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The Norwich Story

Page history last edited by pinkhamc@... 5 years ago

The Norwich Story:


In 1981, within a year after Chris (my wife) and I became filled with the Holy Spirit God made it obvious that we had to return to Northfield, Vermont, our hometown.  Chris’ mom had Alzheimer's and her dad was not dealing with it well.  We were convinced I was to leave the security of a GS-13 position in the government and come back to Northfield and honor our parents (mine were elderly-and hadn’t gotten to know their grandchildren) according to the 5th commandment and trust that God would provide.


Another reason we felt we were being called back is that the Lord had arranged a part-time teaching job at Norwich University, my alma mater, and he had laid on our hearts that He wanted us to start an OCF fellowship there.  As soon as we arrived, I tried mightily to do so, only to be met by an indifferent Chaplain’s Office and an inability on my part to find a student partner.  One day in April of 1982, as my exasperation was approaching desperation, I was walking on the upper parade ground.  I saw a cadet approaching me. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me, “See that young man coming toward you, I want you to stop him and tell him what you are trying to do.”  My response was what yours would be, “Sure, that’s just a random thought in my head.”  But as I got closer and closer, the thought got more and more insistent.  Finally, I decided I could not live if I disobeyed it, so I stopped him and said, “Young man, you are not going to understand what I am about to tell you, and you are probably going to think I am crazy, but the Holy Spirit told me as I was approaching you that I need to tell you I want to start a Christian Fellowship at Norwich.”  I was stunned when he responded, “You’re kidding me!  As I was approaching you, the Holy Spirit was telling me, “See that man approaching you?  You need to tell him you want to start a Christian fellowship at Norwich!"


That young man was John Petrowiski, who was a senior back then and graduated shortly after, became lost to us while we focused on the others in the nascent group.  After nearly 25 years of wondering what became of him, just in time for him to participate in NCF's 30th reunion, I discovered by correcting the memory I had of when the event occurred, that he is living and worshiping just a few towns northwest of Northfield!  God is so Good!


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