32  G E N E R . S TA R K shouted. Soon the others rushed over, and we all worked to free him. I heard several languages blend to focus on the reality of freeing Hans. As if the events of the biblical Tower of Babel were reversed and all those voices could be understood by all, we to- gether focused on one task. At last the brute strength of Hans began to move his midsec- tion and finally his legs. We dragged him free as tons of earth fell upon the floor where he had been pinned down. I saw then that all languages can be as one and knew that surely God worked in many and very mysterious ways. Language isn’t important when the message is the same. In such small in- crements God was teaching me His will. More and more I knew He had a plan for me. I met Peter Hafner, a holtzhauer, or wood carrier. He hauled wood beams to the mine to shore up the ever-deepening shaft. He, too, had come from Germany and his daily, “Wie gehts, Au- gust?” came to be expected to brighten my day. He always tipped his dark wool hat as he turned his team of horses around to re- turn to the woods. One day he said, “August, come to church with me. My wife and children attend with me at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church. It is a Deutschsprachige kirche. The German language is spo- ken there much like in Germany.” I was still reluctant to attend church, feeling that I was too young to get serious about religion. “After church my wife, Anna, will cook dinner. She is a good cook, and her kraut und kartoffeln are very good,” Peter tempted me. Perhaps the prospect of a home-cooked meal complete with cabbage and potatoes won my heart. The pure gospel message, presented in my native tongue be- gan to change my heart. I attended church, and each Sunday the Word touched me. My work in the mines seemed only now to be a lead-up to church on Sunday. The services became the center of my week. Peter and Anna became wonderful friends to me.