By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
A Nebraska native with Imperial ties has authored a book about inspirational Biblical stories of ordinary people in the hands of an extraordinary God. Heath Trampe was in Imperial last Saturday autographing “Extraordinary News for Ordinary People.”
The divinity student’s wife, Aunnee, is the sister of Pastor David Kahle of Zion Lutheran Church in Imperial. The couple set up shop at the Chase County Fair to meet people and talk about the book.
Trampe is a graduate of Concordia University in Seward, Neb., receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interpersonal Communication in 2005. He and Aunnee just returned from serving a year in Latvia, a former Soviet country.
The 27-year-old has one more year of school at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He plans to graduate with a Masters of Divinity in 2010, and then find a Lutheran pastorate.
Trampe’s book is a 12-week Bible study. The basis of the book was born when he was teaching a class at a church the first few years of seminary.
The class was for “intelligent elderly people,” Trampe explained. “I was amazed at God’s love in their lives.”
For these ordinary people with an extraordinary knowledge of the Bible, Trampe wanted to find a book about ordinary people in the Bible, but couldn’t.
“The books made all of the people sound so extraordinary,” he said. People such as Jonah, Lydia, Zacchaeus and Esther were simply ordinary sinners who experienced their share of hardships and struggles.
“These are characters we might skip right over, “ Trampe said. “They mess up over and over and still receive God’s love.”
As the book unfolds the 12 stories of inspiration and hope, Trampe hopes that readers discover that “ordinary” is a pretty amazing thing to be.
Although this is the Amherst native’s first published book, another will be out by the end of the year, and he also plans a sequel to “Extraordinary News.”
His second book is about the Trampe’s time and adventures in Latvia. “I think people will want to read it,” he said.
The Trampes were located in the city of Riga for a year, doing practical pastoral work such as preaching and teaching.
“I didn’t teach them anything,” he laughed. “They taught us.” He preached at a cathedral in Riga that is one of the largest in the world.
Most Latvians speak English and are very well educated, although it’s a poor country.
“There are a lot of beggars, people doing anything to get by.”
Latvia is a former Soviet satellite, now independent of Russian rule. Trampe said most Latvians had always wanted to be independent. The book describes the country and what it’s like to be a “recovering Soviet nation.”
The Trampes are living in Kearney until the end of August, visiting churches and speaking of their experiences in Latvia. They will then return to Fort Wayne for his final year of school.
More information may be found at www.trampesinlatvia.com, which will be running for the next six months.