Above image: (L-R) Sunday School kids Clara, Ian, Dr. Truscott, Mrs. Nelson, Rev Nelson, Mabel, Elizabeth, Roderick.
On one beautiful Sunday morning, they appeared!
Seated at my usual back bench in the sanctuary, I was intrigued. And extremely elated. Because I finally got to meet the very pastor and his wife of whom I had heard so much. They played an enormous role in growing LCOR from her infancy in the 1960s into a vibrant church with at least four different language services – English, Batak, Tamil, and Chinese – a few years later.
As Rev. John Nelson recounted excitedly about the history of LCOR and how he and his wife, Betty Lou had Sunday School lessons out on the lawn, my mind fleeted back to the History of the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer (LCOR) which I remembered I had read with fascination.
Gosh! How incredible that through a series of God-designed (bizarre – to me!) events, a court order would lead to LCOR obtaining our church land on Duke’s Road, the local authorities would agree to naming our road as Lutheran Road, and many Batak, Tamil, and overseas American Lutherans would joyfully and willingly fund the construction of the church building.
I find it so immensely incredible how everything came together and I know that whilst Man will certainly try, only God can make His Will happen.
A Message From Big Baldy Mountain
Five days later, on a lazy Friday afternoon in February, an excited bunch of church families, old friends, and former Sunday School students gathered at our third-floor meeting hall for a cherished time of fellowship with Rev. Nelson and his wife, Betty Lou. When Rev. Nelson and Betty Lou entered the hall, everyone’s faces lit up so brightly that I almost had to take out my sunglasses to shield the glare!
I enjoyed hearing Rev. Nelson’s devotion message as it came to life with fascinating stories of his involvement with the Boy Scouts, their huge camping grounds, and what some of the boys felt when they reached the top of Big Baldy Mountain in Montana.
I also liked Rev. Nelson’s choice of words when he said: at Lutheran Church, we talk about sin a lot because sin is important. There is evil out there calling us to do bad things. We were created by God for a purpose. We have to listen to Jesus to tell us what to do. Jesus came to save us from our sins, to forgive us for our sins.
The words “calling us“ shook me up because in today’s mobile-obsessed world, it gave me the immediate visual image of Evil picking up the phone and calling me. I had never thought of it that way although I am aware that we actually talk a lot about sin everywhere – not just in church but everywhere.
Mary Lou, the Sweetest Brownies, and Moist Sticky Buns
The serious mood lifted when Mrs. Nelson’s Sunday School Favorites Bakeoff took over! Out came all the baking equipment, ingredients, and thoughtfully printed out recipes of her Sunday School favorites – muffins and sticky buns.
Happy and eager helping hands were aplenty, notably from Cathy and Debbie. Both were serious and attentive, with ears and eyes for only Mrs. Nelson! At one point, Mrs. Nelson had a quizzical look on her face. Cathy was intuitive and quick to sense what Mrs. Nelson had in mind. When Cathy came running out of the LCOR kitchen with a spatula, Mrs. Nelson beamed and then laughed out loud with joy as she realized that Cathy had read her mind!
After the brownies batter was put into the oven, the preparation of the sticky buns got underway with the yeast-dough mixture and the butter-caramel for the sticky effect. Rev. Nelson joined in the baking session and he was a real sport. He helped to cut up the walnuts into bite-sized pieces and from his dexterity with the knife, it was clear that he is a regular hand at their kitchen.
Lunch was a simple affair of chicken rice with achar and Lily’s home cooked omelet. The much-anticipated dessert was obviously Mrs. Nelson’s brownies which were ready when the last of the chicken rice had disappeared into our bellies.
It was back to baking after lunch. Mrs. Nelson showed the group how to roll the dough and put together the sticky buns. It was an eye-opener for some of us as we had tasted the delicious buns before but never knew how it was made. The final result was just as beautiful and mouth-watering. Take a look (below) at the how the buns rose after it sat for about an hour!
You can see more photos of the delightful afternoon in the carousel below.