NOW IT CAN BE TOLD!--Chapter 17: Horsmonden to Downham! 17/4/91 DO 2798
--Storytime with Grandpa!
1. (Techi: Thank You Jesus for this time to have another story with Grandpa. We really pray, Jesus, that You'll bless it & help it to be profitable for us. Please give Grandpa wisdom, in Jesus' name. Thank You Lord!) Amen!
2. We're still in Horsmonden, a cute little English village, & this was a time of great decisions! Jeth decided he wanted to fly to England & bring us a copy of the "Chronolog" show that was aired on NBC, as it was very important that we know what was on it. So Deth ... I mean Jeth! I can't seem to get over calling him Deth! He was almost the death of us!--Of course, Deborah was even worse! Anyway, he suggested he'd like to come over & show it to us, since it wasn't shown in England, & I said, "Fine, we'd like to see it"--to see just how much effect we thought it was going to have on our Work in the U.S.
3. So Jeth came over with the film & we assembled all the leadership that were handy at the moment to watch it & discuss it. I can't remember everyone who was there, but it was Ho & Faith & Josh & Becky, & there were some others too, nearly a dozen of us gathered all together in the living room of the little Horsmonden cabin. They set up the film so we could watch it, & it was pretty bad!
4. They really smeared us, especially when it came to an interview with Ho! They hadn't been able to get at any other leadership, but Ho was in London, & they got at him. They needled him & daggered him all about "All Things" & our sexual freedom, which had by this time come out. And of course they really hyped it up as much as they could in the American media in order to smear us. By this time the Jews had found out that we were not quite so much in love with the Jews any more! So that really was their motive in attacking us. There was no other reason except to try to smear us & make us look bad. It was a one-hour show, one whole hour!--And nearly all about us!
5. So we leaders discussed & prayed about what we should do about the American Work, & it was decided that we were pretty well smeared in the U.S. & we'd have a bad name there. We wouldn't be able to operate on the streets as much etc. Right then we were very interested in bringing more people to pioneer Europe anyhow, so we agreed that it was time for everybody who could to get out of the U.S. & go to either Europe, Latin America, Australia or New Zealand. We prayed about it, & that's the way the Lord seemed to lead, & after that decision the Family Members began to pour into those countries.
Farewell Dinner with Jeth!
6. Jeth was always used to living pretty high on the hog, so he very generously and graciously invited us to go to dinner at the swanky little Inn there in Horsmonden just off the village square. (Techi: And did he pay for it?) Yes, he invited us, so he paid for us. Of course, we were paying for it too, really, but he had all the money. Anyhow, he invited us there because he liked to really kind of "strut his stuff" & show off!
7. And when we got there we found out that he & some of the others had gone crazy about fondue, but I was more interested in getting some slices off the roast beef that was cooking in front of the fire that night. A whole leg of beef was rotating on a spit. But no, they must have their fondue right at the table! I never did like the idea of that pot of boiling oil so near! (Techi: Was it meat fondue?) Yes. You had these little skewers & you stuck on a piece or two of meat, I think it was tidbits of lamb, & then you turned them in the deep oil & deep fried them.
8. It was very good, but I didn't think it was all that hot.--In fact, I thought it was too hot! I thought it was very dangerous to have that pot of boiling oil sitting on the table! If someone had spilled it & it had gone gushing out over the edge of the table, somebody could have gotten burned & hurt badly! So I had them keep it pretty well down at their end of the table since Jeth was being the host anyhow. I said, "No, thank you, keep it at your end!" So we all cooked our little bits of meat & it was very good, I enjoyed it. I think we also had baked potatoes with butter or sour cream, & some vegetable.
9. For us the dinner was pretty expensive, something like $5 apiece, which I thought was a little too much. But anyway, it was our final sort of farewell celebration for Jeth, who was going back to the States to carry our message that we thought as many Family Members as could should go to either Latin America or Europe, or even Southeast Asia & the Pacific. So we said our good-byes & Ho took Jeth up to London, to Heathrow Airport, to catch a plane back to the U.S.
Monster on the Move!
10. I can remember that's where I wrote the Letter "Monster on the Move" (ML#176), because the Family was really on the move then! (Techi: What was the Letter about?) About our invading Europe & Latin America etc. (Techi: And you were the monster?) Well, the Family was the monster, because it was a monstrous move! I don't remember it all exactly, you'll have to go back & read it, but I can remember dictating it there in the little cabin bedroom. I think I was in bed most of the time when I dictated it.
Househunting & Water Closets!
11. After we'd been in Horsmonden a few months, Ho brought us the news that the Boy Scouts wanted to have another retreat at the cabin in a couple of weeks. (Techi: How many months were you there?) I think about three months. When we first arrived in England, in those days they were giving six months at a stretch for visas. (Techi: That's pretty good!) So we'd been there about three months & we still had three months to go. They had pretty lenient visa extensions as well--after six months you could go back for another six-month extension, & after that they sent us a one-year extension! But we're not that far along yet in our story.
12. So we had to move, & Ho went out looking for a place for us to stay. He came back with reports about all different kinds of houses, including this big old mansion with two water closets! Did I tell you about that? (Techi: No.) It had two inside "outhouses" in the big bedroom! I mean, the place must have been 100 or 200 years old! And that's where you get the name "water closet," which now is designated by a "WC" on many European restrooms, usually with an outline of a man or a woman, showing whether it's for men or women. And of course now the WCs have flush toilets.
13. The original water closet was very much like an outhouse. You went in & there was a bench with a hole in it, only they had a big pot that was placed underneath. The big pot came right up flush with the bench so that when you closed the lid, no odours would get out into the bedroom. It also had a door, so when you got in there & sat down, you could shut the door. And they had two in this bedroom, side by side! (Techi: Why would you need two in one bedroom?) I guess one for the woman & one for the man, ha!
14. In those old-fashioned days way back yonder they were very very modest & very concerned about privacy. (Techi: Even though they were married & sleeping in the same bed together, they would have to have different toilets?) Well, yes. And when the women got out of bed & put on their clothes they weren't even supposed to show their ankles. In fact, they never took all their clothes off in those days even in bed! They wore great big nightshirts & nightgowns to bed so that neither one of them was ever stark naked. Oh, that would have been a disgrace! Even when I was a boy it was very taboo to go to bed stark naked. People who did were considered very risqu (indecent)!
The Downham House!
15. So finally Ho found this cute little house for us in Downham, in the South part of London, & it was as cute as a bug's ear! It was so small & cute! It was quite old, but it was on a nice residential street just off the big Lewisham Boulevard where the buses ran. It was a little two-story house. You came in the front door & there was a little hall with stairs on the right side, a little dining room & living room on the left side, & next to that was the kitchen, where the furnace was. Mama used to call the furnace my "baby," because I would sit there sometimes for hours at night nursing it along to make sure it was going to burn all right & we wouldn't freeze to death!
16. Actually the weather was quite mild in London then. There were days when we didn't wear anything out but our suits & dresses & a topcoat, that sort of thing. Later it got pretty cold & I wore my heavy fur-lined jacket with a high fur collar & my little warm fur hat.
17. So we moved from Horsmonden to what we called the Downham House. (Techi: Was that the street it was on?) I really don't remember the name of the street, but Downham was the name of the little residential area where it was. Mama & I moved into the big bedroom upstairs that overlooked the garden, & next to that there was a bathroom on one side, & a little tiny bedroom that overlooked the front of the house on the other side.
18. It was a very small house, but it had a nice little garden around it. Out in the back there were a couple of fruit trees & a little toolshed for gardening tools. And also between the back of the house & the toolshed was a big coal bin where we had our coal delivered. They came through with a big hundred-pound sack of coal on their backs & dumped it into this big coal bin. We'd usually get 200 pounds at a time, two sacks, so we wouldn't have to have them deliver it so often. Then I'd go out there with my little coal bucket & coal shovel & shovel coal out of the bin into the coal bucket & bring it into the kitchen where the little furnace was.
19. The furnace was only about a foot wide, about two feet high, & about two feet long, believe it or not! (Techi: Was it attached to anything?) Oh, yes, it was attached to a flue or a smoke stack--a stove pipe, it's called--which went through the kitchen wall to the outside.
20. I really learned how to fire a furnace in those days! I read the instructions carefully & prayerfully. And I tried to never let the furnace go out, that was the secret! Before we went to bed at night I'd nurse it along & get the house real good & warm, then I'd damp it down so that there would be hot coals glowing that would last all night. Then I'd go down there first thing in the morning & fire it up with another shovelful or two of coal. I'd nurse that thing along for maybe an hour or so every morning to really get it going good. So I worked with that furnace at least an hour every morning & an hour every night until Mama got to calling it my "baby," ha! I sure "nursed" it! But it did a great job!
21. The house had a very good heating system. It wasn't just steam heat, but it's what they call hot water heat. In the bathroom there was a little water pump, & it was thermostatically regulated by the temperature of the water. If the hot water would begin to cool down any, the thermostat would come up & the pump in the bathroom would start pumping, & even the furnace itself had a sort of thermostat that regulated the flap, or the damper. So the whole system worked very well. In our big room upstairs there was one big hot water radiator, & there was one in the small upstairs bedroom, one in the living room, & a little one in the bathroom. It was such a cute little house! It was very small, & that's just about all there was to it.
22. Oh, & out by the little tool shed, there was a rain barrel! And every time it rained, the troughs all around the roof of the toolshed would catch the rain & it would flow down into the rain barrel. I remember the girls used to like to go out there & get water for washing their hair, because it was soft water, & there's something about soft water they like better. Did you ever hear of that? (Techi: Yes, we tried it on Mommy's hair.) So they used to go out there and dip it out by the bucketful and come in and wash their hair over the kitchen sink. (Techi: Wasn't it cold?) Well, they'd heat it on the stove first.
23. (Techi: So how many girls were there? I thought there was only one girl, & that was Mama.) Well, there was Mama & Becky. Becky kept house for us & cooked for us. (Techi: Oh, I didn't know that.) Yes, I'm sorry, I forgot to tell you that. We called Becky in because she was having a lot of trouble with Miguel. (Techi: Who was Miguel?) Miguel was her husband, who was at that time called Abraham. He was quite a famous musician in our early days who wrote many of our early songs.
24. I'd always been very fond of Becky. She was beautiful & looked almost like an angel with beautiful long blonde hair, & she was so sweet. She's Scandinavian in background, Swedish, & she had come to us as early as Mother's little cottage in Huntington Beach. (Techi: Is that the same Becky from Arthur & Becky?) Yes, it's the same Becky.
25. In those days she & Miguel were helping to pioneer Europe, but we heard that she was having a lot of trouble with him so we invited her to come & cook & keep house for us. And she was a very good cook! She used to help my Mother cook & keep house at Mother's little cottage in Huntington Beach. I can remember her often standing at the sink doing dishes. She was very sweet & humble & very beautiful! I liked her very much!
26. When the Family began in Huntington Beach, Mother Eve was getting rather independent & wilful & disobedient & I was fed up with her, & I started praying for another wife. Mother Eve & I were living out in the Cruiser right outside of my Mother's back door. There was a space just barely big enough from her little porch to the property line to park the Cruiser along the alley, & I had to really work at it & struggle to park it in the yard off of the alley. So we stayed right out there in the Cruiser on the alley.
27. Then after my Mother died we used the cottage to house the girls. We didn't like them to stay down at the Club where there were so many boys, so we made my Mother's old bedroom into the girls' dorm. (Techi: You didn't want them to stay there at the Club?) Well, the girls were a little leery about staying down there with all those hippy boys, so we had about four girls living in my Mom's cottage. A lot of the kids who came to the Club lived out, but we had about four girls living in my Mother's old bedroom.
28. I remember one night Becky wasn't feeling well or something, & I went in there to pray for her & kiss her good night. I was really considering her as a candidate for my next wife after Eve, believe it or not! She had all the qualifications: She was very spiritual, full of the Spirit, spoke in tongues, was very prayerful & had been quite a Prophetess at the Club. So I figured, "Well, here is about the most spiritual girl I can find, & she has all these other talents too!--She's beautiful & she can cook. She'd make a good wife!"--Ha! (Techi: I'm glad you didn't marry her instead of Mommy, though!) Well, she was very sweet.
29. Anyway, I went in that night to kiss her good night & I was going to propose to her & tell her that I'd like her to be my wife. But she must have felt instinctively that that was what I was going to say, & before I could even ask her she said, "Uncle Dave, I'm in love with Miguel!"
30. (Techi: She called you Uncle Dave?) Yes, that was my most common name in those days. On the trek from Huntington Beach up into Canada & then down to Miami & Texas, they were still calling me "Uncle Dave" all that time. That was my name at the Club. (Techi: Not "Dad" so much?) I don't remember when they first started calling me Dad. I think Mac, that Scottish boy (Sir Robert or Justin, now named Newheart), was one of the first. And of course because Josh had married Faithy, & Jeth had married Deborah & they all called me Dad, then the rest of the kids got to calling me Dad too--especially those who were closest to me & that lived with me.
31. Well, I went in to propose to Becky that night, & right away she said, "Uncle Dave, you know, I'm in love with Miguel." I said, "Oh, you are? That's fine!" We thought a lot of Miguel in those days. He was one of our inspirationalists, & he had written some of our best music, like "The Cry of Revolution" etc., along with that other boy...what was his name?--The boy who was head of a gang of hippies & drugsters & dopers & whatnot. Oh, what was his name? (Techi: Shadrach?) Shadrach! Yes, you're right! Shad! How did you remember? (Techi: It just sort of came.) I prayed & the name popped in your head! We won him to the Lord, & then he went out witnessing to all of his friends, & they all came to the Lord too! He was quite a leader & we made him the manager of the Light Club!
32. Ho would preach & testify & lead the meetings at night, & some nights I would come down to give a Bible Study on Bible Prophecy. But Shad was the main leader under Ho & he stayed at the Club. He was pretty tough & he kept those boys corralled & on their toes! He was an expert provisioner, & that's when we started organising provisioning teams that would take different routes from the Club to go out & collect bread & sandwiches & all kinds of things that people gave us. If they were closed, they would just set things out for us & we'd pick'm up!
How We Came to be Called the Children of God!
33. So Shad was really in charge of the Club, & he brought many of his buddies & girlfriends into the Family, which was then called "Teens for Christ." We weren't called "the Family" until Tenerife. (Techi: What about "Children of God"? When did that name come about?) Well, that started on our trek across the U.S. when our hippy caravan stayed in a junk yard at the back of a truck stop in Camden, New Jersey! We were on our way North to Washington D.C. & Canada, because Josh had gotten an invitation from a doctor he'd met on the beach in Miami, Doctor Martin, who had a big Christian youth camp up in Laurentide, near Montreal. It wasn't being used during the Winter, so he invited us to go up there & use it because Josh had witnessed to him about our Work.
34. Dr. Martin had a church up there & a lovely home, & he used to have a Christian school for English-speaking boys. That was in Quebec, which is the French-speaking province of Canada, North of Montreal. Dr. Martin was a Protestant who had received a lot of persecution from the Catholic officials who persecuted him & accused him of all kinds of things. They closed up his school, stole all of his files & did all kinds of terrible things to him! But he still had this big campground with quite a few cottages & dormitories & a meeting hall & all of that. But why was I telling you that? (Techi: You were telling about how we first got the name the Children of God.)
35. The one who actually named us that was a local reporter at that truck stop in Camden, New Jersey! I don't know exactly how he found us. Maybe he was eating there & the truck stop manager had told him that he had a hundred hippies camped out on the back end of his truck stop, but he got wind of it somehow & he came out to see what it was all about. He must have sensed that there was something important going on. He was very wise and I'm sure it was of the Lord that he came out to see us.
36. At that time, Josh was our PR man who made all of our public contacts, and I never showed myself at all to the System. I was more or less in hiding even then, which had begun at Huntington Beach because we got so much persecution there. I kind of stayed out of sight and let the others handle relations with the media.
37. So Josh went out to meet this reporter who said, "Well, who are you people, anyhow?" And it must have been the Lord, Josh just said, "We are the Children of God, God's children!" And the reporter said, "Who is your leader?" And Josh said, "Moses!" And it went on from there, all about what we did & our work & witnessing & travelling. Josh told him, "We're tired of Egypt land & we're searching for the Promised Land!" And of course in those days I was still planning to go to Israel, thinking that was the Promised Land!--Ha!
Proposal to Esther!
38. Now where are we?--Way back with me about to propose to Becky! But she was not the only one I proposed to--or almost proposed to--there was also Esther, Ho's wife, who I proposed to later. Becky didn't exactly turn me down, she just didn't even give me a chance to propose! I think she just instinctively knew that I was going to ask her, & before I could she said, "I'm in love with Miguel." And later we sent her & Miguel down to Miami to help Josh and Faith and their team.
39. But Esther had joined at the beginning of that Summer & had been staying at our other house with the other girls. Before she joined she had been looking for a way to serve the Lord, & met one of Dave Wilkerson's workers who knew about the Light Club when Teen Challenge opened it. She called the Club on a Wednesday night to ask if she could come to help out, which by this time we were operating on week nights, & one of our boys said we'd be happy to have her! She had been a College student who had been trying to serve the Lord, but was looking for a way to get into full-time service, so she came out to California by train from Kansas by faith & stopped to visit her cousin at the Life Bible Institute, which was a Four-Square Gospel Bible school at Aimee's Angelus Temple. She called the next day to let us know she'd arrived in town & Ho drove up to L.A. & picked her up!
40. So she came to the Light Club not knowing who she was going to find, but she fell in love with us right away & loved the Club & she became our star singer down there every night! She really had a good voice & sang beautifully & played the guitar beautifully too! So she fell in love with it all & loved it, & I fell in love with her, because I was looking for a wife! (Techi: This is after Becky?) Yes, after Becky told me she was in love with Miguel, then Esther moved over to Grandmother's & came next.
41. I took Esther out to dinner a couple of times so we could get to know each other better, & she was just charming! She was cultured & a real lady, like Becky. She was a lot like Becky. And she also was a good cook, which was pretty important. (Techi: What did Mother Eve think about all of this?) Oh, she didn't care! She was so independent & had gotten so fed up with me, she was hardly ever even around. By that time I was living alone back there in the Cruiser. (Techi: How come Eve was jealous of Mommy, but not of the others?) Well, Eve finally got the point that your Mama was here to stay! (Techi: Oh yes, & the other girls were just sort of...) They were passing by.
42. So Esther & I were sitting out in the park one day & I started to propose to her, & I think she got the point. But she said, "I wanted to ask if you could pray about whether it could be God's Will for me to marry your son." (Techi: That threw water on that one!) Yes, that really doused cold water on me, & here I'd lost another one! Well, the Lord was saving me for your Mother, of course, as she had not yet joined the Family. (Techi: Yes, Grandpa! We wanted Mommy!)
Back to England--Closing & Prayer!
43. Well, now back to England! We've moved from Horsmonden up to the little house in Downham, which was right near the city of Lewisham. London is a huge metropolis composed of a lot of small towns. So near our house there was a little shopping center on Lewisham Boulevard, which was a big boulevard, a main road. There was a grocery store & a Chinese restaurant with delicious food, where we usually went to eat when we didn't want to cook, & there were buses of all kinds! Finally we even discovered there was a green bus you could catch going by on Lewisham Boulevard that took you all the way out to Heathrow Airport!--Something even Ho hadn't discovered!
44. So we'd better end our story there at the Downham house, because we've already run over time, & I'll tell you the rest about Downham & Lewisham next time. OK? (Kids: OK!) Praise the Lord! Who wants to pray the closing prayer? (David: I will! Thank You Jesus! Thank You for supplying the time that we could be together, Lord, & for Grandpa telling us about all these things. Thank You for how You worked it out for Grandpa to find Mommy & how they've been such a good team for You through all these years. Thank You so much for working that out so well, in Jesus' name. Thank You Lord!) Amen!
45. But I didn't find Mama, Mother Eve found Mama! (David: Really?) (Techi: It was her own doing!)--Or undoing! It was Eve & Faithy who first met Mama, & Faithy really got the burden to win her. Mother Eve & Faithy had gone to Tucson, Arizona because Brother Ware had opened his church to us, & they were having a terrific impact on Tucson! And that's where they met your Mom, at a Full Gospel Businessmen's meeting there. But that's a long story & I've told it other places. (See "Our Love Story!", ML#1358, BOR1.)
46. Faithy is really a hard seller & she persuaded her! Mama said she didn't know whether she wanted to quit her job or not. She wanted to serve the Lord fulltime, but she just didn't really know for sure how she wanted to do that. So Faithy & Mom persuaded her, "Why don't you come out to California & visit us?" They knew that she'd fall in love with the Work if she came out & saw it.--But they didn't expect her to fall in love with me! And that's how we got started.
47. Mama really found me, ha! When she first walked into the living room of Grandma's little cottage we were just sitting down to eat supper. Faithy came in & introduced her to us & said she was a preacher's daughter. Mama was still quite a little church systemite then. (Techi: Yes, I'll bet she was! Older than everyone else too.) Yes, she was 23 & nearly all the rest of them were teenagers.
48. But the thing that really impressed me is the first thing she did! I got up to meet her, & as was our custom in those days, I gave her a hug & started to give her a little peck on the cheek.--But she kissed me full on the mouth with a nice big luscious juicy kiss! God bless her! And I thought to myself, "Boy, this gal is some preacher's daughter!"--Ha!
49. So we'll talk more about Downham next time, because quite a bit of our lives were spent there. We were there almost two years altogether, including Horsmonden & Downham. And it was from Downham that we left for Tenerife, David. (David: Oh, really?) (Techi: Really?) Yes! (Techi: Oh, wow, we're that close to David!) Yes! We're that close to the birth of David!
Picture captions & text boxes:
View from our room overlooking the rose garden.
HOP is a vine grown for its papery, yellowish-green flowers, which are used in brewing beer. The flowers, also called hops, grow in conelike clusters that measure from 1 to 4 inches (2.5 to 10 centimeters) in length. The petals have tiny glands that contain various oils and resins (sticky substances). These materials prevent the growth of bacteria in beer and give the beverage its bitter taste.
Hops are harvested in late Summer or early Autumn. Workers cut the vines by hand and place them in picking machines that separate the hops from the vines. The hops are then cleaned, dried in ovens, and pressed into bales for shipment or storage.
Camping in a little Summer cottage in beautiful Horsmonden, England, 1972.
The outside toilet of our little cottage.
BAROMETER. Air seems like it doesn't weigh anything, but really it does. Air pushes against your body from all sides. We call this pushing effect of air, "air pressure." A barometer is a little device that measures air pressure & is useful in predicting the weather. When the barometer reads high air pressure, that usually means fair weather. Low pressure often means stormy weather is coming. Barometers can also be used to measure altitude, because air pressure decreases as altitude increases. If you go way up to the top of a mountain, the air pressure will be low.
On the face of the barometer, the words stormy, rain, change, fair & very dry usually appear. These words should not be taken too seriously because it is the direction & the speed with which the pointer moves one way or the other, rather than the word that it points to, that foretells the weather. Usually a rising barometer indicates the approach of cooler dryer air & fair weather. On the other hand, a falling barometer usually shows that warmer, moist air is moving in, bringing bad weather. A change in pressure of .25 cm. or more in six hours is considered rapid & means a fast change in the weather.
You can expect the weather to be fair when the barometer remains steady or goes up slowly; expect weather to get worse when the pressure falls steadily or rapidly.
Firing the furnace.--London, 1973.
1968, Tucson--Betrothing Miguel & Becky in Brother Ware's Chapel.
Esther singing at the Light Club--Huntington Beach, Calif., 1968!
Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family