I recently read It Was Worth It All by Elly Matz. This little book was absolutely amazing. It tells the story of Ukranian women, Elly as she lives in communist Russia. Her family is of German descent which causes her greater difficulties. I was very moved by this story and how God led her throughout her whole life. She clearly tells of God's hand orchestrating so many events she did not even understand. I would recommend it to everyone.
In the back of the book there is an article by Chris Noonan Funnell and appeared in the MetroWest Daily News. I wanted to share some of that article with you because it beautifully summarizes Elly Matz's story.
Now summer is in full bloom and due to abundant rains, gardening has become a game of catch-up, weeds need pulling and the mosquitos are ferocious. Whenever I feel like giving up on a job like that and plop on the couch with a bag of chips, instead I have been inspired to perservere by the autobiography of an amazing women and true patriot.
Elly Matz immigrated to America over fifty years ago from the Ukraine, realizing her childhood dream to come to the land she first heard about on her father's knee. Her ancestors had migrated in the 1760's with many German settlers to the fertile farmland south of Russia. Born in 1920, three years after the revolution, she saw the demise of her people's way of life as the farms were being taken by the Communists and divided up.
Not long after age six, when she first stated her intent to move to America when she grew up, life began to get very hard and starvation became a daily threat. The German farmers who were once welcomed in to farm the black soil were now enemies of the Communists who starved and imprisoned the German farmers and thereby created greater hardship. Elly knew no real childhood because, being strong and healthy, she was needed to work when her father grew weak. Her story is full of devastation, suffering and overcoming. Her father was taken to prison never to be seen again.
She married at sixteen and on a visit to her family's village when she was a young mother about to give birth to her second child, she discovered her Babushka, mother and little sisters had all been take to Siberia as well as whole villages of Germans born in the Ukraine. she was treated like a stranger in her own land during WWII, not accepted by Russia or Germany, but useful as a translator. A real-life survivor, she was on her own after her husband was killed at the front and she determined to leave what she knew would be certain slavery at the hands of the Communists to run for her life with her five-year-old son. Her second child had died soon after birth.
It Was Worth It All is a great remedy for the times we live in when the framers of our Constitution are seen as "dead white guys" on college campuses and the foundational writings the sweated over in the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia are currently going under the judicial activist's knife. If you want to find refreshing and anabashed patriotism, talk to an immigrant who has escaped the Red Army's, or other despots' assault on freedom.
The spunkiest octogenarian whis side of the Volga survived starvation, disease, beatings, bombings, labor camps and concentration camps. She even survived her own attempt to take her life to escape the misery she had known so long during the war and its aftermath. She figures she was destined to make it here to the land of her dreams to tell us how wonderful freedom is and to warn us about what can happen to a nation that forgets God. Elly is still traveling and telling her story at schools, churches and conferences, and to whoever will listen. America has what she and others have longed for -- freedom! she won't give up her freedom march or stop thanking God for her miraculous deliverance into her land of promise because she "wants to know what hands this country is gonna be left in."
This article amazed me when I read it . It was printed on July 4, 2003 but I don't think there could be a more important time to think about it than this. With the election now behind us it is time for all of us to take our place in doing what God wants us to do. The results are not what we hoped for but this is not a time to give up but rather a time to stand and fight for this country, for the principles on which it was established. We need to be warriors in prayer and in our daily lives not complacent. The enemy wants us to give up but we need to put on our armor and go before our King to be strengthened for the battle ahead.