On the stage and behind the scenes

The NarroWay Blog

Chapter 15: De'ja' Vu


hubert wolfs busBirdie and Rebecca with Hubert Rosenbaum from Wolf's Bus Lines, York Springs PA. Hubert drove the tour bus for every CrossRoads youth tour.REBECCA –
Déjà vu is a French word that literally means "already seen.” We use it to describe the strange sensation that an event has already been experienced.

Did you ever have that feeling?

That’s how it felt when we started over at our next church.

Again, there was no youth program and the choir was a faithful few. We went from the grandeur of success to thinking “how the heck are we going to make this happen again?”


We arrived in July and kicked off the youth program with a fifties party and started the adults learning a challenging new Christmas musical. Once again, God gave success!

newspaper article

But what did all this have to do with a word from God to “Call the company NarroWay Productions?” We sure didn’t know.

But God did. Though we were in uncharted territory, God had already been where we were headed.

God’s Déjà vu.
It’s like when you have to travel to a new place so, the day before, you drive there just to make sure you can find it.

One of the first people we met at our new church was Pat Hammond, a surgical nurse. Pat became a second-mother to us.
Ten years later, she would become NarroWay’s chef.

Déjà vu – God had “already seen.”

Pat and her two roommates, Laddie and Hilda, rolled out a red-carpet welcome for us. The three of them became our dearest friends.

pat laddie hilda Hilda, Rebecca, Laddie, Birdie and Pat

Hilda was an artist who created costumes, props and paintings for our productions.
Ten years later, she would paint the NarroWay set, and make the angel wings and kings’ robes.

Laddie had a gadget for everything. She was inventive, resourceful and worked hard. And above all, she kept Hilda working!

And Pat saved my life.
I had a tiny spot on the inside of my left foot. It seemed harmless. One day I showed it to Pat.
A few months passed. I had a sore throat so I called Pat. The doctor she worked with was a godly Catholic nun – Dr. Wiss. After a throat exam and medicines, I hopped off the table to leave.
“Wait,” Pat said. “Let Dr. Wiss look at your foot.”
I made a fuss but Pat insisted. Dr. Wiss gave it a long medical name and agreed it was harmless.
I was leaving the building when Pat caught me.
“Dr. Wiss wants to take another look.”

If they had let Rebecca leave that day, it would have signed her death certificate. She had stage 2 melanoma.

Déjà vu – God had “already seen.”

rebecca on crutchesMy melanoma surgery was in August, right at my birthday and I had always wanted a trampoline. So, that year, Birdie bought me a trampoline for my birthday. The problem was, I was on crutches and couldn’t jump.
birdie on trampolineBut she could!!

That same year Pastor Joe and Tessie took a group from their church in Charlotte, NC to Israel. We had made reservations a year earlier to go with them.

On that trip, we met two new friends: Johnny and Marie King.

holy land 1987Circled in red, left to right: Johnny King, Tessie, Birdie, Joe, Rebecca and Marie King

We would meet them again ten years later. They made the donation that made it possible for NarroWay to open.

Déjà vu – God had “already seen.”

We began writing the first musical for our new CrossRoads youth team, titled: MEET ME HERE. It was the story of the fall of man.

That year Jim Bakker, famous televangelist, would also fall. And with him fell Heritage USA, his religious theme park which ranked second only to Disney.
From televisions in Kentucky we, and the world, watched the story unfold.

News of Bakker’s arrest shamed the religious world – as if he were the only one of us who ever disappointed God. The world had seen them drag him, shackled and chained, like a dangerous animal, and toss him into the back of a police car.

One morning I read my Bible and quickly started working on a song. I was getting nowhere. Then God impressed me that I missed something in my Bible reading and I was to go back.

I respectfully explained to God that I had a trip to the recording studio the following day and needed to finish. But God would have no part in what I needed to get done until I did what he needed done.
So I went back to reading Mark 6.
I had missed the last verse.
Inspired by the Jim Bakker tragedy and the promise that, no matter what we have done, there is healing - I sat back down at the piano and wrote: “All Who Touch Him Are Healed.”

We didn’t know that one day we would perform that song in the very place where Bakker lost it all and he would sit in that performance and weep.

Déjà vu – God had “already seen.”

So, be at peace, my friend. This journey you’re on ...God made that trip yesterday. And He knows exactly how to get you where you’re going.


Pat Hammond
Nanette Cecil
Anna Stratton
1950's party
adrian layne
girls at 1950s party
brian schindler as a child
Jon Brennan and John Kelly as kids
Nellie McNeil with Birdie and Rebecca

Comments 1

Guest - fcbuscompany.com on Thursday, 25 August 2016 07:57

Never hesitate to go far away, beyond all seas, all frontiers, all countries, all beliefs.

Never hesitate to go far away, beyond all seas, all frontiers, all countries, all beliefs.
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Chapter 16: When God Delivers Cookies to Your Door
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