As a child, whenever something upset Connie Schumacher, she fled to Church.

WCR PHOTO | CHRIS MILLER

As a child, whenever something upset Connie Schumacher, she fled to Church.

July 18, 2011
CHRIS MILLER
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

EDMONTON — When things are going well, people are prone to praise God. They praise God when they land a new job, get married or have a grandchild.

But Connie Schumacher praised God when her truck caught on fire and when her neighbour shot bullets through her kitchen window. She even praised God when her husband left her.

“God has asked you to walk through trials, whatever those trials may be, and however hard they are. I will guarantee that if you pray and give him glory, you will have such blessings beyond your comprehension. Don’t think that you can follow the faith without getting opposition and having trials.”

She was the speaker at the Edmonton Catholic Charismatic Prayer Breakfast, held July 9 at the Chateau Louis Conference Centre. About 50 people attended the monthly breakfast.

Challenging others to be a walking example of Christ for others, her testimony was heartfelt and full of tears.

Shumacher was raised in Villeneuve, the second youngest of five children.

“I lived right across from the Catholic Church, so every morning when I woke up I could look at the Catholic Church — it was beautiful. At that time the church was open 24 hours of the day, and you could go any time,” said Schumacher.

Shumacher met God at an early age, and townspeople taught her how to pray. As a child, whenever something upset her, she fled to the church. She spent many hours in the church alone talking to the Lord. She sang, she praised Jesus and told him all her problems.

“These were beautiful, beautiful practices that I took for granted.”

FLYING BULLETS

Later, a squatter moved into an abandoned home, next to theirs, and lived there with his girlfriend, their children and some Doberman pinschers. Most of the community was uncomfortable with their presence, but Connie gave clean clothes and food to the children.

One day she was babysitting children and while in the kitchen baking a cake, she felt a breeze on her face. Glancing over, she saw a hole in her window. Someone had shot bullets through her window. There were gunshot holes in the wall, just above the children’s heads. The squatter had tried to kill her dog.

While that situation would make most people cower in fear, Schumacher realized that fear does not come from God.

“Faith is an action, a doing, not a feeling. Our feelings can deceive us. Our feelings are there to help us, not to hinder us,” she said.

TRUCK ON FIRE

Another time, her truck caught on fire. She sat on the curb crying and praising Jesus. She knew that repairs would be costly. Yet when she took the vehicle to the garage, the mechanic charged her a mere $1 to fix the truck.

When her children were in Grades 2 and 4, she went to university to become a teacher. She had not been in school for 20 years, and her studies were a struggle. But she earned her teacher’s degree and has been teaching Grade 2 at St. Anne School for many years now.

After many years of happy marriage and having two children together, her husband decided to leave. His choice was unexpected but she praised God. She knew God had a plan.

Separation

She learned faith was not about how she felt, but what she believed. After the separation and eventual divorce, she decided to praise God for everything. She thanked God for their years together.

She is grateful for her two children who helped her endure the breakup of her marriage. Her daughter is now expecting her third child and her son is Father Michael Schumacher, associate pastor at St. Theresa’s Parish in Millwoods.

Today, she continues being a witness to her students and everyone she meets. She is a witness through her actions.

“I’ve tried to hide in a crowd, but I can’t. If I have the light of Christ in me, you can’t hide that light under a lampshade,” she said. “Be Christ’s light to everyone in your life, to your children, your grandchildren.”