"The Sisters' Vision,"

by Ron Ginther


Bergit and her sister Katrine had a vision of true faith and fellowship.

Norway's churches had grown cold,

they gave God service only from the lip.

It grieved them, so they looked afar;

they meanwhile worked hard to make it,

(not complaining or vainly wishing on a star!).

Brother Andrew in America wrote, calling:

"Come over! You're orphans--

but there's paying work here, quit stalling!"

So they sold the few acres and little house in Mandal of Holm,

where saintly parents had passed so early on.

What tears they shed soon met salt spray

as the HELLIG OLAF steamed across the northwest seaway.

In years to come their vision met tests

of heartaches and loss and difficult times,

but they never looked back like Lot's poor wife,

for everything given up in Old Norway,

God promised and gave, A NEW LIFE!--

Christmas 2011, Ronald Ginther,

grandson to Bergit Holbek Stadem

and nephew to Katrine Holbek Lundring.


By Train the Holbek Girls Travelled from New York to South Dakota


A Second Vision Arises & Becomes Reality out of Humble Beginnings:

"The Old Turkey Barn"

by Ron Ginther


An old turkey barn in Minnesota was all pulled apart and taken down.

For years its boards and tin lay stacked out by some trees, on Plain View's open ground.

Rain and snow, of several seasons took their toll,

but most of the boards survived, and gave much lumber still sound and whole.

Using the lumber Plain View Farm's machinery shed was built,

and made so strong the Dakota winds will never make it tilt!

So old things CAN BE transformed into new,

but you first need a Vision to change an old view.

--Ronald Ginther, Christmas 2011

Note: *The turkey barn was sold to the Stadems for $50, but it was quite a task for Stadems to pull down such a large structure and then transport it all board by board to the Farm from a state away. That task was exhausting, but now a new Machinery Shed stands, composed of this salvaged lumber and tin bought for almost a song. Much of the lower level of the new Heritage Center too is composed of the lumber from the old turkey barn, and the turkey barn boards even are found in large measure on the second level, as well as providing the support the supports for the third level lofts! What a blessing the old turkey barn was--despite all the hundreds and thousands of nails that had to be pulled laboriously from the boards! I was given the privilege of pulling nails! I pulled more than I would care to count, handling the boards and carrying them to various new locations before they went into the Heritage Center, so the turkey barn left its imprint on me, and I left mine on it!--Ron Ginther


Second Note**These two Christmas poems were written in response to the Christmas letter of Eloise and Ron Hefty. Since then the turkey barn boards and timbers have been transformed into this beautiful and useful heritage center barn! The first grand event after Dedication, was a wedding of a Stadem/Holbeck descendant and her bridegroom.

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