News and Notes

Where are they now?

In the Fall of 1956 three young Iraqis students came to North Park College. Hussameddin Wali (Sam) from Karkuk, Iraq, came to the United States to study mechanical engineering. Nouri Al-Obaide (Al) had studied Diesel en-gineering and plan-ned to complete his education in America and, maybe, become an American citizen. Al's father was the conductor-in-chief of the Army bands in Iraq and the family lived in Baghdad. Hamid J. Saka (Jim), also from Baghdad where his father was a traffic inspector for the Iraq state railways, planned to earn a degree in mechanical engineering and return to Iraq.

The late E. Gus Johnson took these lads under his wing and helped them manage in a different culture. They were pleasant gentlemen and became well-liked by their fellow students. They expressed their appreciation for North Park and the United States.

The three agreed that the "friendliness of the American people and the opportunities for work and for acquiring an education are the things which they think are the most outstanding about our country" (Covenant Weekly, Dec. 14, 1956, p. 7).

These men are now in their 60s. I wonder where they are. --PJ

Meet Violet Iben Ecklund-Johnson

Violet took her first breath of outside air on Wednesday, April 7, 2004. Her mom and dad, Jennifer and Eric, were delighted to see her. Violet weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces at birth. As the photo shows, she is quite pleased to be here.

Though the question is in the air, she has not yet declared her intentions regarding the Sports Prophet position with Pietisten when her dad retires. Violet and her mom and dad have recently moved from Evanston, Illinois to the Scranton, Pennsylvania area.

California Wedding, Saturday, May 29

Under a cloudless California sky and with the sun slowly sinking over the horizon, Dusty Bach, son of Bob and Marlene Bach, mar-ried Melanie Alger. The wedding took place at the Alger Ranch in Oakdale, right in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Four hundred guests witnessed the outdoor ceremony and were treated to the performance of a family children's choir who sang "Welcome To The Family," to the happy bride and groom.

Dusty and Melanie are making their first home in Chicago, where Dusty is in his final year at North Park Seminary. Dusty serves as Chaplain to the University athletes and Melanie is a pediatric nurse.

Bethlehem Wedding, August 27, 2004

Bethlehem Church, filled with the family and friends of Michelle Regnier and Dan Anderson, was filled, as well, with the singing of the congregation as they sang hymns of celebration chosen by the bride and groom.

Pastor Phil Stenberg officiated. In the homily, Phil Johnson, a friend of the couple, welcomed them into the freedom of marriage and urged them to play their positions as husband and wife to the best of their abilities. Dan, known as Dunkin' Dan to fans of the Beth-lehem Pietist Vikings basketball team, and Michelle met as volun-teers at Homework and Hoops, a tutoring program for elementary school children.

They are making their home in Minneapolis.