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While doing business in the Post Office one day I noticed a rack holding PASSPORT application forms. Thinking that this was the beginning, or a first step to a long held dream of visiting a foreign country I took the envelope containing the forms. They were free.

You see my father was a member of the German Wehrmacht, the name for German Armed Forces, stationed in the Cherbourg area of France during the last year of the Second World War The invasion of D day came and shortly after the advancing American G.I.s overran the German positions and my father was taken prisoner, but not before being wounded with shrapnel in his left leg.

Compounds for German P.O.W. were none existent in France at that time so he, along with hundreds of other soldiers, was loaded onto a hospital ship to begin the long journey, via England, to the far off State of Texas, U.S.A. There in the northern part of that State, near the town of Paris, a prisoner of war camp awaited him plus the arrival of thousands of German soldiers, now Prisoners Of War.

The heavy black ink of censorship obliterated a good part of the postcards informing us of the state of his health and his approximate whereabouts. Now 61 years later I have a longing in my heart to go and see with my own eyes what my father saw as he stood on the plains of Texas and worried about his family in his devastated homeland of Germany. Yes there would be a vast difference between our two visits. I would be there willingly as a free person. He was there by compulsion at the point of a gun, a prisoner. Thus my interest in PASSPORTS.

Little did I realize that a few days later my thoughts would again turn to the importance of possessing a valid PASSPORTS. It came about in a most unexpected way.

While doing business in the Post Office one day I noticed a rack holding PASSPORT application forms. Thinking that this was the beginning, or a first step to a long held dream of visiting a foreign country I took the envelope containing the forms. They were free.

You see my father was a member of the German Wehrmacht, the name for German Armed Forces, stationed in the Cherbourg area of France during the last year of the Second World War The invasion of D day came and shortly after the advancing American G.I.s overran the German positions and my father was taken prisoner, but not before being wounded with shrapnel in his left leg.

Compounds for German P.O.W. were none existent in France at that time so he, along with hundreds of other soldiers, was loaded onto a hospital ship to begin the long journey, via England, to the far off State of Texas, U.S.A. There in the northern part of that State, near the town of Paris, a prisoner of war camp awaited him plus the arrival of thousands of German soldiers, now Prisoners Of War.

The heavy black ink of censorship obliterated a good part of the postcards informing us of the state of his health and his approximate whereabouts. Now 61 years later I have a longing in my heart to go and see with my own eyes what my father saw as he stood on the plains of Texas and worried about his family in his devastated homeland of Germany. Yes there would be a vast difference between our two visits. I would be there willingly as a free person. He was there by compulsion at the point of a gun, a prisoner. Thus my interest in PASSPORTS.

Little did I realize that a few days later my thoughts would again turn to the importance of possessing a valid PASSPORTS. It came about in a most unexpected way.

Having spent a rest less night, with considerable chest discomfort, I rose early and after literally one bite of breakfast, proceeded to take care of my weekly work appointment at our nearby supermarket. It so
happened that my Doctor's office was located across the street from
where I served my customer. Having heard a good deal about the symptoms of a heart attack I thought it not unwise to see him. Yes, this in spite of my dislikes of Clinics, Doctors and hospitals.

So having completed my work I checked in at the clinic. When the nurse at the desk inquired for the reason of my visit and she heard the word ?chest pain? the alarm bells went off. I found myself immediately on the examining table under oxygen and nitroglycerin and IV. Almost as quickly, the small room swarmed with a number of ambulance attendants checking on the state of my well being. How exciting can life get? In no time at all we were on the road to the emergency ward at the Royal Jubilee Hospital.

Seeing the world through the back windows of an advance, life support ambulance was a new experience for me. After the usual wait in an overcrowded emergency hallway I was allotted the number 13 emergency cubicle. Again I was interrogated by the attending physician, while my heart beat was monitored on an overhead screen. Electrocardiograms, blood samples, the automatic blood pressure and temperature check, were all part of the treatment I received in the following hours. The Ex-ray department was my next stop. As efficient and wonderful as the care that was given to me, it was not quite as speedy as you may think. That however gave me time to analyze what had just happened to me which in turn made me reflect on my life in general.

I am sure those thoughts are not to rare at such times. Even at the most serious moments it seems that humour rears it's stress defusing head and so it was that day. As I was shifted into the stylish hospital attire one of the nurses in pulling off my footwear made an amazing discovery, 'this man wears cowboy boots to bed? was her comment. This of course was in reference to the most comfortable shoes that I know of, the western boot, which I always wear.

It came to me as no surprise that my heart and mind was perfectly at peace during all that happened. Is that not what our Father in heaven has promised to all those who love Him, in whatever state joy or turmoil we find ourselves in. ?Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.? John 14:27

An immense measure of thankfulness and appreciation filled my being as I awaited the outcome of the tests. Yes, the Eternal, Almighty, ever Faithful God, through His love in Christ Jesus granted to me an irrevocable, eternal PASSPORT signed with the blood of the Lord Jesus himself. ?O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.? Psalm 34:8.

Definition of a PASSPORT: A document issued by a country to a citizen allowing that person entry to his home country. At the age of 14, after Christ forgave my sins, I was granted that PASSPORT good for all time and eternity. Thank God!

Question; Do you posses such a PASSPORT? Is it in order and up to date?

Fred Schmidt is Victoria's Scissorman and an Elder at Westside Bible Church

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