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!
We had the last milestone celebration for our first born daughter Hannah. It was short and simple but also sweet and deep.
There is much appreciation for our daughter in our hearts. We are especially grateful for Hannah’s heart towards us. She expressed her thankfulness that we chose this life. From the day of her Bat Mitzvah on she has served us faithfully and proved to be true to her vows and she also developed her own conviction. Now we can send her with joy to serve the Body.
We know that we could only bring her so far but the work of salvation continues. We have full confidence that Hannah will love and receive the direction of the Body and therefore will continually learn and increase.
It is a great comfort to us to still have our second daughter Havah (19) with us and we pray day and night for our youngest daughter Merea (11) to be released from state custody and be brought back to her family and her life!
As a beautiful song we sing says…
Our work is to believe in His goodness
Our work is to believe in His kindness
Knowing that all things work for the good
To those who love Him…
…Our work has just begun!
Ohevi and Rachel
For more about this wonderful family, visit this link.
What has happened to the Children since the Raid?
Since the historic collective loss of custody1 of the Twelve Tribes children on September 5, 2013, many articles have appeared in the media. It has been a good sell. Unfortunately, almost no one knows what has happened to the children themselves.
Besorah S. was fourteen-years-old when she was taken to a children’s home against her will. After three months there, she was allowed to return home based on an interim court order. As she said then, “I am extremely thankful to be home.” But her two little sisters were not allowed to return to their parents. For nearly two years she was only allowed to visit her sisters once every two weeks, and this under close supervision.
Her sister, Chaninah S. was eleven-years-old when the Jugendamt (youth office) brought her to a children’s home. Expert psychological opinion revealed she had never been endangered with her parents and that another stay in the orphanage would be detrimental to her. It was Chaninah who wrote the moving account of the Raid with the memorable words, “You can never separate a daughter from her parents.” She counted 700 days on her calendar until allowed to come home. Her parents have decided to emigrate from Germany.
These two girls, like their big sister Besorah, wrote so many letters to the judges imploring to be returned home to the parents and the Community they loved, where they were cared for in every way.2
The youngest sister, Ishah, was taken to the children’s home at age 9. Like her sister, expert psychological opinion presented to the court showed that she was not at risk with her parents. After 700 days the courts returned full custody to her parents, allowing her to return. She had been very clear she wanted to return home!3 She is now moving away from Germany with her parents.
For the post in German, which has pictures and synopses of the other children, see “Deutschland, wie behandelst Du deine Kinder?”
Yedideyah M. was 15 years old as he was taken to a children’s home with police violence. He was allowed to return to his home after his second escape attempt because of an interim court order. He wrote then, “At 3:00 o’clock in the morning we jumped out the window and miraculously managed to go home.” Because his mother is a US citizen, he decided he would rather live in America.
Merea K. was 9 years old when she was placed with a foster family by police force. From there, she took refuge first with her sister – together with their parents – and also a second time they fled together to Switzerland to her grandmother. From there she was forcibly handed over three weeks later to the German Youth Office.4 She was separated from her sister and spent only 10 days in another foster family before she was placed in an orphanage. There she is still waiting eagerly for the day when she can return to her parents and two older sisters. She is most severely traumatized by these violent acts and suffers anxiety (Angstzuständen = state of panic or anxiety states).5
Eva K. was forcibly housed at age 17 years with a foster family. Once she fled with her sister to be with her parents – but was returned the same evening by the police. She fled a second time to Switzerland to her grandmother, where after spending three weeks she was taken forcibly by Swiss police at the request of the German Federal Justice Office to the border and handed over to the German Youth Office. She spent another two weeks locked up in a youth facility before she was released.
She has written a beloved journal, “Diary of an Abused Girl,” about her treatment at the hands of the German authorities, and even written the Chancellor of Germany about their desperate situation, so far without response.
For more about Eva’s and Merea’s remarkable family, see the Krumbacher family.
Nechonah P. was 12 years old when she was separated by police force from her parents and placed in a foster home with her younger brother. After 2 months, her brother was secretly moved to another foster family because she allegedly influenced her own brother too much in favor of their own parents. Then she fled from foster home to her parents. After a visit to the competent judge she was forcibly returned to a children’s home by an employee of the Youth Office, from where she fled after another 3 months. She is happy to be with their parents, but lives under constant fear again of police violence to be taken from there. She has endured several police actions in which if she was found she would be taken away from their parents. Thankfully she has not been found.
She has since become a bat mitzvah, a loyal, faithful, tested and true daughter of the commandment – an honor to her parents.
Her brother was Rea P. was nine years old when he was separated from his parents by police force and placed in a foster family. After 2 months, he was picked up without warning from the school and moved to another foster family — and thus separated from his older sister. Later, because his sister had successfully fled her captivity, a 5-month contact ban was imposed on him. That is, he could not see his parents for five months! This was a sanction by the Jugendamt (Youth Office). He has been massively influenced against his parents and the community by the foster parents. He will now be subjected to a deep psychological treatment.
Shama H. was 8 years old when he was placed in a mother-child station. He was allowed to stay at first with his mother and little sister, because he is diabetic. Three months later, when he was still in bed, the infamous second raid happened where again, without warning, employees of the Youth Office with police assistance were in front of his bedroom door. Despite his desperate cries, he was separated from his mother and sister and taken away to a distant orphanage. Since then he suffers from physical, mental and moral neglect. He is bullied at school because he wears his hair tied back…like a little priest.6
His little sister Shalomah H. was not yet 3 years old when she spent three months with her mother and her brother in the mother-child station. Suddenly, brutally, the Youth Office came with police and separated her from her mother and her brother, leaving her paralysed. At the foster parents she awoke from her state of shock and cried for weeks after her mother, sobbing on the phone with her parents. “It hurts so…”
The twin sisters Ahavah and Baruchah P. were not yet 4 years when they were uprooted from their family. Since then, because the parents have not distanced themselves from their faith in God, which they practice in the “Twelve Tribes,” custody has been permanently withdrawn from them (earlier this year). Now the girls can no longer see their parents, because they fear that then even their youngest son would be taken (next child pictured).
Their three-month-old brother Gidon P. was initially housed with his mother in a foster family. After 3 months, he was allowed to return home until the parents custody was withdrawn permanently in the spring of this year, even for him.
Even before the 3-year-old Nehemiah Shalem P. was swept away by the Youth Office – torn away from his mother – she was told that she would get back their children ever again. The traumatized boy suffers now from a speech disorder and is disturbed in his motor development. The further consequences for the mental development of children one can only imagine.7
Hoshayah P. was 8 years old when the police picked him up. He was screaming when ripped away from his mother by the Youth Office and then placed with foster parents. There he has been living now for two years “provisionally” with his sister, separated from his parents and his younger brother. He is desperate because his hope to be able to be with his parents again until today remained unfulfilled. He has heavily indoctrinated with “anti-cult information” and negative views, resulting in a loyalty conflict which alienated him further and further from his parents. The Youth Office supports this transformation.
The always cheerful Tsebiyah P. was 6 years old at the forcible taking into care. She is still waiting for the decision about her future in the interlocutory proceedings and loses, like her brother, any hope of being able to live again in her family. She has also been heavily influenced and transformed against her parents. This behavior on the part of the Jugendamt confirms the fears of the Munich Higher Regional Court, which stated that: “Facts are created which make it difficult to return the children to their parents more and more” solely by the procedural delays.8
Jesaya W. was 2 years old and still nursing, when he was brought in a mother-child station with his mother. Three months later, the mother was detained in the infamous “second raid” by the police and had her son ripped out of her arms by the Youth Office staff. The villagers were shocked by the desperate cries of the children, which could be heard everywhere.9 He now has lived half of his young life by preliminary court decision away from his parents.
Jonathan T. is the first child of his young parents and has spent 20 months in a foster family. His mother was forced to wean him and the boy had many nights crying to sleep.10 His parents do not know the answer to his constant question, “Why should I not be at home with you?” The grandparents and all relatives can no longer see the now 4-year-old, because they all somehow “belong to” the Twelve Tribes.
Sarah R., the youngest of four siblings, was taken away from her family at age 16 years. After three months of strict “protection of minors” in a Catholic girls’ home she was allowed home due to an interim court order. She does not want to live in Germany anymore.
Helez S., the youngest of 6 siblings was 13 ½ years when he was brought to the police force into an institution. After three attempts to escape in snow and ice and against police searches, he was finally freed through an interim court order of the Regional Appeals Court.
Noah S. was 8 years old when he was separated from his loving mother and stuck first in a children’s home, and two months later in a foster family. He is overwhelmed with material things to convince him that he is doing better there. He is kept away and estranged from his mother and no longer believes that he can live with her again, even though the preliminary process is not yet completed.
The 5-year-old S. Chemdah from Spain fell victim to the collective loss of custody, because her family had come for three months to Germany, where her father worked on a solar project. As the mother during this time was expecting a baby, she registered in Germany to get papers for the newborn. This ensnared Chemdah because all the children who were registered in Wörnitz at the Georg-Ehnes address were torn by the German authorities out of their families.
Her three-year-old brother Yakol S. spent two years in a German foster family, although he spoke only Spanish and English. The Spanish children were forcibly integrated into Germany and until the Higher Regional Court finally allowed him to go back to his parents, they were unable to communicate with them any more (because they had forgotten both their English and Spanish). The parents have left Germany and moved back to Spain and now try to work out, with a lot of patience, the traumatic experience their children went through.
Hananiah S. at age 2 was sent by police force, with his mother, to a foster family. After 3 months, the Higher Regional Court ruled that they were allowed to go home for the time being. The family had to travel back and forth between Spain and Germany to preserve contact with his two older siblings, who had to stay with foster parents.
The 3-year-old Israel L. from Argentina had a blessing in disguise. He had to spend in only nine days in a German foster family. The boy spoke only Spanish and showed by crying the whole day out the window that he wanted to return home. In the first trial it could not be demonstrated that his parents “belong to the Twelve Tribes” and so authorities allowed the boy to go free. Hastily the family left Germany on the same day.
Six other children…
Six other children from two families at the ages of 16 months to 9 years old were also kept more than a year in state custody. Because the parents left the “Twelve Tribes” in the meantime, the children were returned to them. The families are strictly controlled by the Youth Office (Jugendamt) and allowed no contact with their previous friends or family.
- At the plenary session of the Bavarian Senate, on July 20, 2006, Secretary of State Karl Freller said: “That means that there is in this case only two possible actions: either imprison the mothers or send the children to a home. To send 33 children to a home would mean a collective withdrawal of parental rights of the parents. Such a case has never been before in Germany.” Quoted in the “Open Letter to the Bavarian Senate” in January 2014. ↩
- For example, see the post, “Can a good tree bear bad fruit? 1” ↩
Ishah wrote on April 26, 2015:
10 times in capital letters:
- See the post, “Seized in the middle of the night.” ↩
- As her parents wrote after a recent court decision, all of this has been done “At the expense of the children.” ↩
- So we see the non-violent education Germany offers its children. ↩
- So we see the fruit of Germany seizing one of our sensitive, wonderful children. This is not unpredictable, as Michele Noterdaeme, Professor for Child and Adolescent Psychology and Psychotherapy, stated in the Die Seite Drei article of January 15, 2014, “Mit Aller Gewalt” (“With All Force“):
“Have the authorities overreacted? “The younger the child is, the more dependent it is on the mother, the more good arguments it takes to remove him from the parents,” says the professor. “If a one and a half year old child will suddenly be separated from his mother, it means “a significant risk for the development. After the abrupt end of such a close relationship some children find it difficult to enter into new relationships. This can last into adulthood.” On the other hand also regular beatings could damage the soul of the person growing up permanently.
So, was the second action with the small children appropriate? Noterdaeme formulates somewhat carefully, evasively: The tasks of the Jugendamt are not easy. Their staff is standing between two options: ‘If we do nothing, we are criticized — we are active, there is also criticism.’ I assume that the Youth Office had good, assignable reasons. If there is no imminent danger, then the forced removal to prevent immediate danger is not justified.” According to the eyewitnesses in the home in Dürrlauingen there was — at least in the short term — no danger for the little kids.” ↩
- As the Court stated: “The command to speedy trial in custody proceeding (…)has presently special significance because the danger has to be considered that alone through the length of the proceeding that is already more than 1 ½ years facts are created that make the return of the child to the parents more and more difficult, child and parents are being alienated and another interference into the environment of the child which could again bring the child in grave conflicts. In face of these possible consequences for the psychological development of the child the duration of the proceeding so far is alarming.” See the post, “What is wrong with our pamphlet” for this and more of what the Higher Regional Court of Munich said. ↩
- As one respected villager put, the actions of the authorities was “beneath contempt.” ↩
- As the gripping diary of Eva Krumbacher relates (just the first few weeks of captivity): “Diary of an Abused Girl.” ↩
How do our children regard all that has happened?
In this report by Hannah and Havah Krumbacher of a visit with their sister, Merea, you can understand something profound about the New Covenant heart our Father gives us who surrender all to Him.
Several months ago…
“We were thankful for our last visit with Merea in the orphanage where she lives. We had it on our hearts to take some lambs to her to encourage her. So we took two lambs and two Nubian kids. It happened to be a nice opportunity to invite all the children there to come. The educators were also very interested to see the animals, so they called the other children outside.
“We were also very happy to be able to see Abijah’s girls, Haninah and Ishah who endure in the same orphanage. They also came over and all of the children enjoyed feeding the milk to the kids and pet the lambs. It was nice to reach out to the other children also, even just to show a little interest in them.
You can see how they are socially neglected and how they long for love and a place to belong. It is sad to see all these lonely and starving young souls without a future and purpose for their lives. I thought, we are their only hope and I believe that there’s a reason why our children are in this orphanage so long. If these children could one day remember the love and find a true home and family it would all be worth it.
“Some girls said, “Oh, Haninah told us so much about Klosterzimmern and that you have a lot of animals there….” She seemed very interested and well informed about where we come from.
“When it was time for us to put the goats back in the vehicle, the children begged the educators if we could please stay longer and get the lambs out again. Well, our time was almost up so they all jumped in the back of our truck with the animals for a photo.”