Relocating from our birth country of South Africa to North Dakota brought many learning curves for our family. They ranged from speaking with an accent, to comprehending the sub-zero temperatures that exist in the Dakotas, and even getting used to reading the temperature on a non-metric scale—all of which we overcame as a family. That was until we became homeowners. We decided to participate in the open bid system that consisted of our bid to buy a property at auction, thinking that we could never be so lucky as to win a bid at the ridiculous price of $750 for a double story home in the beautiful town of Fessenden.
The story begins on a cold and windy Tuesday morning as we head off to the old Court House to partake in the “bidding war” over a property we had viewed and wanted. We may not have a lot to offer, but thought we
could learn from this experience. To our surprise, we were the only ones to bid on the house and within five minutes of being in the courtroom we exited as new homeowners.
The house had been neglected for several years and our family decided to fix it up. In South Africa we flipped houses.
We knew the materials and methods quite well; everything was brick, cement, and plaster. Here it is wood, sheet rock, and compound–a different construction to understand. This project was beginning to get interesting, and we did what we could for a couple of weeks like restoring the windowsills and doors, changing light fixtures, and updating the furnace; but we struggled to do the walls and the floors.
One weekend our daughter, Twainé, was home from Dakota Adventist Academy and our family decided to go and work a bit on the house. Twainé walked into the kitchen and all of a sudden began to instruct us, her parents, on what to do. She knew exactly what walls to knock down, which products to use, and how to strengthen the support. What a blessing she was at that exact moment!
I was so glad that she was enrolled at DAA where she is taking a construction class that equipped her to teach her mother and father what to do in construction in the USA. It is a sobering moment when your child has the know-how and you are the one learning from them, but she enjoyed it so!
Adventist education, especially the academies, bring so much more than mere theory to our children. As a pastor I appreciate the nature of Christian education that creates our leaders of tomorrow. I saw how well-rounded a mere subject as construction was applied to a real-life scenario and how much confidence it gave my daughter at that moment when she could take the lead and help her folks out in the situation we were in.
As Twainé aspires to become a pre-law student this fall, I am assured and blessed with the understanding that she is well-prepared for the challenge of university life and confident that she has a bright future ahead.