When you get writer's block, just send me a comment and I'll draft several questions for you to answer. That's what Karabeth, from On a High Hill, did for me this week. I had fun going down memory lane and answering her questions!

: Karin, do you have family remaining in Germany and have you kept in touch with them?

: Yes, and no. My family immigrated to Canada in 1954, leaving lots of family in the old country. My father was one of 13 children and my mother one of 9, so you can imagine! Three of dad’s siblings had moved to Canada before us and all the others stayed in Germany.

: And the keeping in touch?

: The four siblings in Canada have kept in touch all these years with the rest, and even took trips to Europe several times in their lives. Now, the cousins in Canada have all kept in touch with each other, but only the oldest of us cousins has stayed in touch with those in Germany.

Karabeth: I'm assuming that - like I am - you are a minister's wife.

Karin: Well, let me explain that. When hubby was at Seminary in Sioux Falls, I was a student pastor’s wife and had limited responsibilities with the ministry as I worked as a Medical Secretary to earn the finances for his studies. I even got a Ph. T. degree when hubby graduated. Don’t laugh – it’s a certificate that acknowledged that I was Putting Hubby Through! From Sioux Falls, it was off to Hartford Seminary in Connecticut for doctoral studies and pastoring two country churches in Massachusetts! What an amazing time of our lives! We’re still connected with friends there!

: And where to after his studies were completed and he graduated?

Karin: We accepted a call to pastor a church in Woodside, which is in Queens, one of the boroughs of New York. We loved the people!! What happened next was a very hard decision to make, but we had the full support and encouragement of the church board. During our first 10 months, just beautifully into working together in ministry, hubby accepted the call from a Bible college in Alberta to become their Professor of Old Testament. This is what all his education and his degrees were about! The board saw that this was a perfect opportunity for hubby and gave us their blessing. The Lord had opened that door in interesting ways! This is where he served from ’72 until his retirement 4 years ago!!

: Aside from the fact that our primary responsibility is to care for the man himself, what was your role in his ministry?

: My role in ministry has been so wonderfully varied! I’ve sung in choirs, played piano, led the women’s ministries, served as board member and worked on a committee to set up a provincial German Faith conference for many years. In my job for the past 23 years, I have absolutely loved ministry to seniors in a long-term care centre. I’ve been the volunteer services manager, then became the site supervisor and home care coordinator for two seniors manors, and on September 11, 2009 I finally retired. BUT - the big BUT - I was retired for 6 weeks and have now returned to be a half-time pastoral care assistant with the same organization. What a blessing this ministry has been and still is!!

: You've lived in at least 3 different countries and various states and provinces. Where was your favorite location to live and why?

What a joy it has been to live in so many places - Germany, Manitoba, Alberta, both in Canada and South Dakota, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Kentucky, in the USA. I have loved it everywhere for many different reasons! I'm sorry I can't even pick a favorite!! Spring in Kentucky, Summer in Alberta, Fall in Massachusetts, and Winter in Southern Germany or failing that, in California (have never lived there, lol!)

Karabeth: What is it like when your family gets together for a reunion?

I’ve never been part of a huge family re-union. When our immediate family gets together – all 17 of us – we have a ball! The kids are normal, full of life and noisy. There’s lots of testosterone with all the rambunctious boys! We still enjoy some of our traditional German dishes, especially at Christmas! We just wished we lived closer to each other!

Karabeth: How long does it take for you to compose your poetry?

Karin: Sometimes just an hour or so. The Lord has given some poems where I just sat down, started writing and it was finished within a half hour. My uncle wrote poetry and as a teen I would write short poems for people’s birthdays. Before my uncle passed away he prayed over me and asked the Lord to give me a special gift for ministry. I believe that the Lord answered his prayer. The traumas of life have drawn me closer to my heavenly Father and He allowed me to express my thoughts and prayers through poems. He has used the poems to bless others. I have not studied how to write poetry and don’t even know if I’ve written a sonnet, free verse or whatever else those poems are called. I’m not a deeply complicated person, but passionate about the Lord, my family, my friends and how I can serve Him best. I’ve also written lots of fun lyrics to old-time songs for our staff at work, poems as words of appreciation for our volunteers, and poems for special milestones in friends' lives. Not everyone loves to read poems and that’s ok. It was our Evi, of Keeping up with Yesterday, who wanted and encouraged me to put all my poems on a blog! So, here I am. Thank you for letting me share a part of my life’s journey. This was fun!

: Thanks so much for answering my questions, Karin. God bless!


Karabeth said...

Well done! You did a remarkable job of making something out of all my ramblings. :)

And now I know more about you!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh Karin, I loved it.. I had no idea of your background. I knew you were a very spiritual woman and I knew you had the gift of poetry.

May God Bless You. Thank you for coming into MY life!

McMahon Manifesto said...

What a wonderful post! I thoroughly enjoyed learning things about you I didn't already know. Thanks so much for sharing.

Betty said...

You are a blessing to me too! I love that we got to know each other through our blogs and that we have similar German heritages. I admire your poetry so much and hope that you continue to bless other people with your gift!

Joy in the Burbs... said...

Karin, I enjoyed reading this and how you have served the Lord and remained faithful to Him all thru the years.
What a wonderful ministry you and your husband have had together. I know he treasures your support with all the schooling and moves.
I'm a PK. So I can relate to some degree. My dad has remained at the same church for 29 + years though.
I know you have touched so many at the long-term care facilities. What a mission field that would be.

Thanks for sharing you life with us and blessing us with your poetry.


Lady Dorothy said...

I enjoyed your interview very much! Thank you for sharing your life with us.

(I may take you up on the offer one day, too!)