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Many of us come from poor immigrant farm families and can identify with

Tina’s story. Yet each story is different. Tina’s stunning story takes you

at a fast clip from the early migrations of her Mennonite people from

The Netherlands to Prussia to Ukraine. Her parents were born toward the end

of the 19th Century in Czarist Russia, just in time to witness World War I, the

1917 Bolshevik Revolution in St. Petersburg, the Civil War that followed, and

the reign of Lenin. For most of those years in their Ukrainian village the Klassen

family prospered. The collectivization and purges of Stalin followed the Klassen’s

emigration from Russia to Canada in 1925. Canada is the setting for Tina’s birth

and life. See how the everyday chores, child’s play, schooling, and Tina’s curiosity

intersect with her family’s struggle for survival in this foreign land. The cultural

and natural environment was not always friendly. Drought, dustbowl, the Great

Depression, learning a new language and customs all took their toll. Although

they were dirt poor, you will be impressed with her family’s indomitable spirit

and fortitude. Tina is imbued with this spirit and ethic as she prepares herself

for independence and service. Achievements and progress are rooted in humble

beginnings. Tina remembers from whence she came.

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