Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Teen Years

In my previous post, we covered Dr. Andrew Stenhouse's Later Childhood. Now in this segment, we'll cover his teen years, when he moved from Scotland to New Zealand and chose a career path.


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Len: Welcome! This is Len Lacroix, and I'm here tonight, joined by my guest, Dr. Andrew Stenhouse, and we have been talking about his life story. The first two segments, we covered his early childhood and later childhood. And if you haven't listened to those already, let me encourage you to go back and listen to them, because they are very interesting, and I think they'll really be a blessing to you. 

But tonight we're going to be talking about his teen years, and so you're in for a real treat tonight, as we talk about that segment of his life. So, Andrew, I want to welcome you back to the program.

Dr. Stenhouse: Thank you, Len. It is so lovely to be back with you this evening, again, and to bring the next introduction of what's been happening in my life. This covers the years from when I was thirteen through seventeen. 

And, during this time, we made a transition as a family from Scotland to New Zealand. And the decisions I had to make--or challenges, really, that I had to make regarding my further schooling and further choice of a ministry, or rather a choice of what I would like to do for the rest of my life…

Len: Why don't we start with some experiences that you'd like to share that happened during that period, before we go into your move from Scotland to New Zealand. Are there any experiences that you remember from that period that you want to talk about that happened before the move?

Dr. Stenhouse: I think the main thing that happened was my father was exhausted from his continual work for many years during World War II. And he had his mother living in New Zealand, and he was from New Zealand, and my mother also had a mother in New Zealand, so it was a natural thing for them to consider going over there and to get some peace from the terrible time during World War II.

Len: Ok, I thought that your parents were from Scotland, so I didn't know they were originally from New Zealand.

Dr. Stenhouse: Oh no, they had...Oh, I'm sorry! They had relatives in New Zealand, I should say.

Len: Ok. So thank you for clarifying that. And so your father had been--was he in charge of all the steel for the war in England?

Dr. Stenhouse: The war effort. 

Len: So they had called him over from the US to England, because he had been working for General Motors, and then they called him over there. And that's what you were talking about, couple of programs ago, about how he had to go to England to help with the war effort. He was in charge of all the steel there, and then that really exhausted him. 

So then you all moved from England to--or from Scotland, rather, I'm sorry, to New Zealand. Right?

[Note: His father initially moved from Detroit, Michigan, USA to England to work for General Motors (GM) in London. However, when the war began, he was put in charge of the steel for all of Great Britain for the war effort. That included springs, planes, tanks, and everything else made of steel. That required him to travel to all the steel plants in the countryside and to London every day, which was exhausting.]

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, we went from Scotland -- from England to Scotland, and from Scotland to New Zealand. And my father had relatives over there, which made it quite smooth to make that trip.

Len: Yeah, sure. Is there anything you want to talk about with respect to the actual move that you made?

Dr. Stenhouse: No, not really, except that it was a bit traumatic for me going from one college to another college with different programs and different outlines for students and, of course, different times. 

(Flashback to Scotland): When we arrived in Scotland, where there were a lot of things going on over the water, there were planes crashing into each other--pushing and getting things taken care of in the air. Because across from where we were staying in New Zealand...in Scotland, excuse me, there was a loch (lake) called the Holy Loch, The Holy Loch. And the submarines were being produced in the Holy Loch, and Germany was anxious to get rid of them, and so that was a trauma for us. 

But our trip from Scotland to New Zealand was very interesting. I did well in the Scotland school and actually got a medal in mathematics, which surprised everybody. And then we were moving over to New Zealand. 

During the trip to New Zealand, the interesting thing on that trip was going through the Suez Canal. And going through Suez Canal, my father had written a thesis for a master’s degree at the University of London on “The Source of Water for Israel”. 

And so he had written this, and I had helped him with the mapping, and so on, of the charts. And he felt that I would be a natural to do this sort of thing in New Zealand. So this is what I started off on. I went to school there for a year or so and then went into university, in Wellington, in New Zealand…

Len: (cross talk) Now, when you went to the university....

Dr. Stenhouse: ...and started in geological survey as a follow-up to my father's master's degree from University of London 

Len: Ok, so when you went to the university, how old were you? Were you younger than, normally, children would be going into the university?

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, I was sixteen. I couldn't go earlier than sixteen. I was sixteen when I went to university, and you were able to go there, then. 

Len: Wow! That’s pretty young to be going into university! Was that unusual, in that era? 

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, it was a little unusual. And it allowed me to go during the day and work after hours as a helper in a restaurant. So that was what I did to help make some money for us all.

Len: Ok. Now did you say that you did any--because of the help you gave your dad on the map work for his thesis--did you spend any time working on mapping, as like any kind of studies in that area, at all, or any work in that area? 

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, when I was fifteen, I worked in a mapping department and lands and survey department and took exams on my mapping there and passed those. And then I moved over from the mapping section to the geology section.

Len: Ok. So, when you were on your trip through the Suez Canal, how did that tie in with his thesis--his master's thesis on water supply for Israel?

Dr. Stenhouse: Well, my father did that for a master's degree in University of London and forwarded it over to there. But I told him, when we were on the trip to New Zealand, I said, "Dad, you need to get off this boat and go to Israel and see where these things are-- we mapped out are." 

And he said--Dad said to me, "No, I'm so sorry, I'm not able to do that. I'm not able to do that." 

Len: Yeah. So now talk to me a little bit about the decision that he wanted you to make on deciding about which career you would pursue. So take it from the beginning where--what you started off thinking you were going to do, or what he was recommending.

Dr. Stenhouse: I went home one holiday, when--just before I was sixteen, to northern New Zealand where my father was working (at this time, he was working as a teacher). And we spent about two weeks going through all of the various things I thought I could work in, and we never reached anything other than the possibility of being a geologist. And that was why I came back and entered geological survey, as a cartographer, and took it up as a career at the university by taking on geology as a major. 

Len: I see. Because there was one point at which your father—you had said that he had artistic skills and thought that you would do well in art--in the art field.

Dr. Stenhouse: Yes, well the reason for that was that I helped him out with his mapping, very well, and he thought it was a natural thing for me to do. 

Len: And so, before, when you had told me about the geological studies, I never really thought of the cartography aspect--the mapping aspect of geological studies; I more or less thought of the study of the rocks themselves, you know. 

Dr. Stenhouse: No. I got that from being in the classes.

Len: Yeah! So you entered into geological studies at what school in New Zealand?

Dr. Stenhouse: At the Wellington University in Wellington, New Zealand.

Len: Is that in the southern part or the northern part of New Zealand?

Dr. Stenhouse: That's in the middle of the southern part of the North Island. So that's where I was. 

Len: Yeah, interesting! Well, that kind of brings us to the conclusion of this podcast, talking about your teen years. And it's very interesting to see how you made that decision on which career path to pursue. And it's also easy to see why you’d pick that, because of the natural talent that you had with the mapping--or cartography, as you called it.

But what we're going to see in the next segment is how God redirected you into the career path that He wanted you in. And it's going to be very interesting for our listeners to tune in for that one, because--or listen to that one, I should say--because it really shows how, you know, in Proverbs 16:9, it tells us that, "In a man's heart he plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." And so you had planned your course, but we're going to find out in the next segment how God redirected your steps. 

Dr. Stenhouse: Ok, Len. That sounds good!

Len: So I want to thank you very much for sharing that today and for being on the program, and I look forward to our next chat together, Andrew.

Dr. Stenhouse: Thank you, Len! Thank you so much!

Len: You're welcome.

Author's Note: The next post in this series is Called to Be a Doctor. You can find the Home page of this blog at this link. You can find my most popular blogs at Writing for the Master.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe. 

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"


Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.  

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