Our Firm Foundation

Most of all we remember the spiritual life and atmosphere of our home. The concern for and dedicated efforts to live a Christian life. This we remember in our home. The family devotions each evening and on Sundays if we couldn't make it to church in town because of road conditions. This didn't happen very often because if the roads were too wet, we'd go by horses and wheels. If too much snow for the car, it was by horses and sleigh. All week we worked to prepare our clothes, shoes, lessons, and the conveyance so that we should be found in our local congregation, five miles from home.

Sundays for Church and God!

There we received Sunday School training in which Papa was the superintendent for many years, Mama and Papa both taught classes and sang in the choir; Confirmation instruction, Vacation Bible School (six weeks straight), then of course with VBS we often had the teacher stay at our house. This afforded us a ride. Otherwise we could use a horse and buggy or walk if Papa needed the horses in the field. Attending the church services we did! Never did we ask "why?" even if at times we wondered.

Christian Education--More The Better

The trip to Bible Camp at Lake Geneva when Papa fixed up the truck made over into a bus by which twenty people (family, friends, relatives) got to attend, gave spiritual assurance to several after the week. After grade school we were privileged to attend Augustana Academy, a trip which we took mostly by train over a hundred miles from home.

A Sacrifice Reaps Lasting Gain

Always tears were shed as we left home. Before Papa started the car, as we sat ready to leave, and the younger ones with Mama standing by, the finale was to sing "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow!"--an unforgettable doxology hymn. It left a deep impression and a long-remembered tradition. Not only did the nine of us receive Christian education, but somehow Papa and Mama put aside monies so that even the grandchildren could take advantage of the oportunity of attending a Christian high school.

Thank God For A Christian Father

A Christian respect for the nation was instilled in us, and Papa especially stressed Christian leadership and gave tribute to Abraham Lincoln. We thank God for parents who loved the Lord Jesus, read the Word of God to us, practiced its teaching, being faithful, and taught us to do the same. We thank God for all Papa did for us.

Thank God For A Christian Mother

We thank God for Mama. "The godly shall flourish like palm trees. Those that are planted in the house of the Lord are under His personal care".

Their Example Never Fades

They shall still bring forth fruit in old age and be vital and green."(The Psalms) Mama and Papa, your children, grandchildren, and great- grand children and even those who follow, all need God the Valiant, the Champion of the energetic, Who can save from the mediocrity of a wasted life, the emptiness of sin and the horror of misdirection.

Their Savior Never Fails

There He stands! The available Savior Who is the understanding Friend and the competent Counselor. Your children and children's children, Papa and Mama, will become middle-aged, then old. The living will become the dying. The strong will become weak. The dreamers will become realists. The process will never go in reverse, for the old will not become young again.

A Golden Heritage Forever

Therefore, the Gospel of Jesus Christ offers not only a frame for beauty, but offers beauty for the hour when life has been rubbed naked of its luster. The Grace of God is the sufficiency that makes the joyless hour throb wth glory, that puts the glow of heaven on the fading page of earth and makes even your children, grand-kids, and great-grand- children jealous of the intimacies you have shared with the Infinite when the values of love and life have become distilled out of the fragrance of God.

--by Estelle (Stadem) Rangen ("Rixa")

Jerry Ginther my yountest brother founded this website in 1997, fifteen years ago, at his own considerable expense of money and time and effort, for the blessing of the entire Stadem Relationship and to give the wonderful, miraculous, supernatural testimony of how the Lord worked grace into our Grandpa Alfred Stadem's heart and life after a very hard fall from it (as the account from his eldest daughters, Pearl and Cora, attest). He was transformed at a crisis point in his life, and it made all the difference for him and the family and all the Stadem descendants. You, dear one, may need to read the account of this in Prairie Farm on Angelfire, if you have not already. Sadly, most Stadem Descendants have no knowledge of it, and no knowledge of the greatest redemption story we have in our glorious Stadem heritage. We are still "sitting on it." But yet people beyond our relationship are reading about it on this website and it is encouraging and informing their own faith in God--so it is not a loss, it is still a gain for God our Forgiver and Savior.

Most of our Stadem Descendants know only a piece of the heritage that their particular family gave them, yet they don't have the other pieces the other families hold. They are mostly ignorant of the whole grand picture of our immigrant story that started in Norway and led to Northwood, Worth County, Iowa, and thence to the territory of South Dakota, with our forebears settling in the communities of Bryant and Canton on various farms.

A piece or two can't made sense of the whole. It has too limited a perspective, it is too small a platform. This is the reason this website endeavors to bring all the pieces together, as much as possible, in the Heritage Center and its Library and Archives. We are doing it first on the Internet, but it should be done also on the Farm, in the Barn Hertage Center, with items of the old farm to complement the written and visual and audio records we have gathered for it, principally from the estate of Pearl A. Ginther, who passed to Glory in April 2011, and who wanted and expressed that she wanted this effort and project to go forward, so we might all benefit and be encouraged and informed enough about our heritage to go forward spiritually into this new century.

A Heritage Center that is thorough-going and alive will also revive our Scandinavian crafts, language, cooking, dance, and, above all, our pietistic faith which was so well expressed in vigorous, faithful Family Altar and Church Participation, Evangelism and Missions. As Rev. Atle Svanoe expressed so well in his book on Lay Ministry, we greatly need renewal and rebirth in all these ways, but mostly in our faith in God. We have a godly form of religion, true, but we do not have the Holy Spirit fire they had in the previous generations which was sparked by the ministry and revival led by Hans Nielsen Hauge in Norway and his fellow believers. That is our most earnest prayer, that God will revive the Stadems of the whole relationship, to love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and love one another as Christ taught us to love, unconditionally. We also reaffirm our need to reach out to help the poor and the unsaved, as our grandparents did and our parents did in many cases too. This glorious heritage is not ours for the keeping, or just using for ourselves. What we keep, we will lose. In sharing it with others, we will find it ourselves blessed in return. But if we do not share? Well, we will dwindle, our lampstand will grow dark, the flame of God will move to some other place, to other hearts who love God truly and love others truly. That doesn't have to happen to us, though it has happened already to many of us, evidenced by the fact that most Stadems choose to have nothing to do with each other, and will not even go to the Farm for reunions at least. One Stadem family alone, the one that owns and cares for the physical property at present, cannot keep our heritage alive, it will die. We ALL must join together in Christ again, we all must be a part, or our glorious heritage given us by God will be lost irretrievably.--Sincerely, Ronald Ginther, Dec. 19, 2012

Be Sure To Write Us On How You Liked Your Visit

You Are The Reason We Did This!

Stadem and Holbeck Family Backgrounds, By Papa and Mama

Papa's Letter of the Tragic and Spiritually Challenging Events of 1947

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