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Youth Page

Written by Mr. Peter Langbroek
September 11, 2001
That Tuesday night, Tammy awoke suddenly. She lay there, her heart beating. She looked around her dark bedroom. The dresser and the chair cast eerie shadows. She listened to a noise outside. The coyotes howled in the field. She saw the crack of light from the hallway and heard the muffled sounds downstairs in the living room. She heard no laughter but low tones. She got out of bed, opened the door, and tip-toed to the stairs.

Tammy's dad had been phoning since he got home from work and Mom had cleaned the house before people came. Extra chairs had been set up in the living room. Then, before bedtime, the doorbell had kept ringing and people from the church and other friends had come. Now she could hear what they were talking about. It was about what had happened today. She too had seen the plane, the towers, and the huge explosion on TV. The images had been racing through her head all day.

It was quiet in the living room below. From the stairs, Tammy saw Dad, cross-legged with the Bible open, nervously asking everyone to turn to Psalm 46. "When I thought about what happened this morning in New York, this psalm kept coming to my mind. It's been a real comfort to Sonya and I, when we were in the accident, and when Sonya had cancer. IÕll read it, and Ben, could you pray for us?" he asked. Dad read.

Mom looked up and saw Tammy. Dad finished reading. "Tammy,Ó Mom called out, Òwhy aren't you in bed?"

ÒI canÕt sleep, Mom."

ÒCome down here then and sit beside me."

Everyone waited and looked at Tammy as she nervously sat down on her mother's lap. Then Ben prayed.

After that, slowly, the people began to talk. Tammy heard what they said.

"We always thought those things would happen over there, not here."

"It's like the Bible says would happen in the last days."

ÒIt also says, ÔBe still and know that I am God.Õ We can't trust in our power and wealth. We must trust God only."

"We can only pray that God will turn this into something good."

ÒRachel, don't you have a niece living near New York."

"Yes, I tried to phone her, but the phone was busy."

"I wonder how the New Jersey church is making out."

After a while, Dad stood up and passed out Psalters. Everyone was quiet. "Let's start by singing Psalter 128."

Tammy looked at the Psalter page. It said Martin Luther on the right of the page, and in the middle it said Ein Feste Burg. Tammy sang along. They finished and she whispered to Mom, ÒWhat does that mean, Mom?" pointing to the title, ÒThe Lord of Hosts.Ó

ÒIt means ÔA Mighty Fortress,Õ honey.Ó

They sang more Psalters, then Bill prayed, and soon everyone left. Mom looked at Tammy tenderly. "Now, off to bed." She hugged Tammy.

"Good night, Mom.Ó

October 31 2001
Tammy sat in the large gymnasium on a chair, in a row, among the 124 children in school. It was a Reformation Day Assembly. Mr. Van Brugge, the principal, stood in front of them behind a lectern, next to the overhead.

ÒI'm sure you all leamed a lot about Martin Luther this week, havenÕt you? Who was he?"

The childrenÕs hands went up. "He nailed 99 Theses on the door at Wittenburg."

ÒHe taught that we are only saved by grace through faith, and not by works."

ÒHe fought against the selling of indulgences."

Mr. Van Bmgge continued getting answers. Then he stopped. ÒEveryone, put your thumbs up if you think he was a fearless man.Ó Everyone's thumbs went up, including Tammy's.

ÒI hate to disappoint you. Martin Luther was not. He was a monk who had no desire to become a leader of the Reformation. He was a man who, deep inside, was scared, sad, and easily disappointed. Deep inside, he was fighting a battle with himself and Satan. And around him he had many enemies who wished him dead. If he was not fearless, why then did he fight so hard and appear so brave?Ó

It was a tough question. No one raised a hand.

ÒThe answer,Ó said Mr. Van Brugge, Òis in one of his favourite psalms, Psalm 46. Let me read it, and then let us sing one of his hymns. Mr. Van Brugge read, "God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the seaÉÓ

Mr .Van Brugge finished reading. He put a transparency on the overhead. Shining on the screen was a song, ÒA Mighty Fortress is our God.Ó

"You see," he said, "Luther could be calm in the midst of troubles because he knew God and put his trust in Him. The towers of the world, no matter how big they are, can fall. But not God! He was Martin Luther's mighty fortress! He was his Saviour, and Luther knew God was beside him all the way!"

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