G O D I N A G O D F O R S A K E N L A N D  5 were stark and brown and had either been harvested months ago or had been consumed by the locusts the previous summer. The wooden-spoked wheels of my wagon seemed to find every bump and hole. My back ached from the rough, unforgiving ride on the wooden seat. With the warming days, I thought the winter had passed. Now it had returned with a vengeance and sapped my spirit. I could only pray that somehow I might survive the seemingly endless winter. I had only the stories of the homesteaders: “Solches wet- ter!” Such weather! Weather so cold it froze spit before it hit the ground. Snow so deep, all travel stopped. Now I wondered if win- ter ever stopped. How would I get to my preaching stations? The river crossing loomed in my mind and the thought of it tested my faith. Only God knew. He would let me know. This land could not be godforsaken. Petermann’s shotgun lay under the seat, “You should see some grouse along the way; a little fresh meat would be good.” He had been enfolded by this land. He had adapted to its emptiness and also its fullness. He was like the growing legions. This place, so empty yet so full. So giving, yet in such need. For all the “Peter- manns” on this long trail, I knew I must find my voice; I knew I must raise my voice above the lonely howl of the wolf. I knew I must be a rock, even as the winds cut me like a knife and rent my courage asunder. God had called me here. The souls of my native Deutschland sought their future here, and I knew I had to put God into that future. Like sheep without a shepherd, they looked to me. Oh, those poor sheep! I, so weak, so lost in my newfound emptiness. My only lifeline bounced upon that wagon seat beside me: the Word of Life. I had never seen such a harsh winter or one that came so early or stayed so long. The day had changed, the wind had turned, and the clouds rushed in once again. Now the northeast wind began to swirl snow behind the wagon wheels, and even my buffalo