Today I wanted to share with you some of the history we have discovered and what an encouragement it has been to my weariness. The best we can tell...
This house was built in 1893. J.G.H. Stein (Marty's great grandpa) purchased it in 1908, along with surrounding property and a 2nd house next door. He owned a bank in Stoney Ridge and another right here in Pemberville. We found a book written in 1917 about the history of Northwest Ohio. In it we learn that he was a man of integrity and well loved by the town. He also regularly attended Bethlehem Lutheran. He and his wife Anna had a son named Leonard and many years later a daughter named Laurene.
Sometime in the 1920's due to a combination of the stock market crash and a dishonest partner he lost everything, except that he gave the property to his son. When all was done, Leonard sold this house back to him for a dollar. He lived in this house with his daughter and her family working across the street as the school janitor until the day he went to be with Jesus.
Laurene married Marty Wiegman and had 3 daughters: Annette, Marlene and Suzanne (Marty's Mom). Marlene always talked about being born in one of the bedrooms. Since they had decided that Laurene would name the girls and Marty would name the boys he gave a boy nickname to all of his girls. Marlene was always playing basketball in the driveway with the boys so her nickname "Pete" stuck and that is how everyone knew her. Pete never married but took care of everyone.
When Grandma Stein was too ill to attend the wedding Richard and Annette married in her bedroom so she could be there. Her funeral was in the parlor. Annette went to be with Jesus when she was only 27 due to breast cancer. Pete helped raise Annette's 2 year old son Jeff. When Grandpa Stein became too ill to assend the stairway a tiny little bathroom was squished under the stairs. After Laurene went to be with Jesus, Pete stayed in the family home, though she was rarely alone. Everyone knew Pete and visited often. She worked at Woodlane, a place for mentally and physically challenged people to be cared for and coached at a job. She was the only one who could work with Elton and she did for many years. I think it was because she genuinely cared about him. Just before the accident she was working with a family who did foster care, giving the Mom a much needed break.
After the accident before the funeral a pipe in the kitchen ceiling burst and caused a great deal of damage. It would not have been discovered except that a neighbor was coming over everyday to check on Alley Cat. It's funny how God uses things we least expect. 17 years ago, Marty & I lived with Aunt Pete for 9 months. I was pregnant with Kristin when Pete said she was going to get a kitten. I really didn't want a cat around with an infant and tried to suggest that she not but she wanted that kitten and so she got Alley Cat. We moved out soon after anyway but I find it ironic that now we have inherited Alley Cat with the house and God used her to bring the water problem to light before it could destroy the house. In fact, Pete also had a dog named Brandy. Brandy was with her in the accident. It was Brandy's dog tags that gave an emergency contact to alert family. She is now living with Marty's Mom and being loved quite well.
One thing we found when we were going through things in the house is a Bible. It has a black hard cover with a worn gold pattern. The binding shows it was opened often. Some of the corners look as if pages were turned again and again. The words are written in German and I cannot read a single one but it is a treasure that brought tears to my eyes yet again. Later I found a handwritten geneology showing that J.H.W. Heckman and C.M. Heckman came over from Germany in 1858. Was this Bible read and loved and passed down to their children and children's children? Did they do as it said and pray for their descendants? From what I can tell they did and that means even way back in the 1800's we were being prayed for and this house is no accident but a gift that God has saved for us. When we lost our home in bankruptcy 6 years ago and thought we would never own a home again; when I begged God to save our home; when I cried as I left it, God smiled and comforted me. He knew. He knew that was not our home. This was and He was saving it for us, it was not lost in bankruptcy and when all is settled we will own our home - a gift passed down from our family who loved Him and trusted him even when things looked bad. I wonder did God comfort Great Grandpa Stein with knowing that through it all he had a home to pass down that would shelter his family for generations? I don't know but it seems like something God would do. He's amazing like that. Now if we can just bring the beauty back to a very weary house. What stories they will tell!
Isaiah 25:1 (NLT) O LORD, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.