In 1960, the little country church celebrated their 50th anniversary when three generations who had worshipped and matured there returned to sing together, eat together, pray together and remember together. Our mother’s mother Johanna, along with her husband, was one of the charter members and as such, was asked to write a letter of memories and thanksgiving. This is her letter.
Dear Emmaus Congregation,
My heartfelt and sincere congratulations on this your fiftieth anniversary. Greetings in Jesus’ name.
It was in April 1910 that we and our six children came to Ambrose, North Dakota. Soren Thompson met us with horse and wagon to take us to the home of Pastor and Mrs. Kjoller. There we found a warm and hearty welcome. Many times I think of how kind and generous they were to us all. We stayed with them three weeks while my husband worked on the house that was to be our home in Montana.
While the years that followed did hold trials and hardships, we daily felt God’s loving and protecting hand over us. Good friends and neighbors, far and near, were ever ready to give a helping hand. We were wonderfully spared from serious illness, accidents and other mishaps.
We had started with oxen and later we got horses. It was sometimes hard to get out with little ones, but people were faithful in coming to church and bringing their children to Sunday School. Frederik considered it a privilege and a great joy to work with the Sunday School and also the young people.
Our school teachers also played an important part in the community in the pioneeer days. Some of the fine Christian teachers I remember are: Mae Jacobsen, Pauline Stone and Phoebe Hjortsvang. They were truly an inspiration and help to the children.
At one of our early business meetings a suggestion was made that we organize a Ladies Aid. Pastor Menger was in favor of this but thought that with all the little babies it might be better to wait a while. Then Frederik said, “If we wait until there are no little ones, it will be a long time.” So Emmaus Ladies Aid was organized and we met regularly in the homes.
Much planning, sewing and preparation preceded the sale held in the fall. This gathering was attended and enjoyed by the whole community. This was our way of making money to give to missions and help the congregation. I dearly loved our Emmaus Ladies Aid metings. They were rich in spiritual help and guidance.
We also shared God’s Word and enjoyed Christian fellowship when we gathered in the homes. I especially recall one beautiful summer evening a group of friends were gathered at the home of Pastor Mengers. The horses were hitched, and we were all ready to leave with Pastor Mengers looked up to the starry heavens and exclaimed, “O hvor et det dog en sknon Aften, ‘Lad os synge,’ Dejlig er Jordan, Praegtig er Guds Himmel.”
My heart is filled with precious memories and thankfulness to God for the many good festive days we shared together with friends in our dear Emmaeus Church. May God continue to bless His work.
In the same book, another charter member of the congregation writes this about our Grandfather Frederik:
Frederik Hansen, who with his wife and six children, had come from Racine, Wisconsin, said, “I have not much of a singing voice, but when I sit on my plow behind my four fine horses, I lift my voice in thanks and praise to God, who gave me this land and a home on the prairie.”