Lucinda Wierenga

We sent our middle daughter Lucinda (better known on South Padre Island as Sandyfeet)
off to Michigan State University with great apprehension. She was so young
and seemingly so vulnerable that we wondered how she could possibly manage,
let alone find a career. She dutifully emerged as an educator, as were her
parents, and came to the South Texas committed to becoming a successful English
teacher. She was a successful teacher . . . Until she discovered South Padre
Island and it's beautiful beaches.

She has returned from China, which followed trips, among many others, to Aruba,
Africa, Belgium, Italy and Japan. All because she had the courage to discoverer
new talents and break out of the mold. One could certainly question the
redeeming value of influencing the minds of young people as compared to
building sand castles on the beach. I did, but not any more.

There seems to be a correlation between her story and my interest in
genealogy and family history. I have a letter that was written by my uncle
when he was a missionary to China. It was sent to his father (my grandfather)
who at the time was seriously ill, wondering if he should attempt to get back
to the states for one last meeting with his dad. I also have the fathers
response, who is extremely proud of his eldest son (of a family of twelve
children), and commends him to his mission, and that it was likely he would
not be able to get home in time. It is a very sad letter.

I have heard many stories about the joy my uncle John brought to his father
as the result of his decision to enter the Christian ministry. My eldest
brother, from a family of seven also became a minister. I remember my pride,
and that of our family, as he followed his "calling." He impacted many lives.

Now two generations later, I find myself questioning if we really should impose our religious beliefs on others, and
question the divisive notion that we have the only way to encounter God yet, I have great admiration for those
who have strong convictions and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to achieve their "calling."
There are a lot of needy people in this world and while attending to their physical needs is a "calling" we all share, we
also need to support their own search for the meaning of life and what comesafter.

My grandfather was a famous wood carver and his son went to China to
fulfill a mission. I share some of the woodworking skills of my father and
grandfather, and like to think that that gene has been passed on. Sandyfeet
is not in China as a missionary, but as the only American woman invited to
that country as a sand sculptor. I'm proud, not so much of her sculpting and
computer skills, as of her ability to create a unique niche whereby her life
will touch the lives of people around the world.

Learn a lot more about her life . . . Click Here

Check more photos in this gallery

. . . and more Photos