Civil War

Two hundred years of living history free to see this week

September 16, 2010 // 0 Comments

History all the way back to the French and Indian War in the 1750s will come alive this Saturday and Sunday with the 24th year of the Grand Rogue Military Encampment at the Grand Rogue Campgrounds, 6400 West River Drive. The event is free to the public and hopefully raises as much curiosity as it answers questions. Reenactor Mike DeJonge said participants take pride in being as authentic as possible and many artifacts are the real thing. They look forward to sharing their passion about our past. “A lot of people are fascinated with Civil War reenacting because it was a war between ourselves,” DeJonge stated. “It was the first modern war, the first war with photographs.” He said many people have family members in the Civil War. Young and old will be invited to participate in several demonstrations, including the proper use of a bayonet. Some traders bring items to sell, hard candy, utensils, spoons and pots. Items for sale vary as participants don’t like to offer the same things year after year. DeJonge said he has been a participant for just under two decades and has always been a fan of American history. “History drew me in. What clothes did they wear, what gear, how to start a fire without a match,” he said. “We are so used to electricity. Try using flint and steel to make a shower of sparks to start a fire. How do you bake a pie over a fire without an oven. It’s not just about military, it’s about life.” He said demonstrations may include blacksmiths who show how iron was worked, woodworkers who demonstrate how they made wood into furniture without power tools. Surveyors, an historically important profession, also have a story to tell and are happy to at the encampment. They can explain how Michigan’s townships were measured out with lengths of chain carried on foot across the entire face of the state. Many important men in history were surveyors, including George Washington, Abe Lincoln and many others. Children, and adults, can “play at soldier” by taking part in musket demonstrations. Throughout the day there are demonstrations of fights on horseback and on foot between settlers and native Americans. The guns aren’t loaded with bullets but […]

‘If you are satisfied, don’t go to Africa’

May 7, 2009 // 0 Comments

Rockford’s Crossfire ministries travel to Africa’s Ivory Coast by PASTOR Keith Hemmila Crossfire Ministries If you are satisfied with your life and happy with yourself, don’t go to Africa.  You will come back forever changed.  Abidjan was just another dot on the map until we visited this city. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but now it has a permanent home forever in our hearts.  We still see a multitude of faces, beautiful people going through the motions of everyday life, with a hope that someday things will improve.  Civil War broke out in early 2001 that crippled the country.  Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s largest city of 3.8 million, was hardest hit.  The war caused 800,000 Europeans to exit  the country along with the world bank.  This beautiful city turned into a refugee camp. Young people between the ages of 16 and 25 populated the city.  Many had lost their families in the war and had come to Abidjan to reestablish themselves.  Every morning it hit us that in a few days we would be going home, but for these people, this is their life.  While we drove through the city, we felt helpless as we encountered so many people in need. Our hearts were troubled as we caught sight of an elderly woman begging for her daily food.  Children walked between the cars at intersections selling goods from newspapers to toilet paper.  But the most heartbreaking scene was a young man walking on his feet and hands because his body was so severely twisted.  Medical facilities were minimal for this unfortunate man.  It was a startling reminder of the difference between our country and a third world country. Myself and wife Judy Hemmila, Sherry Holmes, Shirlee Kamstra and Linda Penn-Davies made up the team that went to Abidjan.  The purpose of our visit was to work with Bishop Anthony Yeboah, Field Director of Free International Missions.  Pastors preached at eight services in three different churches.  The three other participants came as support staff.  Rice was purchased by Crossfire Ministries and distributed to needy people.  Also, this team had the opportunity to visit a new church Crossfire Ministries helped finance in 2008. The road trip to our first ministry event was shocking.  Garbage lined the […]