1951 Class Reunion

Class reunion report by Ruth Sauder Hollinger, 1951:

The class of 1951 (24 class members plus 14 spouses) met in the Community Room of Lancaster Campus’s Rutt Building on November 18, 2011, in conjunction with the Fall Festival and Homecoming Weekend. At 10:30 Wilmer Hollinger introduced the theme, “Who Are We Now?”, asking, “What is our passion 60 years later?” Mary Ellen Groff Dula in the opening meditation sited Psa. 71 & 92: 14. She said we need to accept the limitations that come with growing older because that’s the way it’s supposed to be. But thank God, our spirits can grow healthier and wiser. We continue to learn and change and pursue our hopes and dreams.

Ruth Sauder Hollinger shared first on the theme. She shared a poem learned in Lois Garber’s English class, “Who Stuffed That White Owl,” that she had shared at a recent church event. As class members shared, Dorothy Shenk Burkholder read the “Alumni” prophecy from the 1951 Laurel Wreath. That became the pattern as class members shared their current passions. Miriam Landis Bauman’s life story (included below) included seven places where she has promoted the Gospel. Her yearbook prophecy said she would live her whole life in Manheim, PA!

After the noon meal, Miles Yoder, son of class member Ruth Zimmerman Yoder, gave a campus tour for those interested.

Life stories indicated a strong interest in family, volunteerism, and a variety of hobbies. Family photos and hobbies were displayed on a table. Harold & Lois Stauffer Nissley believe volunteer work should carry the same dedication as a job; they deliver Meals-on-Wheels. That meant they arrived at the reunion late. Wilbur Ebersole unrolled his 22×17” diploma and asked class members to write their name on the back.

Benjamin Hershey gave closing remarks based on the story of Joshua entering the Promised Land; we, like the children of Israel, have never traveled this way before.

Story shared by Miriam Landis Bauman, 1951:

So much has been a surprise even to us. We were farmers only 10 years after our marriage when we thought that is all we would ever do. After doing this and that for a few years we were involved with establishing the Mt. Zion Retreat Center in Roaring Branch in northern PA. I loved the ministry there and again thought we would be there for all of our lives. I guess I’m the nesting kind. The establishing of the retreat center was in 1972.

My husband David announced to me after being at the retreat center 13 years that God had called him to pastor an Assembly of God church in Mansfield, PA. I replied, “No way.” However, after seeking the Lord, I knew that is what God was calling us to. We pastored the church for 5 1/2 years after which we entered into Youth With A Mission [YWAM] in Hawaii. At first we did volunteer work in Maui and then went to the big island to do a Crossroads Discipleship School for older folks. After a three-month lecture phase of training in “knowing God,” two months are spent in another culture to “make God known.” Our class went to Malaysia, Hong Kong and Okinawa. While we were in Hong Kong we had the opportunity to smuggle Bibles into China for the under ground church. That was very interesting for us since we had never related to Asian people up to that time and we really enjoyed our time there.

The next year we went back to Hawaii to receive training to establish a YWAM base at the Mt. Zion Retreat Center. Once again we were in the lecture phase of the CDTS only not as students, but as staff. As leaders we took that class to the Philippines and Thailand. Upon returning to the states we spent three month leading the CDTS at Salem, OR.

After being away from Mt. Zion Retreat Center seven years God took us back to establish YWAM along with the retreat program. Our Outreaches from Roaring Branch, PA, include going to Ukraine approximately 19-20 times, also to Albania a few times, to Turkey and also to Dominican Republic. As you can imagine we have established many good relationships in Ukraine, including good relationships with Muslim people and have been used of God to lead a few of them to the Lord Jesus. There is one Muslim village in particular we have visited many times named Somoto and we pray daily for them and believe our prayers are doing as much if not more as being there in their midst.

After being at Mt. Zion Retreat Center for another seven years we retired from there and moved to Lebanon, PA, to be near family, taking YWAM with us. Included in YWAM schools at Lebanon are TESOL, ESL, DTS and a counseling school.

July 15, 2011, we retired from YWAM and David is now volunteering at New Covenant Christian School and I am volunteering as an On Line Missionary with Campus Crusade for Christ.

Places we have lived: The first seven years of our marriage we lived on a farm at Manheim, PA, after which we moved to northern PA on a farm for three years. We lived at Forksville,PA, Canton, PA, and Roaring Branch, PA, Mansfield, PA, and then entered YWAM. After leaving Mt. Zion Retreat Center we returned to it after seven years and established YWAM along with the retreat program. Again after another seven years we retired from there and moved to Lebanon, PA. We are in Lebanon since 1999 and holding.