I was leaving the farm in our Previa van, I said something flippant and arrogant to Lois and left. The temperature was around freezing point, which made roads slick in places and I had only all-season radials (for winter driving, always use snow tires, not all season; it is well worth it, the difference significant). I was approaching a bridge over the Oldman River when the van fishtailed slightly. I was tired, inattentive, paid no attention to it, and kept going at full speed.
Crossing the bridge, the van went into a sideways slide. There I was on a two-way bridge high over the river, with low steel rails, on a somewhat busy highway. I pictured myself flipping over the rail or slamming head-on into an oncoming semi-trailer, which were numerous. The passenger-side front corner slammed into the steel rail. The van went completely out of control on ice and I figured I was done for right there.
I cried out, “Lord, No!” Immediately, the van straightened out and continued down the road, in my lane, once again in control, howbeit much slower. Once over the bridge, I pulled over to the side and examined the damage. The fender, hood, grill, light, bumper, and hubcap were damaged, but I was able to drive home. This was the second time something of like nature had occurred to me.
I knew that while I could explain the physical causes of the event, it wasn’t an accident. True, physical lessons were there to be learned, like the use of snow tires on ice, and like slowing down on roads, especially over high bridges when temperatures where at freezing point. But I knew the Lord was correcting me in my attitude, humbling me. I also knew that as I cried out to Him, He showed me mercy.
The damage was about $3,000. The fellow who fixed the van (Jeff Thompson from Shaugnessy, a cousin of our farm handyman, Hugh Lumley) told me that the damage was about an inch from triggering the airbag. Logically speaking, had that airbag opened on the icy bridge, I would have been totally helpless. (I would disengage that airbag if it weren’t against the law. I suspect air bags have killed more people than they’ve saved.)
Not having insurance, I paid the bill. If one trusts the Lord, he will conduct himself as he ought, and things will be fine. My problem was that, as His son, I was getting unruly, so a spanking was in order, insurance or no insurance.
Cherie Petrie, a married woman with children, lived not far from Moon River Estates where we lived. She operated an organic cooperative without a physical store, and we would order seasonal organic fruit from her. About the time we bought the market farm, Cherie decided to start an organic grocery store in Lethbridge, called “Or-Kids Organic Market.”
Paul and Kerri started to demo and promote Harvest Haven’s carrots and other vegetables at Cherie’s store, but that soon changed. Somehow, Cherie interpreted Paul’s actions of promoting our product and farm to her customers as an attempt to steal her business competitively. At least that was what she told me later when I tried to get to the root of her enmity toward us. Such was not our intention. At the time, we weren’t interested in having an organic store; we were interested in continuing to buy organic product from Cherie and supplying fruits and vegetables to her.
Her stance and sullen attitude forced us to look elsewhere for organic product for ourselves. Slowly, we were forced to become Cherie’s competition and consequently, she ours. I found this coincidence of her starting a store and our buying a market farm rather unusual because there had not been an organic store in Lethbridge until that time. What did the Lord have in mind?
Our apples gone, we called Elvin and Wilma for more and sold those. We already had frozen strawberries and raspberries and root cellar-stored vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, beets, and cabbages for sale. Yes, a grocery business was slowly but surely forming.
Jonathan started out being born at Lethbridge Regional Hospital. When only two or three, he developed whooping cough and we took him in to be examined, though he wasn’t hospitalized. A bit later he developed an inguinal hernia, for which he was operated on. Shortly after, he had the rare necessity to repair his other side.
Now, he wasn’t able to pull back his foreskin; consequently, infection had developed, which eventually sent him back to the hospital for circumcision. This visit would not be the last of hospital stays, and by no means the most distressful.
Now I found out why Peter was rubbing his fingers contentedly the night he spoke to us of Grander. Within six weeks of installing Grander in our home and at the farm, our skin went soft, so that one would automatically seem to feel it. Marilyn’s fingers, which had open, painful cracks for fourteen years since the motel work, healed.
Marilyn says she had this dream in the summer of ’97: She was at the back of a church, going to a wedding alone at first, then joined by a man. She was in a wedding gown, not really to her liking, neither was it white, but cream-colored, and fancy. The church was empty, and as she stood at the back entrance, she saw a bride, naked, leaving the front side entrance to go to her wedding. Her groom was waiting for her outside. A man or angel said that this wedding occasion was hers (Marilyn’s).
Marilyn’s interpretation: I, Victor, was the naked one going out (dying) to meet the Lord. Marilyn was to remarry the one with her. The time would come when I would have my own interpretation of this dream.
We were all in the field determining how we were going to plant strawberries, (about half an acre), discussing the width of the rows in relation to how we would work them. Marilyn and I disagreed. Having a tape measure in her hand, she threw it at my feet and walked away, leaving us to ourselves. Did I know what I was doing? Nobody did, and I seemed to have no reason to believe Marilyn did, either.
I think I was just being stubborn. However, it disturbed me that there was no unity and nobody recognized authority on anything happening in this whole farm venture, least of all, by my wife. Obviously, my house wasn’t in order. How, then, should I have been able to lead others?
“For if a man does not know to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God?” (1 Timothy 3:5 MKJV)
Besides, was I out of place there? Wasn’t I supposed to be dead?
One day as Marilyn, Jonathan, and I pulled into the farm, after talking about what was happening with us spiritually, it suddenly came to me and I exclaimed to Marilyn, “You are the second Eve.” I had little or no understanding of what I was saying. I only knew that I was speaking by inspiration of God.
Marilyn recalled the Jewish ritual on Sabbath Eve, in which the woman lights the candles, signifying that by woman, light came to the world. The “first Eve” was known as the “mother of all living” and Jesus, the Light of the world, came by a woman, Mary.
Just how or why was Marilyn the “second Eve”? I was receiving that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent, ate from the Tree of Knowledge forbidden by God, and consequently led her husband astray, so now there would be a reversal in this day. Was it true or was I imagining things? If true, what an astounding revelation! But did not Jesus reverse The Fall at the cross and resurrection? Surely! However, there was more we would find out, enough to more than take away the breath, much more.
On March 11, 1997, I sat down at the farm and wrote the following revelation or prophecy and shared it with all. At the time, I had little idea what I was receiving or why I wrote it.
What I See at Harvest Haven Farm
I see refuge… refuge from a firestorm that even now takes the whole earth and the heavens, too.
I see provision… of all needs, physical, mental, and spiritual:
Physical — food, clothing, shelter, transportation – all needs – medical, equipment, facilities, utilities, all.
Mental — teaching, laws, principles, work habits, attitudes, perception, peace of mind, freedom from debt burden and all the troubles and vexations of the world.
Spiritual — God with us, speaking, guiding, helping, blessing, teaching, rebuking, correcting, enlightening, protecting, fulfilling, satisfying, completing.
I see all in one… work, rest, leisure, responsibility and the reward, the cost and the pay, together as one – God all in all, hope fulfilled, God the sustenance, the essence, the purpose, the reward, the fulfillment.
I see an explosion… the power of the hour in the hour of His power, spreading outward in all directions in all ways – the powerful leaven, the reverse of a rotting apple in a barrel.
I see a pure example… a breath of fresh air, a break of pleasant light, an oasis for all who come in contact with us, except for the evildoer.
I see judgment… judgment of wicked works and wicked workers, a rebuke of the nations, a harsh blow against the face of unreality, a seizing of the territory from the enemy – physically, mentally, spiritually, economically, socially, politically, financially, doctrinally, religiously, psychologically, practically, theoretically, agriculturally, environmentally, essentially, ultimately, totally.
I see freedom… freedom from tyranny – social, political, economic, religious, governmental, institutional, commercial; freedom from the world’s customs, traditions, habits, philosophies, misconceptions, lies, attitudes, errors, foolishnesses, stupidities, pride, fears, temptations, false hopes and dreams, practices, troubles in general.
I see unity… among us in all things and… unity with/in the Lord without Whom we have nothing.
I see God as all in all… in work, fellowship, fulfillment, in all we do and are; I see the end, the Omega.
It is the “1,000 year reign,” the serpent bound, the preeminence of the Kingdom of God on earth at long last.
I see a miracle… because all this will be and even now takes place in very ordinary appearance and development. The Kingdom of God indeed comes without observation, is indeed within, is indeed as leaven – hidden, quiet, but powerful and all-pervasive.
The Lord does indeed come and the reward is with Him according to as our work shall be. It is the Beginning.
Do you not see it?
Thus says the Lord:
Shall you look to the ends of the earth? Shall you look to the world for solace and comfort, for fulfillment? Do you indeed require a break from a break? Do you require salvation from salvation? There shall be no light in the city for I am the Light, says the Lord, and in Me there is no darkness, no insufficiency, no lack. Shall one need the world in any of its myriads of ways and pleasures to relieve him of Me? If anyone loves the world, he doesn’t love Me, and perishes with the world and the lusts thereof.
Tell Me, does any one of you understand what I have given you? Have you not seen, have you not heard the things that come upon the world? Do you not perceive the treasure, the dignity, the privilege I have bestowed on you? This is not a day of partaking of the Tree of Knowledge so that you might know the bitterness of vanity. It is the Day of the Lord; it is My Day. Have you not had your days? What profit was there in your day, from eating of the Tree of Knowledge and rebelling against My Word? Shall you live by eating from that Tree? No. But today is the day of eating from Me and in Me alone do you have Life; in Me alone is there fulfillment.
Yet even now there is the opportunity, the choice to walk in your own ways, howbeit, no choice to return as in former times because… I am finished. As it is written: “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still.”
I shut the door on Noah and I shut it on you.
I do no longer wait for a man to search out the evil and choose the good, having tasted the evil; I no longer condone one to eat from the serpent and experience the evil, that he may know the value of the good; I no longer subject to vanity. This is My day and though My day is a horrible day to the wicked and to those who choose to walk in their own wisdom, in the lusts of their flesh and in the world’s ways of relaxing, entertaining themselves, of enjoyment, despising the good I have given, it is the day of reward to the holy, to the righteous, to the pure to whom all things are pure.
Taste and see and not only so but eat and embrace that which I have given you and enjoy it together, for surely as I live, says the Lord, there has not been anywhere at any time for anyone until here and now what I have granted you, choosing to do so of My own will and good pleasure. Let the patient one eat of the goodness of the Lord and be forever satisfied, and those that are with him.
Though it angers Me that you should desire meat in the wilderness, yet I understand your frame and will be merciful to you. Put away your ignorance, your foolishness, the lusts of the flesh, the evil notions. Open your ears, your eyes, your hearts and receive that which I choose to give you now. Taste and see that the Lord is good, that He is indeed a rewarder of those who seek Him diligently, that He is a succourer of the faithful, the believing, the humble, and the broken in spirit.
Oh, you blind! Look around you! Diligently consider. I will not pamper you with the things of the world, but I will feed you with the meat that truly satisfies, meat you know very little and nothing of. Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? For what do you thirst? Do you know? And do you know how you will quench that thirst and satisfy the hunger for what you don’t know?
Believe. No longer be as the stubborn horse or mule that must be forced to do that which is right by bit, spur, whip, and bridle, feeling the pain. Believe and it will indeed go well with you. You needn’t even exercise patience so much now as at one time because I already bring the reward. When one receives that which he is patient in hope for, why does he need more patience? Yet it will not be easy or well for the unbelieving. Blessed is the one who does not see yet believes. Blessed also, though not as the other, when he believes, seeing. But cursed is he who sees yet does not believe.
Children, this is the hour of vindication of all the saints and prophets; this is your hour.
On March 15, 1997, we received a 17-page copy of “Exposing the Moon River Cult,” written by John Albiston of First Baptist Church in Lethbridge, in reaction to Sean Fife having left them by my influence. I quote the introduction to give the reader the spirit and substance of the paper:
Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious as wolves (Matthew 7:15).
We have all heard of the terrible dangers of false prophets and the cults they dominate. Visions of David Koresh’s fiery inferno, the hundreds of bloated bodies left behind by Rev. Jim Jones, the Tokyo subway deaths engineered by the Aum Shinriko cult, and the bloody remains of the Solar Temple Cult, are all still fresh in our minds. But we have always been able to console ourselves that these false prophets are located so far away from us. That time is now over. For a cult no less dangerous than the ones we have seen in the news is located in Moon River Estates, just a few miles outside of Lethbridge. This ‘Moon River Cult’ as it is sometimes called, is dominated by a very hateful man named Victor Hafichuk.
All I did was persuade an intelligent young man to leave the wishy-washy, dead, lukewarm, pretentious, social day-time nightclub called a church, according to the commandment of Scripture, saying, “Come out from among them and be ye separate…” So suddenly, I’m very hateful and dangerous – David Koresh and Jim Jones rolled into one? I ask you: Was this a “loving Christian” reaction by those professing to be His? Was this paper not beginning to vindicate my counsel to Sean?
From what I understand, we had never been known as a cult until Albiston designated us as “Moon River Cult.” I suppose it was a catchy, red-flag name for obvious reasons, identifying my residential community name with yet another flower-peddling, mesmerizing cult organization, founded by Sun Myung Moon of Korea, called the “Moonies,” despised and feared by nominal Christians.
Continuing with their introduction:
Victor Hafichuk does not prey on people far outside our church doors, he preys on people WITHIN them. Victor SPECIFICALLY targets young, church attending Christians for his cult. He has admitted to attending and infiltrating Churches for the sole purpose of getting people OUT of the Church and INTO his cult group (Counterfeit Christianity, p. 6).
My note: Here is my alleged “admission of infiltration,” as far as I can tell (from Counterfeit Christianity):
“We once went to a church service to try to reach some people we knew.”
Of course, that says nothing of the kind of thing of which they accuse. Here is something on my objective, according to reality:
“Does anyone in these churches believe? God hurts for His people who suffer in these manmade systems formed in His Name. Come out! Come out from among the false, the idolaters, adulterers, and pretenders. Save yourselves from the wrath of the Lord that is now poured out upon the hypocrites and upon their ways. Follow the Lord outside the city, without the gate, and suffer what you must, but deliver your souls from hell and death. Stop deceiving yourselves! You cannot deceive God or escape the consequences for playing games. Even now, you suffer for that very thing.”
I suggest readers search the document for themselves to see what these people have concocted from nothing more than their fears and prejudices run amok, being given over to the very things against which I spoke while I was offering the only sure hope of their deliverance. Their introduction continues:
This false prophet and self-styled messiah is no mere threat to our churches, he has already drawn blood. One of his prominent converts was a Sunday School teacher, Bible study leader, and worship service leader at First Baptist Church, as well as club president of the University of Lethbridge’s chapter of Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship. Victor has not failed to use his convert’s former contacts and influence to wreak even further havoc on the Christian community. We as Christians need to arm ourselves and warn others about the danger this man presents.
The intent of this report is to warn the Christian community about the practices and beliefs of Victor Hafichuk and the Moon River Cult. The research for this paper has been done by Pat Shoenberger, Al Deleeuw, and John Albiston, with special support from Chris Heynen. Our research has included personal interviews with Victor Hafichuk, Sean Fife (one of Victor’s followers), former followers of Victor, and many people Victor has attempted to control. Along with these interviews, this report is based on the following essays written by Victor Hafichuk himself:
These documents are available from Pastor Doug Whelpton, at First Baptist Church, Lethbridge.
“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.” – 2 Peter 2:1
Albiston’s paper was filled with hate, opinion, misinterpretation, misrepresentation, disinformation, speculation, misunderstanding, ignorance, pretense, proud declaration, vindictiveness, contradiction, false accusation, and slander. And today, as of January 2015, John is a “pastor”!
John’s document is a product of nominal evangelical Christendom condemning me for counseling someone to leave its influence. One couldn’t ask for a better confirmation and justification for my stance.
What do they think I should be doing? Supporting their ways? Does God support their ways? No, His wrath is on them for their wickedness and hypocrisy. There’s urgent necessity for people to come out from among them.
John Albiston and company did a background check on me and found those with whom my wife and I had to part many years before, those from whose company the Lord separated us, so of course those people weren’t about to give a true or agreeable assessment of our spirituality in Christ.
I was surprised by the lies and distortions because I didn’t really expect they would stoop so low, professing faith in Christ. Again, they only served to confirm the validity and wisdom of our steps away from them, not that we needed a confirmation. (And given the abject lack of truthfulness in the rest of the paper, who knows how accurate Albiston’s “background” reporting was.)
They had some things right, however. For example, they write: “1975 was a dramatic year for Victor. He began the year appearing as a struggling, misguided, new Christian….” I agree, but it wasn’t at all as they, in their faultfinding ignorance, make it out to be. It was a traumatic experience coming to know the truth when receiving the Spirit of God because it was a sharp contrast to what we had been taught as truth in the church systems.
I had great struggles with unbelief at what the Lord was revealing to us. It was very hard parting from friends and loved ones time and again, as we entered new dimensions in Christ, Feast by Feast. It was hard accepting the fact that the religious people were wrong in so many basic ways before God, but we had to face the facts and decide whether we would forsake all for Christ or continue in the ways of the destroyer, the works of men (Psalm 17:4 KJV).
With sorrow and tears, yet with an inner peace and joy, He gave us the grace to take up the cross and forsake all for His Name’s sake, thankfully. Not for a moment has there been an ounce of regret – sorrow and suffering for a time, but no regret whatsoever – all praise and thanks to God, a merciful and faithful Savior, Lord of all.
When you think about it, it’s interesting that most of the criteria these people and others use to define or describe a cult would summarily, specifically, and categorically condemn the Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples, without question or debate. To see how, read The True Marks of a Cult.
I could so easily reply to their many accusations and will, Lord willing, though I expect it’s all history now. While I feel petty about reporting others’ wrongs against me, I continue to be persuaded that there’s good purpose in doing so.
In this case, I report Albiston and company’s actions to tell the world how corrupt evangelical Christianity really is. While it glories over mainline Christian denominations, which are as dead as maggot-infested corpses, evangelicals, with Bible under arm, are little better – the maggots are well on their way, some already stimulating their palates.
Those presuming to preach the Bible need exposure, not that they aren’t getting it everywhere already. Both their doctrine and practice are in great and destructive error. They need the truth to make them free, and so I write.
The complete Albiston document is available here.
In 1996 or 97, Marilyn had a vision of a horse taking off into darkness for the hills. It returned later with several horses following. We all knew I was that horse, but Marilyn and I didn’t agree on the interpretation. Time would tell.
In 1997 (or possibly 1998), Marilyn had a vision of a silver three-cord braided finger ring. The symbol was of unity (Ecclesiastes 4:12). Marilyn interpreted it to be of the Lord, Sean, and her, but I knew differently and what I knew would be proven true.
On April 9, 1997, we received a call from Daryl Konynenbelt, a reporter with CJIL TV. CJIL was the “Christian” station in Lethbridge, now called The Miracle Channel, founded by Dick Deweert, a disciple of George Hill, founder of Victory Christian Church. Having heard the accusations of John Albiston et al, Daryl wanted to interview us. We welcomed the opportunity and set a date.
On the 21st of April, 1997, Danny failed to return from school. Archie called to tell us Danny was with him. He had come by Sunnyside where Danny was attending, and contrary to Danny’s wishes, commanded that he get into the vehicle, and Danny obeyed – which was a good thing, I think. But I was shocked and angry. If Archie didn’t want Danny staying with us, why didn’t he say so?
Shortly after this happened, Archie called to let us know. (At least he did that.) “Why didn’t you simply come and get him?” I asked. Archie was implacable, and defiantly argued that I had left him with no choice. “How was there no other choice?” I asked. “Why are you treating us like some kind of unreasonable monsters?”
Backing up a bit, Marilyn had a dream some years before that there would be 11 saved. In that dream she also received that there would be two obscure Scriptures that would indirectly confirm the fact of 11 saved, and that Paul would know them. Calling Paul, he found them. One was Ezra 2:2, where 10 were counted “with Zerubbabel,” and this one:
“So says the LORD of Hosts: In those days ten men, out of all languages of the nations, shall take hold, and will seize the skirt of a man, a Jew, saying, ‘We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” (Zechariah 8:23 MKJV).
Having trusted Marilyn’s spiritual judgment, though I didn’t know what to make of the dream or the verses, I left it until this time. At this juncture, there were 11 of us in all: Marilyn, Jonathan, Chris, Nathan, Danny, Paul, Kerri, Lois, Sean, Mark, and myself. I pointed out to Archie that Marilyn’s dream had materialized, judging by the appearance of things, and that perhaps Archie was in danger of opposing God Himself, but he disregarded what I said.
(I must make a note that when one looks up a parallel record to Ezra 2:2, that being Nehemiah 7:7, there are not 11, but 12 persons, an inconsistency of which I was aware but one I didn’t know what to do with. And Zechariah is not to be taken literally; it is figurative.)
The word was soon out that Archie was viewing us as a dangerous cult, as well. I knew the devils were back in him, one of those being the demon of fear, controlling his thoughts and reactions. In any event, I didn’t mind that Danny was gone, or that he was with Archie, his father. What disturbed me was Archie’s treating us as though we would have resisted his parental rights, which wasn’t so. The accuser was busy – and effective.
There were so many disturbing and confusing things happening. There were enough rational, logical daily matters to deal with, never mind these absurd, unpleasant events. We were plainly at odds and in turmoil, both within and without. With all these things occurring, who could help but wonder at our spiritual/religious credibility, even sanity?
On April 29, 1997, we received a much unexpected visit at the farm from an RCMP officer. He was looking to deliver a message to Lois, who was in town for the moment. He told us Lois’ ex and Mark and Trevor’s father, Howard Benson, was dead. He then told us he had been killed, and I asked him if Jason did it.
“Why do you ask that?” he responded with some interest, if not surprise. I told him it was an educated guess (not those words). We knew Howard’s and Jason’s ways of the past, that Howard wasn’t bringing Jason up as he ought, deceiving and abusing him and we believed Jason might consequently be capable of such acts. We would soon discover the extent or nature of the abuse.
I called places in Lethbridge where Lois was to shop, leaving a message for her to call home, which she soon received and answered. I told her to come home. Lois, being impatient, wanted to know on the phone what was up, so I told her an RCMP officer was present, reporting that Jason had shot Howard dead.
As the officer heard me tell her, he was dismayed. He wanted to tell her in person, perhaps in consideration of her feelings, seeing Howard had been her husband and was the father of her three sons. However, knowing Lois, and given knowledge of the past circumstances, I knew she could handle it. When she got home, the officer had a few questions to ask and then left.
Page 10 PART EIGHT – Day 888 to Victory (cont.) Particle – God's Reminder of His Sovereignty Gene Knorr called weeks before, testing the waters, asking how things were with us and how business was. Because business had increased, I told him so. “Well, that's normal for business to grow the longer it's around,” he replied. I suspected he was hoping we were falling apart for not listening to him. But I thought, “Yes, I guess it's normal for a business to grow as people get to know the business is there.” A few days ago, Marilyn said that she was thankful and that the Lord was bringing business. Repeating Gene's thought, I said, “It's natural – many businesses and other things grow after a time of labor and pain for both believers and unbelievers. We shouldn't assume anything special is happening for us.” The Lord cut off the business abruptly, dramatically. Then last night, when Marilyn reported the sudden and strange drop, I went to bed and in the night the Lord showed me why. I was the offender, unthankful, not giving the Lord the glory, taking things for granted, and repeating the words of the enemy. The Lord went on to show us more. He showed us that He is in everything, present both in time and space, in all things, deliberately, actively upholding all things. Nothing is to be taken for granted - not business growth, not income, health, or so much as a single heartbeat or blink of an eye or flutter of a bee wing. He &ldq...
Page 20 PART ONE – Darkness to Light (cont.) Particle – Provision Precisely Prepared One day, at my next home, I found that the rent of $70 for my light housekeeping room was coming due, and I had no money. It happened to be due on my birthday, April 1. In the mail, I found a $50 gift from my mother, and Marilyn Coles, a university student from the Bible school, came over for supper the night before and gave me $20, which she said the Lord moved her to give me. She knew nothing about my due rent or lack of finances. There was the $70. Who says there is no God? The Lord reigns over all things, unbelieving mothers, friends, birthdays, timing, mathematics… everything. Particle – “Ask Me, Not Man” Now the Lord taught me another lesson, and that was not to ask for, or expect, financial help or support from anyone at any time. I had asked one of my former friends and home-owning partner, Dave Miller, if he would be willing to support me in Bible school. I was refused, fairly and understandably so. When I first became a believer, my mother's cousin Aunt Hazel Chute of Dauphin expressed joy and thankfulness for it. She promised me that if I ever decided to go to Bible school or seminary, all I had to do was ask, and they would help me financially. She and her husband, Melburn, professed faith in Christ. Months later, I asked them, and they didn't help me. They didn't offer any explanation other than not being able to afford it. I quickly learned t...
Page 14 PART FIVE – Moon River to Harvest Haven (cont.) Particle – The Feedlot Battle The residents opposing the feedlot held a meeting. I attended and found them demoralized and defeated. Their only remaining hope was to voice their concerns, without expecting any results, perhaps with the possibility of some small concessions. I remember Lloyd Sereda, Luc and Maria Demers, Etta Taylor, Tim Jarvie (a lawyer), and his wife, Anita. Pat King was nowhere to be found. I told them what the Lord had promised us by Marilyn. Of course, most didn't believe. However, Etta Taylor and Maria Demers both declared they believed it and it gave them hope. I was thankful for them. The day came for the meeting at Claresholm on May 20th, 1993, 3 ½ years and ten days after the conflagration at the Moon River fire hall on November 10th, 1989. (I suspect Pat King had informed me of this issue on May 10th, but I have no record of that. I only go by how the Lord has often done things with remarkable timings.) Both parties presented their arguments to council. Al Wheeler spoke briefly for the Mandels and the feed company, owned and operated by the Olafsons (Butte Feeds), who were in partnership with the Mandels. It could well have been a strategic move to have a Moon River resident speak up for them, thus minimizing opposition from the hamlet. Olafson and his son, Randy, were present (which I do not mention without significant cause, as you will see). Olafson Sr. made a short, rat...