Sunday, January 25, 2009


I am thankful for:Life
My second hot cup of coffee.
Friends and family
My Anabaptist heritage.
Several things have happened to me since dad’s death that have been exciting and in a sense I have been on a treasure hunt so to speak. Reading dad’s notes he saved when he gave talks at Mennonite Churches over the years really started this. I saw my dad stayed true to his Anabaptist beliefs but was also progressive at times. I decided it was time to really search the net for articles and chat with people about the Mennonites and Amish. I have been out of the Mennonite Community for well over 40 years. I love history and so decided to dig in so to speak. I will not get deep in this all but I will say I found out that my childhood and teens years did shape in me a strong core of beliefs.

I learned so much from my 3 Aunties as we called them, Fannie, Elizabeth and Emily.They raised my dad and his brother. Going to their home was the same as going to Grandma’s house. They loved God above all and taught me to love my church. From Aunt Emily I learned not to judge people.

Dad was a great example of both servant hood to all people and a great example that a daily walk with God meant time spent in the Bible first and the words of any author second. He would read a book and take out truths when they lined up with God’s Word.He knew the Word and so he was never a man that neither was confused nor wish washy. He lived a balanced life. We worked with folks in Harrisburg, Pa. in Hamilton Street Mennonite Church, he worked MDS, and he shared what we had with those with less.After my marriage he and mom went to Honduras and he treasured each minute of that service to the Mennonite Church. He than came back to the states and gave years to Lakewood Retreat…a Mennonite camp above Tampa. He believed in family camping as well as kids going to camp. He also has been active in Camp Hebron in Pa.

All involved taught me that peacemaking is a key to life…. we must ”live peaceable with all men”. My world has always been global for missionaries that served and came home for a time were always welcome at our house. I loved to hear them share! My grandma Shearer had a love for missionaries and read many a book to me about them. She sewed for the Children of missionaries and wrote letters to them. As a child I was a part of this process and I loved it. We rolled bandages for the lepers in Africa, made MCC bundles for various areas. This to me was so exciting!

Now here in Virginia I have found a treasure trove of history of the Anabaptists. There is a bookstore here called “Book Savers”. The books are cheap and I have found a treasure trove! I loved Christmas Carol Kauffman as a child and went to see if any were there. The only one was one I have never read called, “Dannie of Cedar Cliffs.”. It is the story of Dannie Roth and wow….am I learning! I am reading “Readings from Mennonite Writings New and Old” By J. Craig Haas. I think one written in 1524 is the oldest I have read so far. (Conrad Grebel). It is designed to read one a day for the year but I am reading and researching much more than that. (Bt the way it cost me 1.00)

I have read the story called “Honey Bread and Milk” by Joyce Gingerich “This account of Amos Gingerich and Nannie Yoder Gingerich gives an intimate glimpse into the lives of a family that followed God call during the rapid change in Mennonite and Amish communities.”—Franklin L. Yoder,Adjunct Professor of History, University of Iowa.

On my stack is one called “Stories our Mothers Told” by Herb Swartz. It says it is about the “son on a immigrant mother, and the daughter of a missionary mother….I have the book called “Tobias of the Amish” by Ervin R. Stutzman.

I just finished “Quiet Shouts” By Louise Stoltzfus. “Stories of Lancaster Mennonite Women Leaders” I love that I knew 3 in the book. I read “ Eyes at the Window” By Evie Yoder Miller. It is based on fact but is a novel. The history in it was great and I looked a lot up.

I read “Valley of my Heart, A devastating war, a peaceful people and one family’s quest for truth” The notes and the Bibliography are a roadmap of books I am looking for.

I will close for now but I feel I am on a journey and I really am excited about this. I may be 60 but I love to learn and see I am drawn back to my roots!
God is good

Friday, January 9, 2009


You all will see what is happening to myself, John and mom if you look here:

Please add any suggestions you have on helping us know what to do.

Donna G