Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dorothea Craemer- Hero of Faith

Part 2 in the series of Women of Faith by Concordia Publishing House.

This young adult book was written by Julie Stiegemeyer in 2012.
It tells the story of this woman of faith who lived from 1818-1884.

The story starts as Dorothy Benthien crossed the Atlantic on the ship- Caroline-
 with her five year old son, Henry.
A Challenging trip that was rocked with illness and then smallpox.
 She was traveling with a group of Lutherans from Germany to Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
Between 1845 and 1860 millions of immigrants had landed in America to find a better life.

Traveling with a group of adults was a single pastor- Rev. August Craemer,
 who was headed to Michigan to begin ministry to the Chippewa Indians.

By the end of the journey,
 Dorothea was befriended by Pastor Craemer and they were pledged to be married.
On day 51 of the journey, June 8, 1845, they landed in New York City.
On June 10, 1845 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church, August and Dorothea were married.

They took a train to Albany and then to Buffalo.
They began their trip to southern Michigan.
The train trip was delayed with a crash, but they escaped unharmed.
Finally on July 10, 1845 they arrived in Saginaw, Michigan.
The men went ahead to clear land and build shelter
and then send for the women and children two months later.
With faith and prayer they moved into the unknown.

The settlement was near the Cass River in eastern Michigan.
There was much to do in surviving the wilderness.
Christmas 1845 was celebrated in a newly built little church.
The Craemers ministered to the Chippewa in the region,
making friends with many of the children and telling them about Jesus.
Pastor Craemer traveled about bringing the Good News of Jesus
 to many villages, traveling mostly by foot.

After a few years the Craemers left Michigan and moved to Fort Wayne,
 where Pastor Craemer became the president of the seminary
 located there and trained students to become pastors.

Dorothea kept busy caring for students and her own children.
August and Dorothea had eight children of their own.

 The work of the Craemers flourished in Michigan
 and the settlement became  the town of Frankenmuth.
It became one of the founding congregations
 of The Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod.

Dorothea died on November 11, 1884,
 while knelling by her bed saying her prayers.
A humble life of courageous service to her loving God.

Other readings show much information about her husband August,
and just small bits here and there of her story.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to have some of her thoughts
 and the stories as an early missionary in Michigan?

Most of this story comes form the telling of August's life.
These other writings tell that Rev. Craemer was a primary person
 in the history of St. Louis Seminaary and also at Springfield, Illinois
There is Kramer Chapel in Ft. Wayne- spelled differently-
I am working to discover if this was named after Rev. Craemer with a new spelling.

Perhaps, the stories you write today of neighborhood ministry
 and God's faithfulness in YOUR life
 will be shared in 150 years to the faithful serving in God's Kingdom.

Next in the series-   Dr. Bessie Rehwinkel

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