From Secretary to Field Rep

By Veva Appel

(From our series “The Best or Worst Advice I’ve Ever Received.”)

The best advice I have ever received, other than taking the advice of the man who asked me to marry him, came from my boss, George Gahr, president of Christian Homes, where I was his secretary.

Veva Appel with her son, Gene.
Veva Appel with her son, Gene.

After my beloved husband, Leon Appel, died at a young age, I thought I would be continuing in the secretarial position I enjoyed. But one day, Mr. Gahr asked me, “Veva, would you be willing to do some development work for Christian Homes?”

I replied, “George, don’t ask me, I can’t even balance my checkbook.”

He said, “We’ll get you some help.” He didn’t balance my checkbook, but sent me to seminars and conferences in Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis, and Nashville among other places to get me started. I attended with attorneys, professionals, accountants, and others who had been in that field for many years. I was praying and thinking, God, I didn’t pursue this and I don’t know very much about it, but if this is the path you want me to take, I am willing, if you will help me. 

He has used me in ways I could never have anticipated, and I had many rewarding experiences to bless the facilities and people who filled the void in my life as a widow. I thank God for giving me courage to step out into unknown territory and work in that capacity until retirement. I became a field representative and marketing assistant. It became the most rewarding experience of my life in serving God and his people.

I am so grateful I took this good advice.

Veva Appel lives in Lincoln, Illinois.

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