The Haven Acres Story
Welcome to Haven Acres. I’m Brad Crosley. My wife Stella and I are blessed to be the proud owners of this paradise hidden in the woods of North Central Iowa. If you would have told us a year ago we were to live in this beautiful acreage, we would have laughed. A year ago we were living in Davenport where I was teaching English literature at Central High School and Stella was very pregnant with our first child. Gerald arrived in April, 1974.
I’d better explain something about Gerald. When I met Stella, she was already expecting his arrival. When she informed me of her condition, I promised her I would marry her and gladly raise the child as my own. We welcomed his birth together. However, after a few weeks, Stella left me a note stating she could not handle being a wife and mother. Of course, I was devastated. What was I to do with an infant?
I determined to find Stella to persuade her to come back. I had no idea where she went or what she was doing. My attorney father loaned me one of his detectives to try to track her down. Meanwhile, I sought an administrative position to increase my income to be able to pay for childcare. The little town of Brunsville, Iowa offered me the opportunity to be the principal of their elementary school. Gerald and I moved here just before school started last fall (1974). We still had no idea what happened to Stella.
Jake Foster, the detective, found her in Bay City, Missouri, working as an escort. I attempted to make contact with her, but she left town before I could get there. A series of adventures occurred including Jake being beat up by thugs who also kidnapped Gerald along with a kindergarten teacher. Stella left a trail leading to Louisiana where she was incarcerated.
In the midst of all of these adventures, I experienced a revolutionary encounter with Jesus Christ. It was a case of God pursuing me while I was pursuing Stella. I’ve always been a good guy. I never thought of myself as sinful or needing to be saved. But thanks to God’s relentless search for me, I came to realize Jesus actually gave His life for me. I really am a sinner, doomed without a Savior. When I discovered that and began to experience the joys of walking with Jesus, I had even greater desire to win Stella back. I was able to go to Louisiana, bail Stella out of jail and bring her back to Brunsville.
I talked with her about my new Master Jesus. She resisted but by the time we drove back, she was ready to go to church with me where she heard Pastor Chambers talk about the Prodigal Son. She, too, surrendered her life, confessing her sins and joined me in our relationship with Jesus. Such was the transformation of both of us, Stella suggested we get married all over again. What a celebration that was for the whole town.
Oh yes. About Haven Acres. Through a wonderful provision of the Lord, we were able to make the down payment on this hobby farm with a beautiful house, barn and four acres of trees and green hills and a pond. Please join Stella and me as we learn how God wants us to use this place for His glory.
“If any one builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.”
I Corinthians 3:12, 13