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Grapes of Wrath Country

Grapes of Wrath BannerThe comfort and strength brought by the Holy Spirit were to be vital keys in subsequent work later. I ministered among the poverty-stricken crop pickers in the area known from John Steinbeck's novel as the "Grapes of Wrath Country" and from the 1940 film by the same name. Impoverished farm workers seemed to provoke little concern among the many denominations in Arvin where they settled. Even our own Episcopal congregation was doing nothing to help these poor folk! To try and discover why this should be, I decided to visit every member of our congregation. In stark contrast to the luxurious living of the few in Arvin was set the grinding poverty of the fruit pickers in their squalid camps around the town.

One about Jesus

Tin Shack Homes Cite SolielWhile visiting their tin shack homes, I met a keen young Christian worker from Germany named Arlim Waldow. We were both concerned about these unfortunate folk and disappointed because all the Christian organizations welcomed social aid but tried to dampen down our Christian witness. In one camp, we had been showing health films for several weeks but had never been allowed to speak about our faith. An opportunity seemed to have arrived one night, however, when we were projecting some missionary films and one about the life of Christ.

"Shack Homes Site"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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