Saturday, December 31, 2016

Saturday's Scribbles: Who Knew?

Yesterday we went on a road trip with our friends Mary Lou and Keith.  They had known about a nativity that had been built by German POW's in the 1940's in the small town of Algona Iowa, and wanted to go see it, so we headed out with them on a mini adventure.  It was located in a small building, in a small room~  a display of 65 characters created 1/2 life size.  The story behind this display is not in any way small, it is fascinating!

Nearly 400,000 German POW's were sent to America and put into camps across our country. Who knew?  I certainly had no idea we shipped prisoners of war over here.  These POW's were put to work on farms, in factories, etc. One of the officers was very homesick for his family and homeland, and he build a small nativity to have in his quarters.  It drew attention and the commander of the POW camp asked him to build a larger nativity.  Eduard Kaib and others created the large nativity you see below in one year.  Each character has a wood center, then covered with cloth and molded into shape with cement.   The nativity continued to draw attention well beyond the end of the war when the prisoners were returned to Germany. Eventually it went on display and during the month of December it is open to the public.  When we were there 100 people had gone through that day!

What is most fascinating to me is how the POW's and surrounding town people interacted together and became friends.  More than one POW returned to the area because it played a significant role in their lives.  We heard many stories about the POW's......... God was in the midst of this POW camp.......and the nativity brought people together in a unique way.  God weaves HIS story into our lives in so many different ways.  Our road trip to the POW Nativity was a nice way to end the year.

Yes, it is the end of another year, and according to social media many seem to be happy to see it go. There are certainly many challenges that we can look back at.  Just the number of celebrity/famous people dying has been astounding.  Then there is the election, police and fireman ambushes, terrorist attacks, and more.  I confess at times we are among the "many".  We are stepping into 2017 with expectations and declarations that it will be a year filled with joy, health, peace, and adventures with God.  All that good stuff God speaks of in His Word. For tonight we plan on spending our last evening in the coziness of our home, watching a movie, reflecting on what is behind us and dreaming about what is ahead.

Happy New Year's Eve!  May your coming year be filled with peace, joy, love, health, and a few adventures that have you saying......"Who knew?!"

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