Twelve Tribes Newsletter #32
The Ten Days of Awe – of Yom Kippur – continue on for us in all of our communities. They are especially poignant in Klosterzimmern and Wörnitz, our two German communities. There we are learning deep in our hearts, that all things do indeed work together for the good of all those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.1 And like them, all of us are learning to recognize the hidden motives at work in our souls that do not fully honor and acknowledge God’s absolute sovereignty in our lives.
We are considering our ways, especially how the thoughts that come to us — from wherever they come from — interact and affect what is already in us. The collection of “things” already inside us an ancient writer called our matrix.2 So it is time to face those most ancient questions, “Why has your countenance fallen? Why are you fearful? Why do you not trust My hand in your life?”3
Discerning and disclosing these motives forms a major part of our twice daily gatherings during these ten days. However, if you were to visit us, you would find that everyday we gather twice a day to praise Him, sing, dance, and share our hearts.4 These times each day are the heartbeat of our life.5 They make possible the life we share, for there we hear from the God of Heaven through His chosen means: the humble hearts of those covenanted to Him.
Honoring a Valiant Warrior
And in this Newsletter we would also like to tell you of the kinds of relationships we strive to form in the Body of Messiah. What effect does stress and pressure have on them? Read on and see. Certainly, we have had plenty of both in the last year! The story we tell is of one young man, just a small but significant part of his story. His parents are German, and he grew up much of his life in Germany, but he was born in America. Recently he spent some time with us where our communities began – Chattanooga, Tennessee.
For the last few months, the clan of Chattanooga had the honor to serve shoulder to shoulder with Chayim, the son of Boaz and Shua Markeli. Like a well trained son, he served us relentlessly. Day and night he was always ready to serve. There was no job too small or great — from making our Yellow Deli cornbread to helping repair vehicles. From making smoothies by night to lawn care during the day, he was willing and eager to give all that he could.
The days seemed to fly by and before we knew it, the time was upon us to send our faithful friend back to his tribe of Levi in Germany. Seizing the opportunity to give honor where honor is due, a celebration was called for this noteworthy son.
The children prepared a song, a throne was made, a delicious meal was prepared, a beautiful banner was painted, and best of all, hearts of love overflowed.
The theme of our evening was honoring a valiant warrior. Like a wounded soldier returning from battle, Chayim stood among us faithful and true. Though he was afflicted he remembered the purpose for which he was born.
His life was compared to an untold hero returning from the battlegrounds to tell his story. Although marked with battle scars, pain, and even at times a bit disoriented; still his heart filled with gratitude to fight and stand for a worthy cause. Much appreciation was bestowed upon him for his courage to stand. It was made clear to all that his stand was only possible because of the good things put in to him by his wonderful parents.
Tsel, his older sister, spoke in tears about the day of the raid. For weeks no one heard anything about the children. All we could do was cry out. Finally, after six long weeks, small communications began. Tsel spoke of her deep gratitude and love for her brother that he endured through this time and longed for a way of escape. It was very special for the Tribe of Benyamin (southern United States) to have both Tsel and Chayim together for a time.
It was no coincidence that Chayim came to Chattanooga at this time in his life. He came right to the place where it all began. At this time in Chattanooga there is a small band of nucleus who lived in the original Vine House. They have stood the test of time, knowing the purpose for which they were called. These are those who bear the marks of the loss and pain of the battle, but still remain loyal.
The greatest time of testing is yet to come. But, day-by-day we are closer to our goal. And like the words that rang out long ago from the heart of one of those loyal ones in the first Vine House:
“We have come to join an army,
One that has been marching forth for years.
But, we know the one we march for and we have grown to love His cause.”*
Chayim stood to his feet that night, tears streaked his face as he responded in love. He looked around the room, his eyes fixed upon our faces, as he peered into our eyes. Filled with gratitude he gave thanks for the opportunity to come to the place where this life first began. He thanked us for our love, encouragement and gentleness towards him. A bond had formed that has the strength to cross into eternity.
Chayim, we love you. Thank you for standing with all of us. Keep on standing…
Not long later
There is a postscript to this moving story. Thrust back into the pressure cooker of life in our Communities in Germany, Chayim had a wonderful opportunity to speak up on behalf of his parents, our life, and his friends. It was at a town meeting on September 4, 2014:
Chayim ben Boas (ben = son of) was really able to show them that it was not that the children in Klosterzimmern had no hope in the future. He was taken the day of the Raid, 5 September 2013 — three months before he turned 18. He was put in a home for youth who are hard to handle.
His social grace, his diligence, respectfulness and trustworthiness stood out to all the instructors there and to the other young people confined there.6
They rolled out the red carpet for him to have every opportunity to get set up with an apprenticeship and support from the government because of the way he was raised. But he chose to continue to further the life that his parents had entered into some 30 years ago. He told them that the only reason why they gave him all those opportunities was because of the way he was raised, because there were many other youth in that home who didn’t have the same opportunity since they lacked an upbringing.
Like Chayim, we are thankful for the struggles we go through. Indeed, they are essential to enter the Kingdom of God!7 And like him, we press on. He is a hero to us, as are all our brothers and sisters there.
As they said in in the September 4, 2014 town meeting:
“To close the evening we again sang the song, “In The Golden Fall,” but this time first telling them why we wanted to sing it to them – that we wanted to communicate that we were going to receive from our Father whatever He had for us and that we believe in Him and that’s why we are still here and we are not divided and not devouring one another. If He prunes or if He takes away, still from our heart comes a song – a song of joy and not of pain, a song of victory and gain, a song of peace.“
This faith is what will cross over into eternity.
For the Communities of the Twelve Tribes,
* Listen to the entire song, “I have come to join an army.”
- Just as Paul taught in Romans 8:28 ↩
- Paul the Apostle in Philippians 3:19 put it this way (where matrix is the word translated as belly), “Their end is destruction, their god is their belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things.” ↩
- See God’s conversation with Cain in Genesis chapter 4. ↩
- This is the fulfilment of the type the priest of old kept in 1 Chronicles 23:30. ↩
- For more on this, read page 25 of the amazing pamphlet, “The Radical Life of Acts 2:44.” ↩
- See Newsletter 24, “Behavior Unworthy of Human Beings” ↩
- Acts 14:22 says this very clearly: (Paul was) “strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” ↩