Friday, October 28, 2016

Miguel Comes to the Farm

After I posted Pedro's story, his brother, Miguel offered to share a little of his experience also. What a blessing to hear these stories again!

Mandy

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Summer of '72


Miguel at about 14

In 1972 as I finished the 6th grade I was excited for summer to begin. Little did I know that THIS summer would change my entire life.

My older brother, Pedro, had been working on this farm in Louisville, Ohio for about a year. My mom and dad decided that I, too, should go and work on this farm. {See Pedro's story here}

When I found out I was very upset and angry that I had to work all summer. I was almost 13 years old and I didn’t realize that “A farmer's work is never done.” 

Once I accepted the fact that I had to go I thought, 
Surely I can work a few hours a day and get by.” 

Miguel around 17
But oh no! The work on the farm was seven days a week from 4am ‘till the cows came home. I mean until milking time, which was about 5:00-5:30pm, if I remember correctly. The work on the farm was hard,  but bailing hay had to be the hardest work for a 13-year-old. 

But on Sunday we could only milk the cows in the morning and the evening; no other work was done. The owner and his family were Christian, and at the time I didn’t know what a Christian was. I was brought up being Catholic and that’s all that I knew.  On Sundays, we would always go to church (a Methodist church).

My day on the farm would begin at 4am. I would get up to bring the cows in for milking. I remember that it would be cold or cool that early in the morning, so when a cow would get up from the ground I would lay down where it had been laying and man, was it nice and warm. The cows would basically walk in by themselves, they all knew the routine. All I did was walk behind them and close the gate. 

By the time all the cows were in, Mr. Dawson would be up and ready to start milking. While the cows were being milked, I would bed down and feed the other calves and the bull that were in the other barn. By the time I was done, the milking would also be done so I would help my brother, Pedro, clean and hose down the milk house. By the time we were done, it would be breakfast time and, man, breakfast was always good.

At breakfast, we would get our daily instructions. There was always something that needed to be done. With all the work and not much else to do, my only escape was to daydream.


SEBRING CAMP

 One day I can’t really remember, but in my mind, I remember Mr. Dawson asking me if I wanted to go to a Christian camp. To me, going to a Christian camp was the farthest thing on my mind. I’m not sure if Mr. Dawson told me or if I thought of this on my own.  .....
Senior picture

 “There will be girls there.”  

Hmmm. Now that’s a different story!

Anyway, I decided to go to this camp.
  Sebring  Camp was like nothing I had ever experienced before. 
There was no bickering or fighting. 
I kind of liked it. 

Plus, anywhere was better than working on the farm. 


We had a lot of classes to attend and free time also. But around 6pm or 7pm every evening we always had a big church meeting. I started to look forward to these meetings. 

Main tabernacle at Sebring

At one of these meetings, the preacher, it seemed, was talking directly to me. At the end of the service, he asked If anyone wanted to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I had never heard the salvation message before. I know that the Methodist church teaches and preaches salvation, I had just never heard it before. I guess it wasn’t my time yet.

Well, needless to say, I remember having a battle in my mind. 

One voice I heard, or sensed, said
 “Miguel, go up there. That’s what you need.” 

The other voice in my head would say,
  “Don’t go up there, all your friends will laugh at you if you become a Christian. Plus, you won’t be able to do any fun things anymore.” 

I didn’t know it then, but I do now. My spirit and my flesh were having this battle. I remember we were all standing up and I was grabbing the back of the chair in front of me. I told myself that I would not go up there to the front of the church in front of everyone. 

The pastor asked one more time, 
“Does anyone want to accept Jesus into their hearts and have all your sins forgiven and have eternal life with Him?”

 I grabbed the back of the chair, but before I knew what was happening I found myself walking down to the front. I became a Christian that day.

Response to an invitation at Sebring

Life Since Then


Life for me has been a rollercoaster ride simply because of some bad decisions that I’ve made in my life. But I know, without a doubt, had I not said ‘yes’ to God on that late July day in 1972, that I would not be alive today. 

Miguel today
It’s now been about 6 years that I have come back to God and have been going to church and I thank him every day!
There is more that I could share, but maybe at another time.

Thank you, Mandy!
-Miguel De Los Santos.





I would like to add one more thing, and that is that because  of the Dawson family my whole family (brothers and sisters) have come to know the Lord. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Gene Dawson.

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And thank you, Miguel for sharing your story!

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Don't forget that anyone who posts below will be entered in a drawing for a CD of teh Dawson girls singing! Drawing November 1.


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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Big, Bad Pedro at Sebring Camp

{excerpt #2 from the memoirs of Pedro De Los Santos}



Two weeks after the 4th of July, Mr. Dawson asked me if I was interested in attending Sebring Camp. I did not know what it was, so I asked him to Explain. 

He said that every year, Doug and Kandy went to the town of Sebring, Ohio where they had a holiness camp. It was aimed at young teenagers but there were also plenty of adults. They had a youth program that involved lots of fun activities but there was also Bible study and worship. I had never been to a summer camp before, so I told Mr. Dawson that I would really like to go. He said he had already arranged for me to attend with Doug and Kandy. 

Sebring Camp was a wonderful experience. I made a lot of friends and enjoyed all the activities they had prepared for us. I really enjoyed the biblical teachings and the worship sessions too, especially during the evening services. 

It was during one of these evening services that I made a decision to give God control of my life by accepting the salvation that Jesus had offered to us all by dying on the cross. I felt great joy and happiness knowing that my sins no longer counted against me and that God had forgiven me and welcomed me with open arms. It was the happiest moment in my life that I can recall and it made the rest of the Sebring Camp experience that much more wonderful. 

BIG, BAD, PEDRO

I became friends with a guy named Ed Green at Sebring Camp. He loved to play the guitar and was always playing it and singing songs. He wrote a song about my misadventure at the swimming pool where I almost drowned. 

He called it “Big Bad Pedro” and sang it to the tune of “Big Bad John”. He went to other summer camps around the state and he would play that song during talent nights. That song made me famous, at least in summer camps around Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

About four years later I went to a summer camp in Columbus, Ohio where 
somebody asked me my name and I told him it was Pedro.

Upon hearing that he asked,
 “Are you the same Pedro that almost drowned
 at Sebring camp a few years ago?” 

I said “yes, how did you know about that?” 

To which he replied 
“Oh, everybody around here has heard the song and knows your name.” 


The rest of the summer was uneventful. 

Sebring Camp lasted only two weeks and I went back to work on the farm until it was time to return to Waynesburg so I could go back to school at Sandy Valley.

Thank You Pedro for sharing this part of your life with us. I have good memories from those times!
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