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.

Havah and her little sister, Merea…full of life.

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!