Photo by Fernando Venzano

Runaway and Her Family Welcome 9 p.m.

Sue Kientz

In 1948 at age 14, Vera ran away from home to New York City. Her strict Mennonite parents highly restricted her life, not allowing movie-going and other activities most young people of the time enjoyed. Once in the big city, Vera got a social security card but couldn’t get hired because she looked too young. One night she decided to stay in an all night movie theater at Radio City Music Hall on Broadway and 42nd street. One man seated near her asked to “take her to dinner,” but she began to realize his motives when he put a hand on her knee. Vera rebuffed him and left her seat, then saw an older woman sitting alone in the back of the theater. She asked if she could talk to the woman and confessed she left home. The woman took her to the street corner to speak to a policeman who might help her reconnect with her family, since the woman said they must be worried about her. As Vera was taken under the constable’s wing, a clock struck 9 p.m.

Meanwhile in Allentown, PA, her parents were meeting that night with their pastor at their home. They had called him to ask for his help praying for their missing daughter’s return. As they knelt in prayer, the pastor finished his intercession and said, “She is safe now.”  The time was 9 o’clock, Vera later learned, when she was indeed safely in the company of the kind policeman.

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