Here we are in Ft.Worth. We now have a home( mobile), a baby, jobs, friends, and a very busy schedule. Sandra comes home one day crying from school and her principal has just chews her out. I mean she is heartbroken. She wants to quit but she can't. I tell her that we need to pray for Mr. Delaney that God would change his heart. This we do and we pray hard. In a matter of a day or two his whole attitude changes and soon Sandra is one of his favorite teachers. "The power of prayer". Even though we have jobs our money is tight. We could buy groceries in those days for 20 dollars a week. We could not go to a movie and the only time we could eat out , if we had any money was on Wednesday at El Fenix where they had 2 for 1 enchilada dinners. I think they were 3 dollars and we ordered water. On Tammi's very first birthday she got sick from allergies. Ft.Worth is the allergy capital of the world. So after a visit with the allergist she had to take shots weekly. There were times that after tithing, paying bills,and other extra expenses we didn't have anything until the next pay period. The money had run out and there was still another week. I am sure some of you have been there or even there now. But God always came through. Maybe some family would visit us and bring us a couple of sacks of food and take us out to eat. Always a special treat. Or I would get a preaching engagement and get an offering. One time a friend invited me to preach at this country church he was pastoring. He said don't worry someone will invite you to eat after the service. When I got there they told me to teach Sunday School. So that I did and then preached. After the service on of the deacons came up and said that they were not going to have church that evening and that we could go home. There we were out in the country, little money and a baby to feed. So on our way back home we stop at a small town restaurant and order a hamburger with fries, two glasses of water and split the hamburger three ways. Of course, Tammi got all the french fries which she was happy to have. I know on at least one occasion when we were short for the month and we needed grocery money, I went to our mailbox and there was an anonymous envelope with some money in it. God always provided.( Jehovah-jireh) He is faithful and true.
On Monday morning after a night of meeting head-on with Jesus Christ and He winning out. I head to Seminary. I enroll. I get a dorm room because Sandra and Tammi are still back in Port Neches. This is a Summer session of six weeks. I have to take two course as a full load in the Summer. Immediately, I file for an exemption with my draft board and I am exempt right away with a IV-D classification. God is truly directing our path through all of this. We have a another situation. We have a mobile home and we need to move it to Ft.Worth. The Seminary has a trailer park so I go inquire about getting a space. The lady tells me there is a waiting list but she would put me down on the list. In the mean time I am attending class and looking for a job. I go by the Job Board and there is a notice that St. Mary's School is looking for a coach and PE teacher . I go to that school. interview and I am hired that day. I now have a part-time job coaching girl's volleyball, boys and girl's basketball and girls softball plus teach two classes of PE. That week also as I was walking down the hall going to class and the lady who manages the trailer park flags me down and says to me , when can you get your trailer here? If you can get it here within three days you got a space. I said I will do it. So on that Saturday, I had my family and our mobile home in Ft.Worth in place ready to live.
Then there was this other situation, Sandra needed a teaching job so we start looking. We go to school district offices applying and eventually find an elementary teaching job at Kennedale,TX, not that far from our home. So within a matter of days we have a place to live, two jobs and we find a lady to keep Tammi during the day just blocks from our home. God is truly at work. In the trailer park two other families are there, the Simpsons and the Sneeds. Neither of them have children so Tammi is the center of attraction for all six of us. The saying it takes a village to raise a child was certainly true in this case. We all loved here and she became very spoiled, in a good way.. All three couples plus Tammi had some incredible times together. we are now in place for the 1970 Fall term at Seminary and Sandra is about to begin teaching. It seems like we are on a straight and smooth road.
Like I said Tammi was born in Beaumont, TX. I was coaching at Vidor Jr. High and everything was going well with us. One day I receive a notice from my draft board requesting my attendance. So I loaded on a bus and rode to Houston where I went through the exams they give you and the last word from them was you will be hearing from us. This is 1970 the height of the Viet Nam War. What to do? Do I wait and see or what? So I call my draft board and a real nice lady answered. I told her that I had a teaching job, a new baby and was there something I could do. She said wait a minute and when she came back on the phone she asked me why I dropped out of Seminary. I told her I had to support my family. She then went on to say that perhaps if I went back to Seminary and filed for an exemption that maybe I would not have to go. Immediately after talking with her I called Southwestern and asked about getting in. The registrar said a new Summer semester was starting the next week and if I got there and enrolled I would be back into the classroom. But I need to back up a few weeks before that. Before the draft situation, I had been struggling with my call to the ministry. I was invited to preach at a little country church. Still wondering is this what God really wants me to do. I prayed God if you want me to continue in the ministry let there be two people make decisions today. Sunday morning I preached, nothing happen. Sunday night there were fifteen people in the congregation. I thought to myself will this is not going to happen. [Lack of faith]. I preached , offer an invitation and two people came forward wanting to unite with the church. I thought this is proof positive that God still wants me to continue on in the ministry. Then fast forward to the draft, Seminary and here it is Summer 1970. I am headed by to school. I leave Sandra and Tammi in Port Neches and head to Ft.Worth on Sunday afternoon. I arrive in Irving and go into the auditorium of Plymouth Park Baptist Church where they are having a youth-led service. God is all over the place in this service. The Holy Spirit's presence is so evident. He begins to work on me. I fall under deep conviction and when the invitation is given and go forward in deep contrition. I am a broken man. I am face with so much uncertainty. I fall into the arms of Blaine Parsons just weeping. Blaine says, " Just lay down at the cross." I did that day and Jesus forgave me, cleansed me, and filled me. Joy unspeakable came over me and I was truly set free. But there was much more ahead.