In 1932, the twin trials of the dust bowl and the depression made life difficult for all, especially in the high plains of the United States. Ben Bedford, whose only capital consisted of “his wits, his will and his faith”, borrowed ninety dollars from his mother-in-law, Grandmother Anthony, to buy “an old Model T truck”. Loaded with family, critters and belongings, Ben and wife Nancy Tennessee Anthony “Tennie” set out for Paducah, Texas where Ben heard there was money to be made picking cotton. Ben, good with horses but unable to drive a car, charged his two oldest boys to take the wheel. The faithful Model T went as far as it could until one large hill climb stopped it for good. Thus begins “To the Ends of the Earth” by Nelda Bedford Gaydou, granddaughter of Ben Bedford and daughter of Allen Benjamin Bedford.
Grubbing, sharecropping, finding work where they could, the family could always rely on their faith and good food on the table as they traveled across country. Their trek took them to Belen, New Mexico where their eleventh and last child was born. Allen Benjamin weighed only two pounds at birth. As Ben and Tennie had lost other babies, they couldn’t be sure this little one would make it, but make it he did. Benjamin would grow up strong and capable to follow his calling to tend God’s flocks. Ben would marry La Nell Watson, who also had a calling. The two and their children, David, Nelda and Nancy, would follow God’s path all the way to the southern missions of Argentina and its southernmost tip of Patagonia;
To the Ends of the Earth “High Plains to Patagonia” by Nelda Bedford Gaydou takes readers from the depression and dust bowl days through World War II, the post war 50’s and on through the turbulent 60’s. Just as he grew up following work, Ben would take his family on the road finding, and introducing others to God through the Baptist Church. Ben and Nelda’s children grew up rich in the knowledge of faith and travel to new places, always following God and his Word. God’s work is much richer for this pioneering mission couple of Dr. Benjamin and La Nell Bedford, lovingly captured by their daughter, Nelda. A second book will pick up with the 60’s as a great sequel to this engrossing work.