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!
“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.
A follow-up on one of our Families
Since September 5, 2013, many things have happened to our families once living in Germany. There has been a virtue to the things they have suffered and the losses they have experienced. They report a depth of trusting our Father and of learning to pray in ways that no lesser experience would have made possible. Here is one more chapter in the story of Abiyah and Rekah Schott, this one involving their second daughter, Chaninah. She has had several posts on this blog. Just search for Schott or for her name.
Abiyah announced one evening that his daughter Chaninah would make a covenant with our Master on December 31. We have heard how when she was in captivity in Germany that she counted every day until she and her younger sister (Ishâh) were released, holding unwavering determination that she would return to her parents.
She heard that if they would leave the community that she would be released, so she told them that she absolutely did not want them to do that, but that they should remain faithful and she would come back to them when she could. It has been evident from this family’s arrival in our community that she has a heart for our Master and is very loyal. Still, to make a lifelong covenant with our Master and His people calls for embracing the gospel in a genuine surrender. Her parents and she have been in preparation for this essential step.
Before going to the water, we assembled for an unhurried presentation by Abiyah, Rekah, and Chaninah. about her path up to that point, including the difficulties in Germany, and her confession. She mentioned several matters in which she saw clearly that she needed salvation and knew that our Master Yahshua could help her. It was clear that her sensitive conscience had done its necessary careful work. She would be forgiven much and therefore she would love much.
It was especially touching that she presented a poem for her parents that she had written, that she and her friends had set to music.
From the day that I was born
You raised me in His way
Dedicated in the way of Yahweh
Your unity made me secure
Your trust in Him helped me endure
Through the darkest, most painful time.
Even when the struggles seemed impossible to bear,
You stood fast and did not compromise.
You loved our Master with all of your heart—
Because of your faith I am here.
As the waves of life came crashing,
You did not lose heart.
Into His hands you placed our lives.
Never doubting His lovingkindness,
Never doubting His salvation,
You said, “If not today, it will be tomorrow!”
Now I will take on your heart,
Embrace the struggle by your side,
Letting my roots grow deep in the land.
The battle is not over yet—
We must endure, press on together.
I give my life to see His will be done.
(Chorus and Interlude)
Even when the struggles seem impossible to bear,
I will stand fast, I will not compromise.
Love our Master with all of my heart,
Standing in faith I will endure.
Even when the struggles seem impossible to bear,
We will stand fast, we will not compromise.
Loving our Master with all of our hearts,
Standing in faith we will endure.
Standing in faith we will endure.
She went eagerly into the frigid water with her abba and David, cried out, and has been radiant ever since, honoring her parents, joyfully serving in the work, and sharing worthy insights in the gatherings.