The Humbly Grand Stadem Heritage Center Barn IN PROGRESS! 1997-2011

Expertly "Buttoned UP" for the Freezing Cold of 2010"s Winter

Spring 2011's Construction Speedily Proceeding With Strong, Young Helpers!

Stadem Reunion 2011,

Den Stadem Samtaleran,

March 2011


[Note of advisement: Despite the positive title above, it was not as good as it was said to be, as the course of the next ten years was determined at the Stadem family's Memorial Day business meeting, and Ron Ginther was given his walking papers, far as the heritage he brought to the farm was concerned. More later about this epochal, truly tragic turning off of Plain View Farm's leadership onto what is essentially a single family's rabbit trail and increasingly proving a path of rock-solid resistance to Stadem heritage, insofar as the Farm acreage and house and buildings are concerned.


Discovered among Pearl Ginther's many notes and scripture references, this brief Introductory Insertion is worth recording here: While the work commenced on the barn heritage center on Plain View Farm, Pearl's 101 years of victorious Christian life were drawing to a close, as this issue was the last she would read and enjoy, as the Lord, her Heavenly Father, willed it to be. The following note from her hand in her beautifully clear writing, though tiny, shows the spiritual building that was taking place even as the physical building was beginning in earnest:


Ps. 59: 9-10--Because of His strength I will watch for thee, for God is my stronghold. My God in His lovingkindness will meet me.

Dedicate the Spiritual building of all the families and descendants to come to the dedication of the barn Heritage Center in honor of our parents. When we dedicate the physical building, we really want to bless and give our blessing to our descendants and every family of Bessie and Alfred Stadem."

Such beautiful thoughts! But...She was not to be present when within a few months of her passing the heritage center barn rose beyond what was pictured here, but she must have seen it in her spirit and heart become the answer to her prayers and giving of her widow's mites over the years previous. The dream and vision became a noble and unique " barn" structure, indeed, and she would have loved to have stood within its walls, but Joyce her daughter and Roberta too and her two sons Lorin and Ronald were privileged to do so in her stead. Blessed be our mother's memory, but even more blessed is her unwavering commitment to the dream and vision that preceded and brought the heritage center barn into existence in 2011 and 2012!--Ed.]


Work will be continuing on the Barn/Heritage Center. The Stadem Mini Reunion is scheduled for July 1-3, 2011.

The following is an update on the Barn/Heritage Center, submitted by Stephen Stadem.

First and foremost, thanks to our awesome God for planting this vision in the hearts and minds of so many relatives. Also thanks to all the participants in time, talent, and treasure. It has most definitely been a team effort, and we trust and pray that this spirit of enthusiasm and unity will prevail as we move ahead on the heritage Center project. Our theme is: "TEAMWORK makes the DREAM WORK!" Thanks also for your patience, as the project seems to move slower than any of us would prefer; however, great progress was made last year.

Some final site preparation was done with the Bobcat, and Bernie Iserman's Badger (2 pieces of equipment) prior to last year's reunion. The forms for the footings were built before and during the official reunion days of June 25-27, 2010. Two cement trucks rolled in on Monday the 28th with twelve plus yards for the pour. Thanks to all who volunteered their labor, made meals, contributed financially and especially included this project in their prayers. Lest the Lord build the house, the workers labor in vain. There was some marvelous sweat equity invested over reunion time!

A note on the Lord's protective care: When the cement truck was backed up to the site on the north side with the 9 foot high grade, the earth gave way. We yelled and the driver was able to move ahead with the ground caving in behind him. Those things happen so fast! As we discussed the near catastrophe we became humbly thankful. All the prayers offered for safekeeping were heard, and this experience was a powerful reminder.

The basement walls were constructed in October. Extra hands were definitely needed to raise sections of the walls. Workers came from Sioux Falls and Minneapolis to assist.

The walls are constructed of 2x8 treated studs 1 foot on center. The walls are 9 feet high and were built separately, then raised to bolt onto the cement footings. The sheeting is 3/4 inch treated 1 inch foam insulation. When we ordered the foundation lumber from Barker Lumber of Bryant, the owner Mike Barker exclaimed, "What are you building, a fortress?" He is a great Christian brother and member at Our Redeemer Lutheran [Church]. We've received much help and encouragement from people around Plain View. Thanks be to God!

The floor joists were assembled spanning the 30 foot width of the building using the rafters from the Willmar, MN turkey barn, salvaged 5 years ago [we were advised during this not so progressing period to have patience, though for five long years the valuable turkey barn-salvaged lumber sat in the rain and snow on the ground at PVF and was subject to all weathers, and rot and boring insects; consequently, considerable lumber was damaged or altogether lost, as well as warped by the moisture and then drying in the hot sun--sadly, a situation that caused much extra labor and compensatory extra handling and treatment by the expert builders to make it serve its new purpose; if only we had gathered funds and secured workers to begin the project, the eldest Stadem, Pearl Ginther. might have seen the finished edifice as she envisaged it! May this word be taken in the spirit of love: Advice is "time sensitive" in some situations and contexts when dealing with different generations that are present in one family gathering. It is one thing to advise patience to the young and hasty who have years yet to waste or use unprofitably and eventually learn from their mistakes, but another thing to advise others the same who are in extreme old age and not likely to see the fruits of their dreams if opportunity is not used in a more timely fashion.

Remember the story about the farm animals offering gifts to the newborn Christ Jesus? "I will give my eggs to feed him," said the chicken. "I will give my wool," said the sheep to make his garment with. "I will give my milk so he can grow big and strong," said the cow. "I will give my fine, soft breast feathers to make him a pillow,' said the goose. "I will give my bacon," said the pig, with a tear in his eye. Which do you think gave sacrificially? Christ gave his "bacon" for our salvation. Ought we not to do the same in gratitude for his great Gift to us?--Ed.]

Two big beams run the length of the building helping to support the floor. Then 3/4 tongue and groove flooring was glued and nailed in place.

After this work was done, we decided to button up the building for winter cold. Bernie's ideas on how to protect the footings from frost were employed [and these precautionary measures are so excellent, they can save future builders of homes in freezing winter states great trouble and expense of repair and reconstruction of foundations if followed. During those years of agonizing hiatus, my heart grieved for the old ones, as I saw the window of opportunity closing, day by day, year by year.--Ed.]. This included "minor" backfill because without a cement floor inside the walls would be compromised [freezing would enter the area, and when thawing later in the coming spring would heave the soil and fill about, destabilizing the whole area and maybe damaging the foundation and weakening the whole lower structure which no longer rested upon a secure footing--Ed.].

The foam on the outside helped insulate the walls, and neighbor Larry Tauschner supplied a big round hay bale that we spread all around the outside. The hay provided more insulation and will function as an organized barrier for the drain tile, which goes around the perimeter of the building. (We don't need a wet basement in the future!). Then 2 inch foam was laid along the footing on the inside and fiberglass insulation was stuffed in the cavities near the floor. All windows and dolor openings were sealed off and a 4'x8' door was hinged for access. Tarps were secured over the structure. This work was done November-early Dec. just before the cold and big snow came. In January, Tanya, Greta, and Beka accompanied me on a trip to check on the barn. The Heritage Center was wintering wonderfully! Snow had drifted all around the building, and it felt considerably warmer in the basement than outside. Alleluia!!

The 'machinery shed': Trusses were raised and are in place. We will most likely be able to get all the tin on by reunion time. The addition of this shed will take pressure off every existing building at Plain View. With the exception of the trusses, this building is all salvaged material from the turkey barn. It's a delight to put this salvaged material, that has been waiting at the farm, to use!

Next phase of Heritage Center: The next jobs, in order, are plumbing, in floor-heat, cement floor, backfill, doors/windows, and "Raise the Next Level".

After the floor is poured and the materials are assembled for the next level (including 8 foot wall, and 'gambrel roof' patterned after the old barn) we will let everyone know and hopefully get as many hands involved as possible. "If the Amish can raise a barn, why can't the Norwegians?" We still need to run figures on materials, as we'll need to buy much of this new. By the next issue of the Samtaleran, we should have a breakdown of everything spent and projected costs to complete the project. Also we would like to include donated items used in the project - many fixtures are in storage ready for use [Stephen Stadem as a very saving and opportunistic Sioux Falls carpenter over years acquired many plumbing or bathroom fixtures and valuable rare wood flooring materials and numerous items from his various demolitions of old houses and remodeling jobs--which later were his joy to utilize in the heritage barn, which sometimes were new or new looking and were as good as any bought for hundreds and thousands of dollars in the stores, thus following the grand recycling tradition of his Grandfather Alfred Stadem. He may have paid back at least half his wages on the project by his donation of these materials and fixtures, all which he had taken out of houses and transported at his own expense and on his time to the farm, a labor of love, really, that went on quietly and untrumpeted.--Ed.]

I know many of you would like to see how your gifts have been used. I do believe we are getting a lot of "cluck" for the "buck", and our purpose remains solid. This Heritage Center (I believe Ron Ginther first came up with the name) is being built to honor God and the heritage bestowed by Him through our devout departed loved ones.

Prayer requests: His continued safekeeping and the opportunity to move ahead with enthusiasm and Godspeed; and that the barn fund would emulate the loaves and fishes our Lord used to feed the 5,000, and that blessings abound to all who come in contact with Plain View Farm. God bless and keep you all. Respectfully, Stephen Stadem



Total in Barn Fund as of August 31, 2010-------------------------------------------------$11,918.44

Receipts into Barn Fund:

Donations from Jerry Ginther for Taylors, Schaefers, Spildes--------------------------360.00

Donation from Wayne Couillard [friend of Stadem Families, Reunion attendee-----300.00

Total Donations/Receipts--------------------------------------------------------------------660.00

Expenses of Barn fund:

Barker Lumber, lumber and supplies.------------------------------------------------------$2,236.93

Steve Stadem, materials from Menards, supplies-----------------------------------------1,986.17

Total Expenses of Barn Fund----------------------------------------------------------------4,223.10

Total in Barn fund as of February 28, 2011.------------------------------------------------$8,355.34



John Brown [Pearl Ginther's grandson] has suggested that we continue to have fund raising auctions at the reunions to generate additional funds for the continued construction of the barn. he says, "Would everyone think ahead about any substantive things that they don 't mind parting with so we can have a true auction of good stuff. The posters donated by the Schaefers last year were a perfect item. We've gotten our "stagecoach" poster framed and it looks great. I am working on several groups of goodies to be bid on, so anyway, we would want to encourage everyone to try to think in those terms, so we can make a bigger than normal splash, even in a small reunion year! Thanks. [John Brown and his wife later donated many high quality windows to the structure, which they replaced by a different style of windows in their home. These large windows included glass doors for the lowest level that open on the south. These windows bring a tremendous amount of sunlight into the structure, which would be darkened by the barn-type roof otherwise. By this wonderful gift, the Browns certainly demonstrated they practice what they preach!--Ed]. "


Thank you to Ron Ginther for the postage money of $20.00 sent in December, and for another $20.00 sent in February, along with a nice Valentine card. I appreciate each contribution that is made for the Samtaleran newsletter.


After Lee Stadem retired from his head pastor duties in Sioux Falls, he has been doing interim pastor work in many different cities in eastern South Dakota. For the last 13 months he has been driving 452 miles to Pierre, SD and back each week. On his way home from Pierre one night during a blizzard last winter, Lee got onto the I-90 just before it was closed by the Governor for being impassible. Some miles down the road he was forced to get off the road, and was given an expensive ticket for being on the I-90 when it was closed. He continued on his way via the side roads and made it home. So this winter Liz said, "You're not going to drive on those snowy and icy roads another winter." Lee said, "Well, then we will have to move to Pierre." Liz didn't like that option either. Lee said, "I told the very understanding Senior Pastor and Church Council in Pierre about this driving problem. They said that they agreed with Liz. So January 9th, 2011 was my last Sunday there in Pierre. Already I had agreed to take on another job of teaching Confirmation at St. John Lutheran Church beginning Wednesday, January 12th. So now I'm doing another interim with our old church (St. John) where Liz has continued to attend ever since 1993 when I resigned."

For many years we have been having a family gathering after Christmas at Shetek Bible Camp in Minnesota. This year was no exception, happily our family all gathered, plus we were joined by the John Brown family, and also Fayet (from Africa, who is living with Tom Stadem's) making us a large and active group.

Our calendar shows that the Stadem Mini-Reunion is down for July 1-3, 2011. You can stay July 4th too, or later, but you may be on your own then. I'm sure there will be plenty work both before and after Reunion dates.

If anyone is interested in the Farm expenses for the 2010 tax year, here is what we have paid:

Electricity - $1,038.31

Water - $417.10

Insurance - $465.59

Taxes - $741.80

Steve Stadem, barn labor - $17,792.08

Love, Brother, Uncle Lee and Liz


Pete & Kari Stadem enjoyed a wonderful two weeks in Honolulu, Hawaii with Kari's parents. A highlight was climbing up 1,048 railroad ties to the top of a small mountain, and seeing Oahu's coastline, both east and south. Daughter Michelle and cousin Britta spent ten days with the same great hosts prior to our arriving. They appreciated a submarine ride and a luau, among other things. Now they are all back to their regular life. On March 13th they were in Sioux Falls for son David's voice recital at Augustana College.

Steve & Tantya Stadem sent some items of information. Daughter Britta will be graduating this May from Augustana College with a degree in Art and Education. She will be doing her student teaching in the fall in the Sioux Falls area. Daughter Aanna is in her second year at Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA and just experienced New York City with her photography class over Spring Break. Both girls will be working at Riverside Lutheran Bible Camp this summer in Story City, IA. Greta enjoys the "sister dates" she gets asked out on by Britta and Aanna.



Pearl has been having radiation treatments for an area of cancer that showed up inside her mouth near the back cheek area. her family, friends, and church members have been getting her to the seven weeks of daily appointments. After four weeks of radiation, the area of cancer is now smaller than the eye can see, so progress has been made. The treatments have made it hard for her to swallow and made the food less tasty, thus she has been eating less, and has lost a few pounds. (She really needs to keep the pounds on!) To help keep the weight on, she is drinking liquid Boost, which tastes good and she likes it. With the added nutrition she is once again feeling good and is her perky self. She continues to go to church every Sunday, and is still sweet and loving through this suffering. She accepts prayers on her behalf, gets a lot of support from her Women's Aglow group, and continues to have a positive outlook.

Lorin Ginther had surgery to replace both his knees on January 25, 2011. He has done much research and knew he wanted to recuperate in sunny Arizona rather than in rainy Tacoma. He found a good doctor, who also had replaced the knees of his good friend. Them most important part of his good friend's recovery was that he was back at golf after six weeks. That became Lorin's goal also. Well, ten days after Lorin's surgery, and three days after coming home from the hospital, he went out for pizza with wife Marylou, daughter Lori, and granddaughter Kaitlyn, and cousins Eloise & Ron Hefty. he was using a walker to steady himself. Then on Feb. 13th, just 19th days after his surgery, he and Marylou joined the after church brunch group for a meal. He walked into the restaurant without his walker!! Then on March 7th, just one day short of the six weeks goal, Lorin and Ron Hefty went golfing, doing nine holes. Fantastic recovery! This just didn't happen". Lorin faithfully performed his exercises two times every day, and obeyed his rehab therapist on what and when to do things. Yes, he endured pain, but he carefully managed it. And another thing - he had his mother, Pearl, praying for a miracle! He golfed 18 holes with his Road Runner golfing buddies this week, and was happy with his score, even though he hopes it will get better when he can swing his golf club more fully. of course, he doesn't want to hurt his new knees. Great news!

Ronald Ginther mentioned that he has been in contact with Dave Anderson, class of Augustana Academy in 1961. Others at the Academy at that time are Ron, Ginther, Eloise Spilde Hefty, and Mim Svanoe Rinderknecht, and maybe some others. Dave and his wife have a ministry sharing the Word of God and music. If their schedule puts them in the Midwest around the reunion time, Ron is hoping they will have time to attend [To give you a sketch of their incredible story: Dave Anderson and his wife and a party of fellow evangelists were flying back from Russian Kamchatka, after ministering to Christians in the poverty-stricken town they flew to, and their small plane somehow was not refueled at the Russian airport and didn't show anything wrong on the instruments regarding the fuel in the tanks and sputtered and went down in the ocean off an island near the coast of Alaska, I believe it was near Nome, but at least 20 miles off the coast. But they couldn't survive that icy water.! Not that kind of cold! They weren't killed or badly hurt in the initial shock of the splashing down, but deadly hypothermia of course would set in, as they kept together and tried to keep afloat. Yet God knew exactly where they were and He intervened. They are alive today, all of them, thanks to a big number of miracles, as there was really no reasonable hope a rescue plane could reach them, or a rescue boat sail out to look for them and find them, in time. They would all perish. Their story of miraculous escape from certain death is detailed and pictured in their book, RESCUE. I have it, but it may still be available. I wanted them to come and testify about their incredible rescue, but I did not follow through at the time, regrettably. You can still try to find their book on Amazon. If it is out of print, I will seek to find my copy and portions at least. I believe we have some Internet Plain View Farm pages or page on their miraculous story of God's intervention. After recovery from the accident, Dave and his wife continued their singing and music and Gospel ministry in Lutheran churches. I know their ministry had to be even more vital and effective than ever before, as they told of their rescue and survival of everyone of their group by ALMIGHTY God and the brave, intrepid Alaskan search and rescue people He used to find and extract from certain death in the sea. How in the world can anyone not believe in God when reading such a thrilling, miraculous account of God's power and mercy? I did not get enough assurance to bring them here to a reunion at the time, but maybe there is another chance in the offing, if I can contact them. I was missing a simple zip code, and could not get it, which was the hang-up last time I tried.

The horrible plunge into the frigid waters off Alaska and the life-threatening ordeal Rennard and Grace experienced in the Canadian forest wilds [which Rennard Svanoe alludes to in his coming piece about Grace's passing), and all these people survived, tells of the miracle-working power of God THROUGH PRAYER. These two parties were bathed in prayer by families and friends, all believing God could work the miracles needed.--Ed.]



Some people start the New Year with a bang, but, sad to say, we started the year with a serious fall. On January 3, 2011 Cora Taylor, (96 on March 6th) fell on the carpet in her bedroom just as she was up from a nap and on her way to the supper table. Carleen & Ken were close by, and have no idea why she fell, neither does she, but it was serious. "The director of Peniel [Bible Institute] loaned us his car, where we could slide a stretcher into the back. With much, much pain we made our way to a hospital and doctor in a near-by town. I might mention that the trucks we were following had a close call which could have meant the death of all of us in our car. We came through that experience praising God for His hand of protection.

The orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Mauricio, was able to order her X-rays and give us the grim details with drawings and pictures. The femur in her right leg was seriously fractured. All of her tests showed that she would be able to handle the saddle block anesthesia and trauma of surgery, so it was scheduled for the following afternoon. Titanium pins and screws were placed in her leg to hold it together.

The three weeks following the surgery has been a time of hard work and much pain for our Mother. We could not have handled this without your prayers and your encouragement. God has given us many opportunities to trust Him and, I must say, it has been quite an experience both day and night. Please accept our thanks for remaining faithful in prayer for our Mother Cora's healing. After another three weeks she will have additional X-rays and then will learn to walk again!!

In a few days we are supposed to leave Brasil and board a plane for the States. Can you see us leaving Cora in this condition? Tonight we will go to bed trusting God for 90 more days in Brasil on this tourist visa so that we can continue our ministry of love and care for my Mother. Early tomorrow morning we travel to Campinas to show up at the Federal Police, requesting the 90 day extension. The process for the permanent visa in Brasilia has not come through for us yet. Cora prayed tonight that if it was God's will, He would grant this extension and if not that He would give grace. So we go by faith tomorrow and appreciate your prayers for this.

Two days later: Extension Granted! Thank you for making our visa extension a real matter for prayer. God hears the prayers of His people. We rejoice together over the privilege of staying another 90 days in Brasil to care for our Mother Cora. She is starting to feel better and we greatly appreciate the way you are upholding us, the care-givers in prayer. Please accept our thanks for your emails of love and concern. Lovingly, Carleen & Ken Newton

Two weeks later: Dear Stadem Family, I am sitting here in the living room with my oldest daughter, Carleen. Yesterday I had my check-up with the doctor after the ordeal of my broken leg. Danny took me, lying down, in his car to the near-by town to see Dr. Mauricio. You will be happy to know that he looked at the X-ray and then at me, and was very pleased with my progress. he asked me to stay off of that foot until March 6th. The ability to stand on my foot will be a nice 96th Birthday present. The Physical Therapist will then help me to start using my walker. For those who have prayed for me, I am very grateful. It is bedtime now. Love, Cora Taylor

Philippe and Analee (Taylor) Israel sent an email telling about their work for Life in Messiah in the Brooklyn, New York area. They have a sp0ecial heart for the Jewish people. They told about an ultra-Orthodox rabbi who found a Jews for Jesus tract on the street twenty five years ago. Four months ago a Life in Messiah co-worker helped him understand the gospel message clearly, and was recently baptized after he believed that Jesus died for his sins.



Yesterday the nine days of mourning known as the "novena" in Mexico came to a close for Grace, my wife and the inspiration for Canyon Scholars. Our emergency housekeeper, Francisca, or "Kika", thoughtfully extinguished the candles for me on the table of her memorabilia.

Many of you know that Grace and I were married only a few years before we moved to Mexico for early retirement, which led to the founding of Canyon Scholars nine months later. We had worked together at two jobs for runaway youths and with mentally ill men for fourteen years before that, giving us twenty-eight years together as fellow workers and then as married partners. In some important ways, Grace was my leader. She lived in Latin America in the late 1960s in the Peace Corps for a total of four years, not holed up in a compound for foreigners, but living with poor Peruvians and Ecuadorians. She learned to speak Spanish fluently.

While doing her field work in the University of Wisconsin School of Social Work master's program, Grace was my administrative assistant. We found that we shared many things including the Lutheran faith. We both were raised in families that worked on the soil, my father a landscaper, and her father a farmer. We also shared a love of learning and the sharing of ideas. We shared a trip together as Habitat for Humanity volunteers to Mexico in 1993 and a choir tour to Norway in 1994 [the Centennial Augsburg College Quartets Choir, from which we have a selection of music on this website--Ed.] A trip with Edgewood College students to Mexico in 1996 soon led to the conviction that we had similar vocations. We shared experiences that affected not only our work together but our personal lives, especially as they reveal divine activity on our behalf. In an anonymous society, we sometimes lack this sense of family. Thankfully the sense of family in my case is strong, and no less than ten in my immediate and extended families sponsor one or more Canyon Scholars. Grace was warmed, as I am, by the sense of community we found in Mexico and as our home became a hospitality house following our hard experience of being stranded in the Canadian forest in 2000. [since her passing, Rennard expressed that Grace especially appreciated the family togetherness she found at the reunions on the Farm, since her own family was gone, and she felt loneliness and non-acceptance growing up. I hope that is close to his meaning. We did not know this at the time she was among us, but it certainly sheds light on Grace and her feelings that she kept to herself even as she reached out to others to help them.--Ed.]

Every week for six months until her death on November 3, 2010, either she or I would say to the other, "What are the ten building blocks of a good marriage?" We found great help from our daily practice of Bible reading and prayer and at the end from my singing Christian hymns that we both remembered from the past.

Just knowing that there are some fifty families behind us sharing our vocation gave Grace and me a great sense that we are where we are supposed to be. The first thought Grace had the morning she was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer on Mary 29th was: "What is going to happen to Canyon Scholars?" She translated student letters daily during her ten weeks of chemo-and-radiotherapy and beyond. I am resolved to remain in Mexico and continue the work of Canyon Scholars as long as God gives me strength, just as Grace did.

Grace's last words four days before she died were prayers, "Help us find our way" and "Thank you, Lord." One of the biggest arguments for living for God is the great advantage it gives one in being able to die the same way you lived.

Grace was a woman with great qualities of intelligence, empathy, and determination. She kept notes on her readings together with some journal-type entries this last year. I have twenty-four notebooks from the last few years. It may even be that what was a benign tumor o n her parotid gland as long as I have known her was turning malignant unbeknownst to us already years ago. We took time to recount the many rich experiences in our fourteen years of marriage. One night in the hospital we kept count, hoping to name the ten top experiences. We couldn't stop, and reached sixty, fifty of which were here in Mexico. Some were challenging and even risky, but all became occasions to thank God. [would be great if this list were written up and shared, along with entries from her notebooks. Indeed, a book is called for!--Ed.].

We were especially grateful for the assistance Jack Westman and Attorney Tom Solheim gave us a year ago, together with the board of directors, in retaining our "new" 93 Volkswagon Eurovan, when the State of Wisconsin took back the title they had issue in error. Due to its top condition it has given us 25,000 nearly trouble-free miles in one year, 5,000 of which took us to daily therapy sessions at the state capitol. We are grateful, too, to Dr.. Jack for the tip that led to a correct diagnosis after two erroneous diagnoses of Grace's facial paralysis that turned out to be a symptom of cancer.

One of Grace's great qualities was her respect for others and for individual differences, resembling the quality the indigenous Tarahumara know as reverence. When we say "God is holy," or when we say "we fear and love God," we are really saying we reserve for God the peace of one whose wisdom is unsearchable. I believe that accounts for why Grace accepted her imminent death with tranquility. Grace's breathing stopped so imperceptibly that neither Kika nor I were aware that she had gone, even though we were present.

Some day the work we do with Canyon Scholars will pass to other hands. Probably it will be conducted in a more impersonal manner, depending on the vocation of those in our place. As a pastor, I have brought the role of shepherd to my work. Not everyone has this vocation, and I welcome whoever fills our shoes with whatever gifts and sense of vocation they bring with them. Our approach may not always separate personal factors from the way we do business, but a strictly business approach would probably entail paying the workers, where we rely only on well-motivated volunteers both here and I n the States. To facilitate the goal of serving students here, we offer any help we can to persons who may feel they have this vocation, in terms of material, moral, housing, and training support. This is the legacy Grace wanted to leave behind - that the work continue. Our children Todd, Marc, and Colette are in accord.

Thank you for your continued financial support this year. We are sponsoring one hundred fifteen students to date. Thank you also for your thoughts and prayers. Love, Ren Svanoe

Avenida Chihuahua #1103, Col. Anahuac, Mpio. Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, Mexico CP31600



Todd Svanoe, son of Rennard Svanoe has written a report entitled, "The Story of a People on the Move". It appeared in the May/June 2008 issue of PRISM magazine. The writing is completely documented, and is on the hope and tragedy of Latino immigration. The article reveals poignant ironies rarely mentioned by either "amnesty" or "enforcement" advocates, whether the backfire of tightened border patrols or the disappointment of immigrants' hijacked dreams. It tells of tragic choices and trans-border aspirations that have been greatly complicated by the absence of sound US public policy. It underscores the urgency of reform, but even more, the importance of informed hospitality, empowering relationships, and proactive community development on both sides of the border--until "justice rolls down." How can the church be involved? What would Jesus do to serve a neighborhood in transition? He concludes with personal glimpses into his encounters with Latinos in the neighborhood and in business.


Mim Rinderknecht sent me the copy of the magazine story over the internet. [she was willing to copy it and send it to whomever requested it at that time.--Ed].

Mim (Svanoe) Rinderknecht [younger sister to Rennard Svanoe] sent some new addresses and phone numbers for some of her family members. She also sent a few poems that she had written. One of the poems follows here.



I'm cleaning out my "garage supplies"; the homeless is "kinda" done (20 years)

I'm feeling "led" to give my focus more "one on one".

I'm THANKFUL God distracted me, with a hobby involving "others".

Even God's Word says to love Him most; but then - you love your brothers!

The Nine of us girls in Bible Study, have had challenges great and small.

Thank of losing your 22 year old son???!!!??? God has helped each one of us through them all.

God has made and given and friends so we have someone to always help each other.

So let's put THAT in our head, as the pillow hit's the bed...and ask the Lord above to give us "cover".

I think I'm done?? And then appears: 800 pounds of meat!!

I give it away, and hear God say, "We're not QUITE done giving treats!"

Then the "Dress Barn" calls me, offering coats, quite a few!!

Then I learned to just keep giving, just keep giving till the "Master" stops giving to you!


Nada (Lundring) Ronning celebrated her 70th birthday on December 15, 2010. Some of what she said follows: "My birthday lasted for several weeks; time in Seattle with my sister, a Tea here in Sierra Madre for a few close friends; a whole day at Ojai Spa, alone with my two daughters, for a massage and facial (a day I'll long remember!); an afternoon with our family to see Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," at our favorite small theater in the round where our family has gone for 25 plus years; dinner afterwards when they presented me with "my book," with messages and pictures; another Tea in Thousand Oaks, where several family members and friends live; a massage with my birthday partner, Mary, who also turned 70; and yet to happen, a day in Solvang, a day in Santa Monica, and sipping chocolate with Mary to celebrate our birthdays (all postponed because of illness.). After looking at my message book, one said, "This is what you hear at a funeral, but you get to hear it before that time." I had actually thought that very same thing, but I hadn't said it to anyone. I deeply thank Nelius, Destra and Rachel for giving me such a memorable 70th. I don't need to celebrate another birthday. I'll just read the messages, and cry and laugh, and feel so loved all over again. It is a birthday to beat all birthdays. Small gatherings with very special people in my life. For those who live far from me, your notes and emails mean more to me than I can express in words. I am blessed! I am grateful! I send my love and hope for PEACE in our world. Nada


Thank you to all who provided news for this issue. Eloise Hefty


Stadem Reunion Samtaleran, September 2011

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