1917 changed the world and my life

10 November 2017, 13:51 | Society-digest | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Fred Redekop

9 November 2017 Observer

“As Saul neared Damascus [ in Syria ] on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him .”   Acts 9:3. Saul ( later named Paul) was arresting and killing people of the Way of Christ. He was headed north out of Jerusalem, on his way to Damascus, Syria . His conversion changed the course of the Christian movement.

Here in October and November is the 100th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution. My dad was about to turn one year old, and was living on a farm in the Mennonite colony of Ignatevo in Ukraine. After about eight years of being harassed by this new government, and the war between various forces in the civil war, my dad’s family left Russia/Ukraine in the summer of 1926.

The Revolution destroyed the life of Mennonites in that area of the world. Their farms were taken, their businesses were left to rot, and their ability to worship, as they wished, was not permitted. They had been very wealthy in Russia/Ukraine, and they had not always treated the people that worked for them very well. But that story is for another article. My dad seldom talked about what he remembered of those first nine years of his life, but his life and community was destroyed there, and his family had to rebuild here in Canada.

In 1517, Martin Luther, a former Catholic priest, nailed his 95 Theses on a church door, and the Protestant Reformation was begun. The Theses were about some of the practices in the Church that Luther disagreed with, including Indulgences. These were payments to the church leadership that guaranteed a place in heaven. On October 31, the religious world commemorated the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation . Anabaptist/Mennonites were part of the same movement beginning in 1525, when some adults decided to re-baptize themselves without the priests being there. They also believed that the Mass held no mystery of the bread and cup, but was a memorial service . They also refused to take up arms for any government. What did these early Anabaptists lose when they left the Catholic Church? It split families, and in many cases, they were treated harshly and killed.

These two events happened well before I was born, but have affected who I am as a person and a believer. They shook the world when they happened, and shook the worlds of my fore mothers and forefathers. What events have shaken my world in my lifetime? From 1975-1979, the Cambodian people were subjected to a genocide by their own people. Educated and city people were the targets. For three years, my wife and I listened to the stories these people who had become refugees in Thailand, and then as immigrant refugees to Canada. Almost no family was complete anymore. All had lost members of their families to the murderous Khmer Rouge ( Red Khmer ). These stories that we heard stayed with us.

Other stories that have shaken my world are: clergy sexual abuse, residential schools, the Vietnam War, the Syrian Crisis, contaminated water here in Elmira, and others as well. What are the events that have helped you be the person you are ? What are the events in your life that you have experienced , that you are still working through, to obtain healing?

My dad never recovered from the Revolution. He never forgave the Communists. This is not judgment on him, but this was his experience. Sometimes life events are so hard, that true healing never arrives.

I wonder what the next thing that will change my world.

Система Orphus


Last comments

  • Shvagyrr | 26 September 2018, 15:46

    Ban Moscow in all its poisonous forms from Ukraine. The Russian governnment and its puppet Russian Orthodox Church are evil.

  • Ігор Затятий | 25 September 2018, 17:06


  • velovs@ukr.net | 25 September 2018, 14:31

    Р. S. Перепрошую: дещо НЕ ТУДИ помістив цей свій комент.

  • velovs@ukr.net | 25 September 2018, 14:28

    В 1961 г., в момент её закрытия коммуно-совдеповской властью, наместником Киево-Печерской лавры был епископ Нестор (в миру - Никита Арсентьевич Тугай (1900-1969)). И в тот период будущего митрополита

  • Стефан | 24 September 2018, 21:26

    Мир и порядок в Украине это Поместная Православная Украинская Церковь, освобождение территорий страны от оккупантов, диверсантов и сепаратистов, единство народа в труде, учёбе и отдыхе.

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