Grateful for Mission Christmas, Maine 1968

Grateful for Mission Christmas, Maine 1968

downeast.com/
Christmas 1968
By Victor Stanley

The story of my childhood reads like the beginning of a Steinbeck novel, but it’s all true. Times were tough in the mid-1950s in Down East Maine. Jobs were scarce, and people were desperate. My parents came down with California Fever, lured by the promise of work at a new Westinghouse manufacturing plant near San Jose. So, in the summer of 1955, they canned as much mackerel as they could into quart-size Ball jars, packed all of their worldly possessions into an old pickup, and headed west with their three sons, my aunt and uncle and their two boys, and the family dog, Rowser. I was 10 months old.

=====

“Christmas is coming, and we don’t have anything. No presents, no Christmas goodies, nothing for Christmas dinner. We need God’s help.” When it was time to pray, I asked for it. I didn’t say anything to anyone, but I was frightened by the possibility of having nothing on Christmas Day.

Later that week, I got off the school bus and walked into the kitchen. My mother grabbed me and gave me a big hug. “Your prayers were answered,” she proclaimed, waving a white envelope over her head. “The Maine Seacoast Mission sent us $50 for Christmas!”

My mother stretched that $50 as far as it would go.

Full story online.

Victor Stanley’s Down East Memories of Maine Seacoast Mission’s Positive Impact on His Life

Victor Stanley’s Down East Memories of Maine Seacoast Mission’s Positive Impact on His Life

BAR HARBOR, ME — A big “Thank you” from the Mission to Down East magazine and Victor Stanley for the beautiful “Christmas 1968” essay, and for the many great memories Rev. Stanley includes about Maine Seacoast Mission.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of Down East magazine’s December 2018 issue for Rev. Stanley’s full piece. https://downeast.com/category/issues/

=====

Downeast Magazine – December 2018
Christmas 1968
by Victor Stanley

The story of my childhood reads like the beginning of a Steinbeck novel, but it’s all true. Times were tough in the mid-1950s in Down East Maine. Jobs were scarce and people were desperate.

*****

…I got off the school bus and walked into the kitchen. My mother grabbed me and gave me a big hug. “Your prayers were answered,” she proclaimed, waving a white envelope over her head. “The Maine Seacoast Mission sent us $50 for Christmas!”

*****

On Christmas Eve, we…went to church… [E]ach of us…received a present…. Once again, the gifts were from the Maine Seacoast Mission.

*****

Fifty years have passed since…. Scholarships from the Maine Seacoast Mission made it possible for me to go to college and seminary….

*****

…[The] Mission still…help[s] families through long and cold Maine winters. It still provides scholarships for thousands of hard-working students and has expanded its ministry with after-school programs and medical care.

#####