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What Operation Manna Meant For Me

Betty Van Deemter, Holland Christian Homes, Brampton, ON

Barely nine years old, I accompanied my Dad to “het Bosplan” near Amsterdam, where he knew we would find food. To me that sounded like a daring goings-on and without giving it a second thought I went with him, on foot. After all, hunger had been a daily dilemma for some time in our family, and I was sick and tired of sugar beets for breakfast, lunch and supper.

In the wooded area we could hear the roar of an airplane. My Dad yelled, “Watch out!” and sure enough, there came the “manna from heaven.” I remember it being in enclosures, some of which broke open on impact. I could see boxes with names on them and those alone made my mouth water. Yum, yum. Ready for a nice portion.

My Dad warned me not to lay a hand on anything. “You have to take it along first and share it with others,” he explained. This did not make sense. Had he forgotten how he went to Friesland on a fruitless cycling-tour, by means of a bike with worthless tires, just to obtain food?

But when my Dad gave orders, you knew better than to argue. Trying to get out of “het Bosplan” with my assortment of goodies, I remember being met by villagers who carried the distributions the rest of the way for me. Dad sent me home so I could tell the family a “Banquet” was coming.

At first they thought that I had lost my marbles, but when our father came home, we were ready for a meal.

Poor Mother. To this day I can still hear her frantic wailing, “Take it easy, children. You are going to be sick if you keep this up. Start slowly, p-l-e-a-s-e!”

Nowadays, I can remember sampling a piece of bread from Sweden, which came later. The reading of “A Bad Penny Always Comes Back” in January, 2007 at Holland Christian Homes, brought back memories of days gone by. The experience IS forever etched in my mind. Manna did come from heaven and got eaten here on earth…

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