Last summer, on August 7, 2016, the wonderful family of Ohevi and Rachel was reunited with their daughter, Merea. This is part of that story, beginning with everyone waiting for her arrival after her court ordered release to her family and return to her community!
FROM MEREA’S HEART
I am so thankful for all your prayers in those three years.
I am thankful for your encouraging letters.
Thank you. I am happy to be home.
Dear brothers and sisters,
We are so grateful that Merea is with us again. After almost three years in state custody all the rights were given back to us parents. We know we are in great debt to you all who prayed for us, wrote letters of encouragement and continued in faith.
It was so wonderful that without resentment and grudges we were able to spend a whole day in the home were Merea lived. Many educators came along to say good-bye. We truly made friends there. Now many want to come and visit us were we live: in the Twelve Tribes community.
Coming home Merea was welcomed with a big celebration. Even the whole clan of M. Zehrovice came for the feast on Shabbat. We spent a day of singing and dancing and had a few games for everybody to participate. Merea was there with us all, “like a fish in the water.” After that Merea jumped in to the busy week before the wedding. She participated wholehearted in everything that was going on.
We see the faithfulness of our Father in all that is happening. It is a real miracle how our daughter’s heart was kept. It strengthens our faith. We are well aware that we have to continue to cry out to our Father and turn our hearts to HIM and our children in order for them and us to be saved and to make it to the end.
From thankful parents, Ohevi and Rachel
Last August (2016), when Merea returned home, where her heart was, after three long years in captivity, a friend of the parents had this to say.
Our Father protected her heart!
My mind flashes back… we lived in Wörnitz. It was somewhere between 2014 and 2015. Ohevi and Rachel were allowed to visit Merea every other week. Merea’s older sisters, would always lovingly prepare some food for their short time together, along with little gifts of love. When they left home it was always a mix of feelings. “Bye… much grace for your visit…” Since there would always be a watchman who attended each visit, the family was hardly ever free to speak and act from the heart. It was so hard to touch hearts with Mereah and to be real.
I remember Rachel’s anxious thoughts, “Where was Merea’s heart? Was it still with us, with our God?” One evening Rachel and Ohevi came back from one of these crucial visits. Their faces were so bright, so encouraged. What had happened?
They had a little moment alone with Mereah in her bedroom, and Rachel discovered in Mereah’s cabinet little notes which Merea had written to friends in another tribe (but never dared to show them to her educators).
In these love-notes Mereah encouraged her friends to continue on in faith, to not lose hope in our God. Without the shadow of a doubt, this was proof of Mereah’s heart being still with us.
Another moment which fanned sparks of hope was when Rachel received a sweet card from Mereah at her 10th birthday in which she appreciated her Imma for giving birth to her in pain. How much our Abba desires we would take on His good traditions with our whole heart!
Now it was revealed – Mereah had received in her heart that tradition, something of true substance, a real way how to honor her parents.
When your child is gone, suddenly everything that’s part of our Father’s Way becomes so much more meaningful, precious, essential.
As a friend of Rachel and Ohevi, I’ve felt with them and shared with them (to some degree) their pain, their sorrow, the uncertainty what would be the end of that soul-ripping story.
Almost three long years passed by. Finally the day came where Mereah was standing in front of a judge, expressing her heart’s desire, her conviction:
I want to be with my parents! And I want to be in the place where my parents are – in the Community!
I always kept in my heart what my sister said about the shriveled up, tiny spelt seeds. Through a series of circumstances the first spelt was sown very late in the season, and the harvest of grain was a rather pitiful sight. Kernels so meager, seemingly so void of vitality. Oh, no! But her husband set up a test-field and sowed some of these new seeds to see what would happen. And what happened? After a few days the spelt-grass started to appear on the surface. It GREW! It had the LIFE!
The seed contained all the properties it needed for growth! It was the REAL THING! That was my sister’s comparison back then in her story: even though our dedicated children are undergoing a time of extreme circumstances, their hearts contain the life of our Father’s people. It’s implanted. Nothing, no outside influences, could take away what had been put into Mereah’s heart through her dedicated parents.
Truly, our Father protected Mereah’s heart. All honor belongs to Him,
the Giver and Preserver of Life!
“There are even more people who are opposed to this excessive reaction of the authority, such as the taking or carrying off of the children.
“Here an example should be made! The state thus threatens all families according to the motto:
If you are not willing, we apply violence.
“The state is not interested in whether the children are educated or supervised by “ordinary” parents or sect parents or drug addicts. The state here is about the business (or desire) of demonstrating its power.
“These Twelve Tribes were specifically selected… because they educate their children at home?
Homeschooling? Are you crazy? Where then is the state prescribed brainwashing?
End of quote of the reader, “Jungwirth.”
What is then, the primary purpose of compulsory education? According to the English philosopher, John Stuart Mill:
A general State education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another, and the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation.
“In proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body.1
John Stuart Mill was surely right, wasn’t he?
- J.S. Mill, “On Liberty” (Walter Scott Publishing Co., London, 1901), p.201-202. ↩
Readers responded very favorably to the recent post, “There are still Miracles,” on our German blog. The miracle was the return of another son of ours (he had to run away, as many have had to…nothing less convinces the authorities, it seems).
The patience of Job
“That pleases me very much! Now I hope and pray that the sister will be able to live with you again soon! What an incredible story the whole [thing is]… just incredible.
Do not seek revenge…leave it to Heavenly Father. Think of the patience of Job, and especially the word of the Savior:
Father forgive them – for they know not what they do! Or to the position of Stephen, who said, “Father do not reckon this sin to them.
These are the only truly statements in the Spirit of Christ.”
A picture of the whole family.
And from another reader…
God’s Protection upon You
“This is a very nice news.
“I am so glad that the boy is allowed to be with his parents, even where he really belongs.
“Knowing that there are still children who are not allowed to go home, my heart runs wild.
Dear parents, you do not know what to say.
“You are special people. God loves you with all your heart.
“I think of you again and again.
“Hope you are doing well.
“Thank you very much for the insights.
“I wish you God’s protection and blessing from your heart.
“A very beautiful report, whose correctness I can confirm in many respects. The few times I have been a guest have given me enough insight into their wonderful wonderful life together. It is the warmth in the community that is completely genuine and natural and today has become absolutely rare.
“For example, I was not conscious of the fact that someone had wronged me. And yet I was approached about it and the person asked me, a guest, to forgive her because she felt her behavior was not have as fine as (probably) this person would have wished of herself.
“This makes an impression. This is not easy to forget.
“And it is therefore unbearable to have to witness how these fine people are being slandered almost day by day.
“…So, this report of the daughter from the Twelve Tribes here is understandably correct.
“She talks about the life in the Twelve Tribes in a way you will not experience any differently!!! I do not guarantee too much!!!”
Here is a photo of Sarah’s family when she was growing up.