Sunday, June 4, 2017

Faith of Our Families

Several years ago my son attended Law School at KU.  On our travels to visit his family, I often noticed beautiful churches off the interstate and wondered about them.  Finally, I convinced my husband that I needed to check one of them out.  We stopped in Victoria, Kansas.  I was so pleased to find out about its history and its link to the German Russian heritage.  Traveling on a little outside of Victoria, we visited the beautiful church in Pfeifer, Kansas.  I loved seeing it, as I had a personal connection to Pfieifer. When my grandfather first arrived in the states in 1900, he visited relatives there.  I purchased a little booklet at the church in Pfeifer, and learned more about the great faith of those first settlers.  It has been a source of strength for me, just knowing that my ancestors had such a strong faith.  Both of my paternal grandparents came from German colonies along the Volga in Russia.  My grandmother came from a Lutheran colony, and my grandfather from a Catholic colony. Their marriage was an interesting event according to family tradition. With all of this in mind, I was fascinated by an article written by Sherry Pawelko in the AHSGR Winter 2016 Newsletter.  She mentioned that three things were of paramount importance to our ancestors in both Russia and the New World:
1. The importance of the people's faith in God.
2. The importance of their families.
3. The importance of the education of their children.
Wow! I realized that I am so much a result of the beliefs of my ancestors.  While I share neither of their religious affiliations, I absolutely find that the same three things are of greatest importance in my life. Many thanks are in order to this group of people who kept their culture alive, communities cohesive, and families strong.

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