The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.

    PSALMS 37:21

ALMOST HOME..............Chapter 2

Posted: 29 June 2017

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Chapter 2  - The Wilderness of Alaska

In the fall, after many days of shoveling and washing gravel and dirt in the sluice boxes for the gold we could find, we figured that we only had made about thirty dollars apiece. We decided to go another two days journey higher into the mountains area to shoot mountain sheep. They were selling for a high price and we needed money for another year's supply of groceries. There was a little log cabin there where we stayed, probably built by some prospector during the Gold Rush.

The morning after we got there, I left the cabin, and shot a mountain sheep, put it on my shoulder and headed back. Soon I found that I was lost. I dropped the sheep and left it there. I evidently had walked for some time in the wrong direction. All around me were snow-covered mountains and they all looked alike to me. It was late fall, three o'clock in the afternoon and already dark. The temperature was about thirty below zero. I had to go down to the lower elevation where there was woods and the wind wasn't strong. All afternoon and all night long, I had to keep moving to keep from freezing to death. I knew that any direction I would choose to walk would still be hudreds of miles from civilization - there was no hope - except for that little log cabin, which is almost like finding a needle in a haystack.

It felt so nice to just
lay down in the deep, soft snow, after twenty hours walking and moving. I was hungry and was tired. It would have been so easy to fall asleep and never wake up again, but I kept moving and at five o'clock in the morning I stumbled into the cabin. My partner was so surprised to see me. He told me that he had shot up all his ammunition so that I would know the direction of the cabin, but I had never heard any shots - I must have been too far away.

The Bible says that wh
ile we were still sinners, God loved us. There must have been some supernatural hand again that helped to lead me out of the darkness to the cabin. I can see now that my time was not then to die.

The
Great Depression was still on, and there was no job in sight when I got to town, so I decided to go back again with the old prospector. It was sixty degrees below zero for quite some time; when it was warmed up we took off for the wilderness again. By the end of the summer I saw that we hadn't made anymore money than last year. I told my partner that I couldn't waste my life out here. I said: "I'm going to town."

He said: "Yo
u'll have to wait for the winter until everything freezes up – no one can travel now."
I was determined to go. I took some food a
long and the gun and left, a cloud of mosquitoes following me. On the journey, I came to a place where all the ground seemed to move. It was quicksand! People said that a man and his horse were supposed to have lost their lives at this place! Well, I got deeper and deeper into the quicksand mire. Finally, I couldn't pull my legs out of miry stuff anymore. I was lucky for me that I had on boots. While lying on my back I pulled my legs out of the boots and rolled back. I was free, soaking wet, and minus my boots. I then walked barefooted over the mountain the rest of the 100 miles.

From then on, things started to change for the better. A farmer offered me a week's work, but then decided to keep me on permanently, so for the next two years I was again able to save money again. I was also again able to help my folks in Switzerland.

I was back in Fairbanks. Fairbanks was a
frontier town and gambling was wide open. Of course I couldn't stay away from that, but I soon realized I was sitting on the wrong side of the table. I went to the bank, borrowed money to buy the gaming joint, and hired the dealers to take in money for me instead of from me. Later I built an outdoor heated swimming pool, which I operated in summer months. To keep working in the winter, I bought a truck and made several trips every winter to haul meat over the Alcan Highway from Edmonton and also from the United States.

I
started to feel good! I was on my way to make good money after all. But our plans are not always God's plans. Matthew 16:26 says "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

to be continued  ......Chapter 3 The Beginning of Miracles
 

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