Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Snapshot Muse #15 - Winter Ade

We've seen many months of winter in all it's glory - cold, wind and tons of snow. While I didn't get to move mounds every single day, I do somehow feel I developed a strong bond with our shovel. Thus, this is sort of an ode the the shovel post. We have the 'easy on your back' variety - it's curved handle supposedly makes things easier on your back. That's probably true when there's only three inches of light snow on a tiny porch. However, removing four feet of wet snow (and we got lots of that this year) from a big deck with rails, (also our reality) there is no 'easy' - one practically gets back spasms just looking at the stuff.

Nevertheless, I love our bent handle shovel and can't hold it against it, that it's not a real wonder tool. It's such a big part of my life for months on end, I can't help but be attached. It stands beside the door waiting, always ready for the next snowfall, beckoning me and every other person who passes by, to pick it up and heave some snow. OK, fine, it does make shoveling a tad less bad breaking... or maybe it forces people to lift and pitch snow in a manner that's not so strenuous - if there's such a thing as perfect posture snow pitching. And in that case, perhaps this latest model of the lowly shovel is a wonderful invention.

Still, I'm quite happy to tuck this steel and plastic apparatus away in the garden shed. Rest you weary wonder, and I won't miss you at all till the next snow season falls upon us. And I am extremely grateful to see warm temperatures remove our snow.

Interestingly enough, while working on this post, I found an article: Science of Scooping Snow 
Don't you just love the title? - Next thing we'll know it will be part of the curriculum here in Manitoba.

The song I chose for this posts brings memories from my childhood. It's on the first page of the Witter's Zweite Lesebuch. Although, back then, I was probably not aware that it's a song: Winter Ade

Friday, 11 April 2014

Hutterite Descendants - Freed Slaves From the 1605 Turkish War

 Cyprus Landscape

I’ve received some interesting messages since I’ve started blogging a few years ago. The most recent one made me do a double take and wonder if this person was dreaming. Upon conducting an internet search to learn more about the Hutterer Park in Innsbruck, Austria, this person was led to my blog, where I had written a post on this park after visiting the area.

“Hi Linda, just read your ‘Living What Our Forefathers Died For’ post. Deeply touching article, as I am a descendant of the Hutterites enslaved by Turks during the raids.  We were eventually sold as slaves in Istanbul and sent to Cyprus. We were freed in the 1800's and still live in the same Turkish village in Cyprus.  We are still in touch with our distant relatives in Süd Tirol and some Hutterites around the world.  I am keen to visit a Hutterite colony one day.”

Cyprus Landscape
Naturally I felt compelled to respond and find out more about this intriguing ‘descendant of the Hutterites’. Over the course of a few emails, I learned that the man was born and raised in the United Kingdom, to Turkish Cypriot parents.  

 “Since a very young age, I have always had a fascination with genealogy and trying to trace my ancestry.” He wrote in an email. “I managed to trace my family tree back to the 1800's, to the same Turkish village my father is from, but couldn't go back any further.  So I decided to take a DNA test to work out my origins.  The results came and it turns out I have the rarest European DNA (Haplogroup L2) and the DNA I carry only appears in one part of Europe - Süd Tirol.”

A few years after getting this DNA test done, a man from Süd Tirol took the same test.  His results were posted onto a database and because they matched, both men, one in the UK and the other in Süd Tirol were alerted to this. They received an email from the DNA testing company to inform them they were 12th cousins and shared the same forefather in the 1500's.  At that point the man in the UK got in touch with this distant relative in Süd Tirol, and later, fascinated by this discovery, also visited him.

After more research, both cousins learned that in the 1500's their common ancestor lived in Leifers, Süd Tirol.  One of their forefather’s sons became a believer and converted to Anabaptism.  Due to this he was disowned by his family and went through severe persecution.  The people that remained on the farm are where the family in Süd Tirol descends from.  My contact in the UK descends from the disowned son who became an Anabaptist.  

The trail then goes to Moravia; where in the 1600's the Turks invaded and enslaved 200 Hutterites as recorded in the Hutterite Chronicle, pages 702 to 788. From Moravia they were taken to Hungary and then Istanbul, Turkey, where they were sold as slaves to a farm in Cyprus.  The farm they settled on is the farm where the family continues to live today!
 “So, I am a descendant of the Hutterites who were freed from Turkish captivity!” this man from the UK informed me. “As a result of my research and findings, I converted and became a believer too - I now attend an Anabaptist Church in the UK. Unfortunately we have no Hutterite gathering in the UK!”

Hutterite descendants in Cyprus
I told him about the Bruderhof community in London and he has since made contact with former Hutterites there and has visited them as well and felt “very emotional and happy”. He and his family are now planning a week-long visit the Darvel Bruderhof in England.

“There are no modern day Hutterites from this same family line - they were all either murdered or enslaved by the Turks.” he noted, as he continues his research, “We have unfortunately lost our link, but I am intent on making the link again and ensuring the people from my father’s village are made aware of their Hutterite origins. I am very keen to visit a colony and experience the life I call home”.  

In his quest to find other “Turkish Hutterites" he has managed to find members of the Stahl family living in North East Turkey.  As a result of this discovery he now plans to continue the work of Salomon Böger and trace as many of the lost Turkish Hutterites as possible. Salomon Böger’s was a Hutterite in Moravia, mentioned very briefly in The Chronicle of the Hutterian Brethren, is known for his unusual and valiant efforts to redeem Hutterite women dragged away by the Turks during a very bloody war raid in 1605. His wife and daughter were victims of these raids, thus his passion to find and try to bring home these slaves. This mission lasted a few years and he was able to reunite a few lost women with the community. In 1610 while traveling toward Hungary, he disappeared and later it was reported he was murdered on the road.

Having recently visited ‘Moravia’, which today is known as the Czech Republic, this story really piqued my interest. Not only is it linked to Hutterite History, but I was able to make a better connection from a geographical sense.

In conclusion, like many other similar stories, this is a part of Hutterite History that could never have made it into our history books, because tragically, people sometimes just disappeared and were never heard of again. Till now - for this family anyway. In reading our history, I’ve often wondered what happened to the people who by choice or force were separated from their Hutterite communities. For example, the people who chose to stay in Russia, when the Hutterites immigrated to America. One can only imagine what fascinating pieces we could add to our history books, if we’d ever find out. Then again, and as is evident with this Cyprus connection, who knows what more we’ll learn in this ‘information age’ we’re living in.

Monday, 7 April 2014

What Follows After - Dan Walsh

About the Book:

 In 1962, life was simple, the world made sense, and all families were happy. And when they weren't, everyone knew you were supposed to pretend.

For the past year, Scott and Gina Harrison have been living a lie. While they show up at family get-togethers in the same car, they've actually been separated for over a year. To keep up the charade, they've even instructed their sons, Colt and Timmy, to lie--to their grandparents, their teachers, and their friends.

Colt, for one, has had enough, so he hatches a plan. He and his little brother will run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents get back together. But when things go terribly, terribly wrong, Scott and Gina must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their marriage.

In this emotional story, bestselling author Dan Walsh takes you on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family. With profound insight into the heart of a hurting child, he reminds us that a time will come to look back on hard times and smile, because we'll know that what follows after . . . is not what we expected at all.

My Review: 

For me, Dan Walsh has come to be known as an author who many times has tough relationship issues woven into his stories. What Follows After is another one of those books, this one though, was more of a nail biter than his others - my favourite book by this author thus far! I was quickly wrapped up in the riveting storyline and the believable characters were like neighbours. This book holds the ingredients for an exceptional read: a kidnapping, broken relationships, family supporting each other through thick and thin, God's love and faithfulness, healing and reconciliation. This is one for the 'keeper shelf' and to be shared with friends and family, especially ones who are struggling with relationship issues.


Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Snapshot Muse #14 - Vessel of Mercy

It's not always that words on the wall get our attention, or even keep drawing you back for another look. I saw this hanging in the home of a friend recently, and it spoke to me. I read it a few times and was touched each time. It caused me to pause and give this some thought.

Maybe there is a deeper reason why people walk across our minds sometimes, other than merely thinking about them, that is - remembering some happy times we spent together, or even sad or unpleasant ones....

Perhaps that person is struggling with something that you're not even aware of, or maybe you do know that he/she is going through a rough time. And pausing in prayer on his/her behalf seems like such a small thing to do, but as we know, it's powerful.

Even just asking a blessing on the person who came to mind unexpectedly... at least that is what this wall hanging reminded me of. "And so in case he needs my prayer. I pray."

The song 'Vessel of Mercy' sung here by the Harmony Quartet seemed like a good fit for this post, because aren't we all called to be vessels of mercy?

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Die Hutterer

(This article was first published in the March 2014 edition of the Deutsche Rundschau.)

Die Hutterer sind eine christliche Glaubensgemeinschaft , die auch Gűtergemeinschaft pflegt – wie es von der apostolischen Urgemeinde vorgelebt wurde: Alle aber, die gläubig waren geworden, waren beieinander und hielten alle Dinge gemein. Ihre Güter und Habe verkauften sie und teilten sie aus unter alle, nach dem jedermann not war. Apostelgeschichte 2, 44 - 45.

Zudem glauben die Hutterer, dass man brűderliche Liebe in der Gemeinde am Besten pflegen und leben kann: Dabei wird jedermann erkennen, daß ihr meine Jünger seid, so ihr Liebe untereinander habt. Johannes 13, 35

            Ursprünglich aus Deutschland und Ősterreich stammend, leben die Hutterer seit 1874 in den Vereinigten Staaten und seit 1918 in Kanada. Wegen Verfolgung flohen sie von einem europäischen Land zum anderen  – von Deutschland und Ősterreich nach Tschechien, Ungarn, Rumänien und schlieβlich nach Russland. Nach hundert Jahren in Russland, verliessen sie auch dieses Land, da die damalige Regierung gebot, dass in allen Schulen Russisch unterrichtet werden sollte. Ausserdem wurde es ihnen auch nicht mehr erlaubt, aus Gewissensgründen den Kriegsdienst abzulehnen. 

Also wanderten die Hutterer in die Vereinigten Staaten aus, wo man sie einlud in dem Dakota Territory zu siedeln. So konnten sie sich auf der Präirie - die der russischen Steppe ja so ähnlich ist - ein neues Zuhause schaffen. Nach dem ersten Weltkrieg, wo es den Hutterern in den Vereinigten Staaten nicht gut ging, beschlossen sie, nach Kanada auszuwandern. Später zogen manche Hutterer wieder in die USA zurűck.

            Jede Hutterer Gemeinde hat ihre eigene Schule,  wo u. a. Deutsch und Englisch unterrichtet wird. Viele Gemeinden haben eigene ausgebildete LehrerInnen, aber in manchen Kolonien werden die Kinder von nicht- hutterischen Lehrkräften unterrichtet. 

            Die alltägliche Sprache der Hutterer, die sie Hutterisch nennen, ist eigentlich ein Dialekt aus Ősterreich. Wenn fünfjährige Kinder mit der Schule anfangen, können sie nur dieses Kärtnerdeutsch. 

Heute leben ungefähr 45,000 Hutterer in etwa 450 Kolonien in den Vereingten Staaten: Nord Dakota, Süd Dakota, Minnesota, Washington, Montana und Oregon; in Kanada: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta und British Kolumbien. Eine Hutterer Gemeinde sieht  wie ein riesig groβer Bauernhof aus. Die Männer sind mit Landwirtschaft und in den verschiedenenen Ställen beschäftigt – sie züchten Kűhe, Schweine, Hühner, Truthühner und Gänse. Manche Kolonien betreiben andere Industrien sowie Schreinerei-Werkstätten, Ventilation- und Fensterfabriken. Dazu werden verschiedene Gegenstände hergestellt, wie Stűhle und eine Vielfalt an Eisenwaren.

Die Frauen sind in der Gemeindekűche, in der Schule als Lehrerinnen, beim Kinderpflegen und im Haushalt tätig. Neuerdings wurden in Manitoba vier Krankenschwestern ausgebildet. Im Sommer gibt es im Geműse- und Obstgarten und mit Einkochen viel zu tun. Sie sind ausgezeichnete Handarbeiterinnen: Nähen, Stricken, Häkeln, Sticken und Steppen u. a.

Schloss Taufers, Sűd Tirol, wo Hans Krael gefangen lag.
Vor kurzem hatte ich eine besonders schöne Gelegenheit eine europäische Reise anzutreten. Als eine Kollegin und ich ein Stipendium gewannen, entschieden wir,  vor dem Beginn des Kurses, zusammen mit drei anderen Hutterern die Spuren unsrer Vorfahren zu folgen.  Diese brachten uns in die Schweiz, Ősterreich, Sűd Tirol, die Slovakai, die Tschechische Republik und Deutschland. Manche von diesen historischen Orten, wie Veľké Leváre in der Slovakei,  waren vor vielen Jahren Hutterergemeinden. An vielen Orten, wie  z.B.  auch Rattenberg, in Tirol, wurden sie traurigerweise wegen ihres Glaubens unbarmherzig gefoltert und hingerichtet.   Das Große Geschichtbuch der Hutterischen Brüder,  berichtet dass im Jahr 1528,  ‘An diesem Ort bis in die 70 Personen mit ihrem Blut gezeugt haben.' 

Also kam ich nach Kanada zurűck mit einem Gefűhl von tiefster Dankbarkeit. Unsere Vorväter, stark im Glauben,  litten und kämpften fűr die Wahrheit, obwohl sie wussten, dass es ihnen ihr Leben kosten könnte. Wir hingegen, leben in Ländern mit Religionsfreiheit, wo wir ein ungestörtes, ruhiges Leben geniessen. Ob unser Glauben heute auch so kräftig wirkt wie damals bei unseren Vorfahren?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Snapshot Muse #13 - The Old Cow Man

Come a-ti yi youpy youpy yea youpy yea
Come a-ti yi youpy youpy yea
It's bacon and beans most every day,
I'd just as soon be eating prairie hay...

 It's Cowboy Day at our school today. It's actually become sort of like a tradition, where we'll have five fun days, during the week prior to spring break. Now our students will not let us forget, much as the teachers sometimes would like to. The students choose what fun thing will be done each day - well, we do have to make sure they don't go too wild. From past experience we know it can get a touch out of hand. For the most part, though, it's usually a lot of fun for everybody. Today we had Dora from Fairholme here as a sub. She must have thought she took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up on a ranch. (:

Here's what our week will look like:

Monday - Bring-a-stuffed-animal-Day
Tuesday - Cowboy, or Wild West Day, as some prefer to call it
Wednesday - Funny-Day (wearing something funny)
Thursday - Twins Day (two friends or siblings dress alike)
Friday - Wear-Something-You've-Never-Worn-Before-Day

Of all our cowgirls and cowboys, I think our Kindergartners were the cutest!

Of course, this post needs a cowboy song: The Old Cow man - Don Edwards

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Snapshot Muse #12 - Joy is Like the Rain

As much as I love winter, with it's brilliant whiteness, blustery days and yes, even the extreme cold - I'm ready for vivid colours, spring showers, balmy days and going barefoot! Today marks the first day of spring and my hope springs new, that warmer days are not too far away. We'll try not to think about that -20 forecast for Sunday. Let's all post spring/summer pictures, for apparently today is also International Day of Happiness - so yes, spread some joy - lots of it - everywhere!

Speaking of joy, here is one of my favourite songs from the Medical Mission Sisters. I learned this one, along with many of this group's other songs, in school many years ago. Mr. Patrick Moore was our teacher at the time. He was the last non-Hutterite teacher to live on the colony while teaching here. After school he worked in the barns. His wife, Sandy, even had a cook week and took part in all other work the women did. Coming to think of it, Pat celebrated a birthday on St. Patrick's Day. (I hope you had a very special day, Pat! Thank you for introducing me to the Medical Mission Sisters!)

 I always remember it, because my dad's birthday is on the 18th. For quite a few years now, dad has been celebrating his birthday in heaven and we here are content with all our precious memories of him.