July 25, 2007

Alpena-Bit 5

I've been afraid to blog this next bit because I know all you cliff hangers are going to be disappointed!
I can't remember exactly how I felt after I said that prayer to Satan. Probably terrified. I do know I imagined him standing next to my bed grinning and saying, "I've got you now!" What I didn't know at the time was that there was no way he did. I'd surrendered my life to Jesus before I gave it to the devil and Jesus doesn't let go of His own.
As I said before, for reasons unknown to me, mom and I now moved back to bouncing around Sunnybrook Lodge. In the meantime, Tony had come to his senses and asked Jesus to live in his heart. He also was smart enough to marry Pam.
I'm not sure when they were started, but back in the 60s or 70's a man named Jack Winter started several Christian communities in the midwest. I think there were around 9 of them. These communities, under the title of "Daystar Ministries", were formed with the intent of bringing counsel, bible training, and emotional healing to people. I think several of the Daystar communities were each located in a single large building, but there were a couple that had a large house for meals and then smaller dorms around that main building for people to sleep in.
People would sell their homes, quit their jobs, give away most of their possessions and move into a Daystar center with the idea that this was probably a very long commitment. Money, meals, household chores, and possessions were shared and shared alike. These centers offered church services to the community as well.
I'm telling you all this because over the next several years I lived in 3 of those communites. The last one I lived in was being labelled a cult by many people by the time I moved out.
OK-on with the story. Tony and Pam somehow found out about Daystar Ministries and decided to move into one. It was located in Alpena Michigan. It was a beautiful place with a very large house for meals and worship services and 14 cabins for the various families that lived there.
After I'd surrended my life to God and the devil only one thing changed. My mom was able to regroup and became a mom again. It was wonderful to be a tiny family once more and have her home in the evenings. However, I still felt empty inside and knew I needed something. Because nothing else had changed in my life I felt more rejected than ever. My dad was busy with his new family and lived across the country. God and the devil had both seemingly rejected me and wanted nothing to do with me. My heart felt even more empty and hopeless than before.
The summer after I'd finished 8th grade Tony called and asked me to come to Alpena for a visit.
After I'd been there for about a week he asked me if I'd like to stay for the school year. This particular community had a school attached to it and I could go to school with some of the kids I'd started to make friends with. After one teary phone call to my mom I became a member of Tony and Pam's little family.


  1. It's weird how we remember things about Satan in our lives as kids. I didn't grow up in a Christian home, but someone must have told me about Satan and going to hell when I was just a wee little kid. I can remember being in my crib (I'm NOT making this up) and crying because I was scared that Satan was going to get me. I can also remember being a punk teenager and screaming, "Hail Satan" out the window of a car while driving around with my friends. I didn't know any better and I was just trying to scare people for no reason at all.

    Of course, all along God had a different plan for me--whew. It really makes me thankful for grace and mercy.

  2. Yeah, I have no idea where I first heard about Satan either. Maybe from all those creepy shows my brothers used to watch, like Night Gallery. What was the other creepy one that was so popular back then?
    Oh well. Grace. There aren't any words I can think of that can express the thankfulness I have for Grace.

  3. I keep thinking that I would have never guessed your past was like this. (We never know what a person's been through when we meet them) It is such a privilege to know it...so thanks again for sharing!


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