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A Nickel Brought Us to America

In honor of the 4th of July celebrations, I thought I would share the story of how we came to the U.S.A

My mom, Dorothy, grew up in Northern Ireland during World War II. She recounted many tales of the bombings, horrors and rationing her family endured during those dark days. Her favorite memory involved a time she met an American soldier stationed near her home in Belfast. The American soldiers always handed out candies to the local children. Mom was about six years old on the day she approached a soldier to ask for a piece of candy. She recounted his warm smile as he bent down to speak to her. As mom told it, he was talking in his broad American accent, “I am sorry, but I am out of candy today, so here is a nickel. When you grow up, come to American to spend that coin.” Mom ran all the way home with her treasure tucked safely away. The dreams for her future began that day.


Mom accepted Christ in her teens. She prayed for a Godly man for a husband. She also wanted a man who would help her follow her dreams. Years later, my mom and dad met on a city bus in Belfast. Their very first date was to a Billy Graham crusade. A prayer answered. They soon married and started their life together. My mom shared her dream of going to America with my dad, and he thought she was a wee bit crazy. She pressed down her dream, but it never went away entirely. She felt God gave her this idea, so she prayed for God to fulfill this deep desire of her heart. One day, while dad was in London for work, mom saw an ad for a job in Toronto, Canada. She reasoned Canada offered a step closer to America. She applied for the position for my dad without telling him. When he got home, she informed him about his upcoming interview. He went, and he got the job. In 1963, we immigrated to Canada. I was 11 months old.


Finally, in 1973, God satisfied the dream He had placed in my mom’s heart. We immigrated to the U.S.A. My mom’s heart overflowed with joy. During the rest of her life, mom used this story many times to start conversations about her Lord and Savior. She jubilantly shared how the key verses above proved right for her. During those dark days of war, God had plans for her, plans to prosper her and not harm her. Her stories encouraged my walk with Christ, and I have spent many years sharing Christ on mission trips. I always carry candy in my pocket to hand out to children. You never know how God may use a piece of candy or a nickel might change someone’s life.


Yvonne with Orphan Relief Effort

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

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