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Even fleas can be blessing, preacher tells breakfast crowd
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Blessings are not always obvious. A flea-infested dormitory in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II illustrates the point.
Westwood Church of Christ preacher Coy Hathcock, keynote speaker at Tuesday’s One Nation Under God prayer breakfast sponsored by the McMinnville Evening Exchange Club, told the story of two sisters separated from their family and interred in a German concentration camp.  The younger sister was always encouraging her older sibling to try to remain positive despite their miserable conditions and the constant threat of death in a Nazi gas chamber.
As the Allies were advancing on the Nazis in the spring of 1945, the filthy dormitory shared by the sisters and scores of other prisoners became infested with fleas. The older sister complained of the insect bites and challenged the younger girl to explain why she counted the bugs as a blessing.
After their rescuers liberated the death camps, the answer to that question became apparent. The Allied soldiers soon learned all of the women’s dormitories but one had been the scene of horrifying violence and abuse. The one that was spared was left alone by the Nazi captors because they wanted to avoid the fleas.
“Even fleas can be a blessing,” Hathcock told Warren County school children and local officials at the traditional breakfast in the fellowship hall of Central Church of Christ.
Chartered in 1925, the McMinnville Evening Exchange Club has been presenting the One Nation Under God prayer event every Thanksgiving week since the patriotic and devotional program was adopted by the Exchange Club’s national convention in 1964.
Club president Teresa Priestly offered the welcome, while Ken Roberts, past National Exchange president, recognized the guests.