After four or five days of driving across the country and sharing special time together, my mother and I arrived in Scotts Valley, California, south of San Jose. We pulled into Baymonte Christian High School’s parking lot in front of the superintendent’s office. I had never seen a school like this!
The campus had once been a church camp! Set in a wooded area, buildings scattered around the property composed the school. Four classrooms were clustered in one building, and many buildings made up the campus. One huge oak tree with broad, overhanging limbs stood proudly in the middle of the campus. Seating encircled it where (I would later learn) students gathered to socialize or eat lunch. This school setting within nature was inviting but surprising to me. The surprises where just beginning.
As I think back, I’m amazed that I would drive across the country with such little understanding of what I was getting into. While I had interviewed with the superintendent, Mr. Wallace was still in the Midwest when I arrived at Baymonte. Before leaving Indiana, I had spoken on the phone with the high school principal, Mr. Mann, who encouraged me to join his faculty. I told Mr. Mann that I had enough money to get to California, but didn’t know what I’d do after I arrived. He told me, “We don’t let our teachers starve.” Trusting this promise, I had come. Now Mom and I were sitting in the office in front of Mr. Wallace’s secretary. What do we do next? She contacted one of the families in the school. She gave me their address. I was invited to live with the David and Nancy Humphreys family. Given the address, Mom and I drove to their house which was close to the school and right in the heart of Scotts Valley.
From the main road running through town with shops and plazas on both sides, I turned left into their property. The winding drive was wooded on both sides, hiding from view what was behind and separating it from the community hubbub. Suddenly, we broke out of the wooded area. Before us was a Frank Lloyd Wright style home angled near a lovely pond framed by weeping willows with their branches dipping low and the trees reflecting peacefully in the water. My eyes scanned the manicured lawns, swimming pool and bath house, to the right a sunken garden and horse stable. Hmm. Lord, what is happening?
As we parked and exited my red Dodge Dart (which looked as out of place here as I did), we saw two ladies approach us from the back of the house: Mrs. Humphreys – tall and confident and Susie, her smiling, teenage daughter. They whisked us into their home where introductions followed.
Mr. and Mrs. Humphreys both worked for IBM, and now that the son was away at college, the parents had been praying about having someone live with them while Susie was still home. Susie attended Baymonte Christian High School, so it would be desirable to have a young, single, female teacher live with them. They knew Christian school teachers made a minimal income, so such an arrangement would be a mutual blessing. And it was.
Susie and I had our own suite of rooms accessed by its own staircase. The Humphreys were God’s provision for me – once I chose to obey the Lord fully. They wanted me to have my income for my needs — to pay off bills and to be able to go home for Christmas and such. Not only did I not pay rent or board, they covered everything including my toothpaste! They took me to their church, a good, Bible teaching church with a large singles group. They took me to their hairdresser, their eye doctor. Oh my– my hair was out of date, my glasses — glasses and not contacts! To them, I was a bumpkin from, ah, Iowa, or is that Ohio? Whatever!
Mr. and Mrs. Humphreys were godly and wise as well as stylish people gifted with resources. They guided me in this stage of growing up. They were an answer to my parents’ prayers, and an answer to prayers I was too ignorant to know to pray. Thus began a fairy tale that is a true tale, right in the middle of my personal story.
I’ll finish this chapter next week!
Blessings! And tell others about God’s blessings in your life!