Friday, June 28, 2013

Sometimes the Doctor is Wrong

Another couple we met during our years as pastor was Kathryn and Earl Thye (Tee). They moved into the Bogard, Missouri, community in the 1960's with their nine children, and of course, some of the kids were close in age to ours. They were members of a German Baptist Church, but since there was not one of their churches anywhere near our town, they joined our church.  Immediately the attendance almost doubled! We were so happy to have a nice Christian family with all those children in our congregation.

Kathryn and Earl were sweet, down-to-earth people, the salt of the earth, so to speak. Their children were well-behaved and so much fun. We learned later that shortly after their marriage they had three miscarriages and the doctor told them they would likely never conceive. "You two had better think about adoption if you want a family," he said. But this time the doctor was wrong.

Earl said "I thought God was in charge of babies. We're going to pray harder." Kathryn promised God that if he would let her become a mother, she would have as many children as God gave her.  And she gave birth to nine children--6 boys and three girls.

The local Catholic priest heard about this family and went to visit them, to invite them to his parish. He thought they were surely Catholic, because of their large family. Earl laughed and said, "No, we're not Catholics. We're just passionate Baptists!"

All the Thye children were hard workers. They all graduated high school and most were able to finish college. We spent five years in Bogard and came to know every one of the kids. The oldest girl was married in our little church. She was sick for a week or two before the wedding, and we all worried that she would not get through it, but she made it, and they are still married. Another daughter is a Southern Baptist missionary in Africa. One of the daughters married a boy from our church who went on to become a Missouri patrolman.

Six of the nine siblings are now grandparents and some are great-grandparents. They continue doing what they saw their mother and dad do, teaching the little ones to love God, to pray, to be faithful in church attendance, and to live in a manner pleasing to God.

The greatest of all influences a family can have on a community is when they stand up for God. Everyone in that little town in Northern Missouri knew the Thyes, and they knew of their faithfulness to God. And even though the doctor gave them the wrong advice, they went on trusting their Heavenly Father.

This is the second in a series about people we knew while we were pastoring churches in Missouri, Texas, and Florida. These stories will be presented on Fridays.  I will continue to do book reviews on Wednesday, though I missed this week. (The pictures are not actual pictures of the family I wrote about, but are pictures I selected from the internet to show lots of children in the family.)

On the first and third Mondays I will have an author interview, most of the time with a book give-away. On the second and fourth Mondays, you will continue to read essays written by our son, David Nobles, who lives in Midland, Texas.

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