Archive for June, 2015

Totally Lost

I had a bad dream last night and I awoke at 6 a.m. this morning, unable to go back to sleep.

I dreamed that another lady (I don’t remember who she was, but I will refer to her as friend), and I were exploring in my car and my friend was driving. We were going across a series of steep, windy mountains and we were lost.  Totally lost! We had no idea where we were at. After discussing our situation we decided that we would keep going as the road had to come out somewhere.  We kept noticing that the road was getting more narrow and less traveled. It had been hours since we passed another vehicle. The houses were fewer, just small homes tucked along the ridges and there was very little sign of life. The few remaining businesses were deserted clapboard buildings of yester years. We began to note that we had not seen a gas station in a long time.

I kept hinting that we needed to turn around, that we were lost and we would soon be in trouble. My friend did not heed my hints.  Finally the road was no longer paved, just a roughed mountain trail. My friend kept pressing on. In my mind I was processing our situation; no cell phone service, low on gas, our husbands had no clue where we were at and I could not walk with my injured ankle. Walking really was not an option as we would have to walk for days to back-track. The gravity of the situation was weighing heavy.

We passed a deserted looking house and my friend started down a rough, rocky incline in the depths of the forest that only a 4-wheel drive could navigate.  I also knew that darkness was falling. There was no way to turn around and we were at a dead end.  My frustration exploded and I awoke.

Disturbed and unable to go back to sleep, I pondered the dream. I said, “Lord, is there a special meaning to this dream?”

For me the dream had an instant spiritual understanding. I will simply ask you a few questions to ponder.

  • Are we being guided by a GPS or road map or just hoping  that somehow, somewhere we will come out and everything will be ok?
  • Are we traveling along with no sense of direction, no landmarks, and no signs.
  • Are we afraid to speak the truth before it is too late?
  • Is our tank running on empty?
  • Where do we receive our source of fuel (power)?
  • Who is our navigator? Who is driving our car?
  • Where do we place blame?
  • Do we heed sound advice?
  • Are we aware of the terrain and sense the direction the path is headed?
  • Do we press stubbornly forward, blindly unheeding the impeding doom?
  • Is there any hope of rescue?
  • Have we lost our way?

I am reminded of a few verses.

  •  Psalms 119:105 “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
  • Proverbs 2:10-12a “When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you and understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil.”
  • Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”



H. P and Anna Hertzler Reunion-2015

On Saturday, June 13, 2015, descendants of Henry Peter and Anna Hertzler gathered at Shady Oak in Harrisonburg for a family reunion.

Here are a few family facts:

  • They had 10 children; Arthur, Milford, Menno (died as a youth in a boating accident), Lois (Hostetter), Ruth (Shank), Harry, Oliver, Osie (Ziegler), Edith (Wenger), and Dora (Brunk).
  • There are 44 cousins with Bob Hertzler (81) the oldest.
  • The closest we could figure, there are now 634 living descendants including spouses with approximately 60 (10%) in attendance. They came from Arizona, Florida, Chicago, Delaware, Pennsylvania and points in between!
  • Harry (98) and Osie (96) are the only living children and they were both there!  We weren’t sure on either one until the last minute.


This was a touching moment as siblings, Harry and Osie, greeted each other. It has been quite a few years since they have been together and it was the highlight of the reunion.

With a huge grin he took his hat off and got down on his knees in front of her.




They were obviously both really happy.

They sat and held hands-it was so precious. It made you wonder what was going through their minds.





Each family unit was represented and had their picture taken with Harry and Osie.


Arthur and Edna Hertzler family

(Kim, Rachel, Caleb Snyder, Bobby Hertzler, Bob & Marie Hertzler)


Milford and Ada Hertzler Family

(David Gerber, Harrison Elmore, Christina Harman, Keith Harman, Jan Gerber, Catherine (Presley) Elmore, Diann (Presley) Harman and Annalena Elmore)


Lois and Virgil Hostetter Family

(L-R:  Nancy & Bob Hostetter, Margie Swartzentruber)


Ruth and Byard Shank Family

L-R: David & Lois Shank, Daniel & Margaret Lehman, Brandon & Heather Byler, John & Patricia Martin, Ray & Merietta Shank)


Harry & Edna Hertzler Family

(L-R with wives in front of men) Michael & Kay Hertzler, J.P. & Alma Hertzler, Joe & Norma Hertzler, David & Ilva Hertzler)


Oliver and Anna Mae Hertzler Family

(Back row L-R: Jill & Obe Hostetter, Gene & Pat Hertzler

(2nd row:  Ryan & Karla Hostetter)


Osie and Ralph Ziegler Family

(Audrey Ziegler)


Edith and John Wenger Family

L-R: Sidney Wenger, Howard Wenger, Elba & Harold Wenger, Louise and Linford Sommers


Dora and Dan Brunk Family

(Kenny Brunk and Dale & Kathy Stoltfus)

Other pictures


Newlyweds, Harold & Elba Wenger, married April 10, 2015 and hailing all the way from Arizona.


Linford Sommers and Ray Shank


Alma, Norma and Ilva Hertzler


David and Lois Shank


Gene Hertzler and Keith Harman


Osie and Bob Hertzler



Marie Hertzler and son, Bobby Hertzler


Howard and Sidney Wenger


Obe and Ryan Hostetter


J.P. Hertzler and Patricia Martin

IMG_2730 (2)

Marie Hertzler and Pat Hertzler (Photo by David Hertzler)


Father and son; Harry and David Hertzler


Playing games – Christina Harman and Analena Elmore


Kim, Caleb and Rachel Snyder


 Karl Shenk  and Ray Shank


Judy Humphrey and Catherine Elmore

IMG_8332Lois Shank and Merietta Shank


Kenny Brunk

IMG_8334Kathy Stoltfus and Marie Hertzler


David Gerber and Keith Harman

IMG_8338Gene Hertzler and John Paul Hertzler

IMG_8335Harry Hertzler and David Shank

IMG_2727 (2)

Howard Wenger, Sidney Wenger and Michael Hertzler (Photo by David Hertzler)

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Harold Wenger introducing his new bride, Elba, to Osie. In the background Margie Swartzentruber and Audrey Ziegler.


Sister-in-laws: Norma, Ilva, Alma and Kay Hertzler

IMG_8341This amazing man who is 98 years old is agile, stands tall and steady, and still walks with a spring in his step.

He is a man of God who, in his younger days, was a preacher and teacher.

IMG_8294Osie, a twin to Oliver, is loved by everyone who knows her.  Her husband, Ralph Ziegler, was a plumber and preacher.

They were instrumental in helping to start the Mennonite Church in Richmond, Virginia and later pastored at Woodland Mennonite.

Osie wrote poetry and those attending the reunion were rewarded with a treasured book of her poems, “Homespun Verse: A Mother’s Medley”.


Blessing on the meal by Uncle Harry. Thanks Catherine Presley for sharing this video.


Note to family: If I have anyone mislabeled or labeled with a ? please let me know so I can make corrections.  There were a few I just didn’t know!  Thanks, Pat


Ryan’s Baptism

Today we rejoiced with Ryan on his baptism into the family of God and we were so glad to join other family members and Lindale Mennonite Church in celebrating this special day.


Ryan sharing his testimony which he wrote himself. It was amazing. He said he is taking a stand for Jesus!

Ryan’s Testimony:

“My name is Ryan Hostetter. I am going to be baptized today. I have already been baptized by my sister when I was little.  Karla saw a baptism and proceeded to baptize me with water. I want to be baptized because I want to show that I love God and want to honor Him.  I have accepted Jesus as my personal Savior and I have given my life to him.

We have all sinned and need God’s love, grace and forgiveness.  In the Bible even Jesus got baptized. We know that because it says so in Matthew 3: 4. At that time Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John but John tried to change his mind.  I think we should honor God by all we do and say.”

That’s what it is all about.


Gathering at the creek.


Pastor Duane Yoder asking Ryan his baptismal vows.



The creek is so lovely but not very deep.


Each one knelt in the creek and they poured water over their heads. They were given the pitchers as a memorial to their baptism.

Cropped picture

‘I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son and the Holy Spirit”.

Praying over him.

“Arise and walk in newness of life”.

One happy fella!

Ryan’s baptism:


In his testimony, Ryan mentioned that he was baptized once by his sister. Here is my blog post about that story.

A Dear “Lorded” Baptism

Even though our worship services are usually adult-oriented, they are also a vital part of a young child’s spiritual training.  In between the wiggling, coloring, eating, pouting and playing, they hear the songs of praise, sense the spirit of worship, and observe the adults giving testimony to their faith.   Sometimes weary parents feel that it almost isn’t worth the effort to battle another Sunday until they observe their little ones at play.

Karla, almost three, and Ryan, almost one, were in the living room playing when their mother who was in the kitchen suddenly became aware of what they were imitating.  Karla had her hands cupped above Ryan’s head and she was praying in earnest…

Dear Lord….(this was followed by jibberish that her mommy could not understand)….Amen.” 

Then she carefully poured the pretend water over Ryan’s head and gently pressed her hands on top of his head.  Finished, she went to the kitchen and announced to her mother, “Mommy, I dear Lorded Ryan!”

August 27, 2006


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