Ilse Poindexter joined Old Pine in the 1970s and has served the church in various capacities, including years as our Clerk of Session.
“I grew up in Dresden, Germany. During the Allied bombing campaign, my family and I hid in our basement. My mother told me that God would make a way for us to survive. When the bombs had quieted, my father and uncle pushed their way up through the rubble and suddenly a shaft of light shone into the basement from above. Ever since then, I have associated God with light.
“When the Russians entered Dresden, they took my father away from us, even though he was Swedish and had no involvement in the war. For the next fourteen years, my mother searched for information about what had happened to him. One day we received an envelope from the Red Cross, with my father’s breast pocket wallet inside. There was a single bullet hole in the center of the wallet, along with a note indicating that he had been executed by the Russian army.
“After this, my mother decided that we would leave Germany forever. Our names were on a list of immigrants allowed into America under the quota system. We watched as boat after boat came, but our names were not on their manifests. When the very last boat arrived, we looked and found our names there. God had created a way again.
“One of my great loves is the ocean — its solace, peace, and vastness. I love collecting shells to remind me of it. This is my prized shell: a conch I found in Mexico, in a whirlpool where a river met the sea.”