For nearly four months now, we have been clearing out the house our Aunt Ruthie shared with Grandma Longenecker. My sisters and brother have been doing the bulk of the work so far. But in April help came from some members of Bossler Mennonite Church.

Their assistance has kept us from going straight to Berserk-istan!


Some observations:

  1. They anticipated our needs without our voicing them.

Linda Garber, the pastor’s wife who has been featured here before, called me a few weeks ago. She volunteered, “What would be the best way to help you people out? We want to help.”

She brought us several meals including soup, sausage, potatoes and cookies and helped bring items down from the attic.


  1. They didn’t go by feelings or energy level.

Pastor Fred uses oxygen as needed, an appliance concealed here in a backpack. His mighty willingness to serve superseded health challenges.


  1. They didn’t let age limit their serving.

Dorothy and Homer Hess, both in their eighties, brought a vegetable ham soup lunch. They want to return to place Hummel plates into boxes that match.


Seventh grader Zach Nell got into the action too, scrutinizing a scythe.


  1. We appreciated guy muscle help. 

Ehren Fairfield and Jim Nell move a hefty frame


Melanie Nell and Ehren Fairfield decide what to do next.


“How valuable is this?” muses Austin Fairfield, son of my sister Jean

A church trustee, Elvin Hostetter, returned later to move some final hefty items.


  1. They went beyond mere duty. We asked Deb Garber to bring crocks from the attic, but she did more. “What do you want me to do next?” she said. “I can work an hour longer!”


  1. Their credo, a labor of love:

They helped everyone his neighbor; and every one said to his brother, Be of good courage.  ~ Isaiah 4:6

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.  ~ Eccl. 9:10

* * *

We cleared out Mother’s house after her sudden death in 2014. So this is not our first stint, but our aunt’s house is much larger. I told my sisters, “We have a museum, a store, a home – all in one here!”


Final thoughts:

  • Some like Grandma Longenecker in last week’s post use words to proclaim their faith. Others like these folks offer fleet feet, a witness both audible and visible.


  • Traditions other than the Mennonites take care of their own and also reach out to others. I am grateful that I was reared in such a culture and continue to be sustained by it.



Have you ever received assistance from an unexpected source?

Have you wished for help on a daunting project?

Is it hard for you to receive help from others?