Mennonite Churches

Back in the time of my youth, attending church was part of life. Grandma would get me up on Sundays mornings and she get me prepared to attending Sunday School. I have learned so much attending Sunday school. I don’t believe it will hurt anybody to attend church services. If anything it teaches people to live a good and righteous life.

Grandma was of the Mennonite/Amish Faith. She was a very faithful being part of her church activities. Mennonite church she became a Member of Vine Street Mennonite church, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Vine Street Mennonite church fist opened way before my time. It first opened its doors on July 4, 1896, following the Lancaster Mennonite Mission.  The Vine Street Mennonite church soon after later located in a former Baptist church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Pastor at that time were Pastor B.F. Herr and Pastor David Lantz who were the first Superintendents. Now I don’t recall remember the names of these pastors. Time I was attending Vine Street Mennonite Church, Pastor Hollinger was the pastor.

In the year of our Lord, 1899, the mission was located in the location of Rockland Street. 1908, John Mosemanns, D. Parke Lantz, D. Stoner Krady, many others receive valuable missionary experience attending at this location. The Weaver’s Book store and Printer was housed in the basement. At that time in the year of 1954, membership was eighty five with Pastor Frank M. Enck. The mission still continue being held at the Vine Street Mennonite church until the year of our Lord 1974 to 2000 it was than moved to another location and converted to a brick warehouse in northeast of Lancaster on James Street.

Church growth of membership grew in 2007 to One hundred, ninety-six members. Leading Pastor was Stan Shantz. Time of I attended with my grandmother who became a member of Vine Street Mennonite church, Pastor Hollinger

Standing on the outside looking in

Ever felt like feeling like a misfit. Well, I have. I fall in line with being the fourteenth child that my parents had together. It appears that I had more accidents growing up that were unexplained.

No matter how hard I have tried to make my Father proud of me, his sons it seem was more important than having a healthy relationship with the two younger daughters. It all began at the age of seven years old. One trauma after another. Oh, our Father spending quality time with my younger sibling and I would be dragging us to either the horse races or Drive-in Movies which by the ways it did not benefit my younger sibling and I. It more benefit my father so he was able to play the horses and when he dragged us along to the horse-races, upon our arrival he would leave us unattended.

Fact we were only five and seven years old, we thought nothing of it. It wasn’t until I grew older that I realize what our Father have done was not the way I would as a mother today would want to spend time with my own children.

When our father would dragged us along to the Drive-in movies, there he would meet up with his lady friends. He always introduce us to his lady friends as our Aunts. Again, we were just children so we didn’t know better and I thought of one person who would never lie to us. When we arrived at the Drive-in movies, our father would leave us behind in the back seat of the car, went to meet up with his female friends. When the movie be over, time to travel home, father has asked us to lie another words, if mother shall asked, where we were, or where our father taken us, father would tell us what to say. My sister and I have always looked up to our father as a role model but he wasn’t.

Today, it had a great impact in having a relationship with my mother. I have always felt like a misfit growing up. Things that my father would say; If you don’t get your grades up, I am gone to send you away where you never will see your baby sister again. I was only seven years old, just started first grade so it put fear in me. I didn’t want to be separated from my baby sister or my parents. Looking back to the days of my child years they were not fulfilling. I call him my father only because he was never a dad to us. No matter how hard I have tried to win his approval it seems no matter what I have done would work.

I call myself a misfit, a daughter looking in from standing on the outside of the rest of my siblings. I feel I was placed in the wrong family but God don’t make mistakes so I have accepted the bad things that happen to me growing up. December 24, 1963, I would of been six years of age. Two family members, who I won’t mention the families names has sexual abused me. I have witness how my father mistreated not just his daughters, my sister and I but my mother.

Due to an accident so I was told. I live with TBI, (Traumatic Brain Injury). Another family member hit me on top of the head with a 2×4 piece of board with nails intact. I was rushed to the hospital, fell into a coma, laid in a coma for three months. After I came out of the coma, doctors have ran tests after tests because I could not remember, I had amnesia could not remember faces, my father’s, mother’s, grandmother’s or even any of my siblings. Eventually, as my brain slowly healed over time, I started remember faces but lost  partial  loss of memory and only memories I was able to remember was the sexual abuse and other abuse that happen within our home, TBI,  usually resulting from shock, psychological disturbance, brain injury, or illness.

After my brain injury then that is where really started where I felt the way I was being treated from family members and my parents as a misfit. Did you know that when any children lives with criticism, they learn to condemn, when any children lives with hostility, they are taught to fight, lives with ridicule children grows up to be shy, well I am not shy but I don’t like being surrounded by a crowd of people or sitting in a large group. Living with shame, I have always felt guilty in everything I do. Oh, I have wonder and I have asked God, why did these bad things had to happen not just to me but to other children too? I have learned it is not God’s fault but the people who have harmed me it was their evil acts and sinful nature.

I must say though, regardless how I was made to feel as misfit I have not ran to alcohol, or drugs as my crutch, instead I ran to God. Because the brain injury and all the other trauma that I had experienced through my child age years and the injury to my brain I am not capable to make wise choices. However, I pray and ask God for His guidance and His protection. I have worked for several years as a C.N.A in a nursing home working with elderly people but then driving home one night after working a twelve hour shift I decided to stop on my way home to grab a fountain soda, well that didn’t happen. I never got the chance to grab my fountain soda because just as I was pulling into the store a drunken driver hit me. He was male who just turned Big Twenty One, and happen to be out celebrating his twenty first birthday so I was at the wrong place at the wrong time I supposed.

Today, I still feel like a misfit. Yes, I do live with a mental disability.   I am slow in learning and it does take me more time to catch on to things and to learn. Still and all it is not my fault I am not responsible that my brain don’t work as well it should. I don’t want to be treated either as a misfit. I no longer have contact with my two oldest brothers, haven’t spoken to them for over thirty years. No, they have never stood up and taken responsibility of their actions. I still treat me as a misfit, disrespect me, never have been a loyal brothers to me. If I am ever in need or in trouble they be they last ones I would depend on, the last ones I would call on.

Having that I have been always the sister looking in from standing on the outside it does hurt, being made to feel like the misfit also hurts but I always wear a smile on my face to hide the hurt, I put a good front on in front of people. I don’t have a sister relationship either with the oldest sister, she was sent away and placed in a foster home or a youth home, can’t remember, but I do remember her having to live in this girls group home up till she was twenty one years old,  when I was I believe around seven years old so I really did not have the opportunity to get to know her until she was finally released from the group home.

Having to always felt like a misfit I do feel lonely. I have tried and tried to have a relationship with the other siblings and other family members but my family is way to dysfunctional and likes to start chaos with one another. I don’t want to be part of that or in the middle of their drama, gossiping, or evil plans to hurt each other. My baby sister and I now have a relationship together and I love my church family then I do my own by-logical blood family. I am a Christian, I am not shouting that I am clean living for I whisper, I was a lost sheep who wander away from the flock and God found me and forgiven me. I love my family, I have forgiven them but did not forget so therefore I do not bother or visit any of my family. I have moved forward on living my life.  I am come to accept my mental disability, TBI, but I won’t let it control me for I keep trying to learn everything and anything as much I can learn. I am interesting in learn everything about the Biblical History.

Although all the pain and hardships and heartaches I had to experience in my life, I thank God every day for blessing me with a humbleness, meekness, compassion, genuine concern for others. I will never be the person I want to be, I may not be the person I dream to be but I not the person I use to be.  It is a pleasure to share my victim’s story to give others Hope, God will see you through it. God will not give us no more then we can handle.