Train Up a Child

My Aunt Rosa Mae passed away recently. She used to talk a lot about the old days when all 8 kids were at home on the small farm in the 1930s. An idyllic life, going to school and going to church, working the farm. Running those hills. Setting rabbit traps for rabbit stew for supper. Picking persimmons, apples, pears.

Her daddy who they called Poppie worked in the hay fields and as his children started growing up, he started his own haying crew. Each child had a job. Mommie and the babies brought them lunch and water. It was a true family business.

At the end of hay season, Poppie took the family to town, went into First National Bank to pay off his loan, and then took the kids to each get new shoes for school.

Poppie Ela Swift had come to Jesus as an adult man. In about 1910, he had come into Bluejacket, Oklahoma, from Warsaw, Mo., and found work during hay season working with a crew of local men. He had his eye on Miss Gertie but she wouldn’t “court” anyone who wasn’t a Christian.

One day in the hay field the men were talking about the revival going on at the Kelso school building, about how good God was, and that God was healing people. Ela said, “If your God is so good, do you think He would heal me?” They gathered around him and prayed for him, and the Lord Jesus healed him. That night he went to the revival meeting at the Kelso school and gave His heart to the Lord.

Ela lived to be 93 years old. All his life he loved to talk about what God had done for him. The people at church loved to hear Brother Swift testify because he usually got happy and started dancing a jig. The family story was that Poppie would preach & testify to a fence post if there was no one around.

Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 Amplified Bible.

Poppie Ela Swift raised 8 kids to serve the Lord. A few came back to the Lord in their old age. I hope that gives you hope for your children.