THEN AND NOW
When we were building our house on this land which our Lord God had given us, my new neighbor said he had tried for thirty years to have a garden on this hill and had failed. He had even bought some land about an hour away so he could have a garden. I knew God wanted us to have a large garden to feed a large healthy family, so we started doing the impossible. God does not have problems, only plans. We risked all on His divine eternal plan, and you can see from the pictures in this post how our all wise Lord Jesus Christ is a great gardener!
With tons, tons and tons of compost, a lot of sweat and some blood, and a passion to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, we lived the Christian Dream as laid out in the New Testament.
Were we perfect? No, but Christ was! Did we make mistakes? Yes, but He helped us overcome them! Could you do it better? Probably! In any case, I want to share with you what our wonderful Lord Jesus did here, back then, on this hill, for over twenty years.
I am over six feet tall and you can see that that corn behind me is four or five feet taller! God made this hill to flourish, and I praise him for it. We ate from this hill twelve months of the year. If you look closely, you will see that one of the photos is in our greenhouse. We had fresh vegetables year round! Question! Could that be why in over twenty years we never had a child visit a doctor? We have ten children. They would have never thought of taking an aspirin. All of the children were born at home, and their mother never had as much as an aspirin to kill pain. None of them had ever had any medicine until the government took them. Hopefully, we can get into this subject when we deal more with Home Health!
The purpose of this post is not to praise me, or the Stanleys, but to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and encourage His people to trust Him in everything. In Home Church, Home Business, Home school, Home Health, and Home Birth, our Master clearly showed that He is Lord. Hopefully, in future posts we can expound on each of the five areas where Jesus Christ is to be magnified in the christian family, but in this post we will primarily show His blessings in the garden, and sadly show the damage done to that part of our life by the so called Child Protection Service. Our government (your tax dollars) has done much damage to our ministry for the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, I believe it is christian persecution. The local authorities refused to let us live totally by the New Testament. You decide!
These few pictures are to remind us of what it was BACK THEN.
THE TRANSITION FROM THEN TO NOW
Suppose that this is your house. This was our house on January, 12, 2015. Gumbo, pies, and bread were prepared for dinner guests. The children were delighted that company were coming to spend the evening with us. We would eat and fellowship and then have devotions together before we parted. But that was not to be. Instead of a wonderful evening of christian fellowship, a 31 man task force shows up to take our seven children away to an unknown destination, and for unknown reasons. Please just spend a few minutes looking at this picture, and suppose it was your home, or the home of someone you love.
There was no crime, and no one was being abused or neglected. A DHS official was there, and said all looked fine. He was in the house for some four to five hours. He was a professional. The men in the pictures, from the sheriff’s office, are taking my seven children. The armed deputy holds my then four year old. Minutes later all seven children were loaded into police cars and rushed off to be interrogated and incarcerated. There is something radically wrong here. If there is a crime, one would expect that the police would arrest the criminal, or the one who is obviously breaking the law. My children were innocent, and yet they were locked up for months, and suffered awesome trauma! If we the parents were harming our children, then why weren’t we arrested and locked up? Of course we were innocent also. There was absolutely no reason for them to take anyone! But one more thing. If they had arrested me, they would have had to produce proof that I had committed a crime. At the worse, the next day I would be free on bond, and await trial. These innocent children had no such justice. They were captives, and we the parents were, in their eyes, guilty of anything they wanted to work up until they, the DHS, proved we were innocent. There was no presumption of innocence on in either case. Carefully study these pictures and pray!
They even brought a doctor with them, who examined all the children, and found that there was no sign of harm or danger to them.
Three years later, no one has been held accountable for this tyranny. We have a federal civil suit in progress. Hopefully, a jury will someday hold someone accountable.
What would you do?
This section of our post is the most difficult to write for two reasons. First, I want to protect our children who have already suffered so deeply. Second, we are in a federal civil suit and what I say could be used against us. On many things, I must wait to tell our story.
For now, consider the pictures of the garden as symbolic of what has happened to our family as a whole. Before the kidnapping, we were harmonious, focused, and worked as a family. We had a clear authority structure according to the Bible, and the Bible was the absolute authority, and we had clear distribution of labor in meeting the needs of the family. We had a strict schedule for school, recreation and work in the house and in the garden. All that was radically changed. With the children away, and Michelle and I jumping through the court’s loops, with meetings daily or several days a week one can not imagine the change that took place in our home. The children were in a foster home which had at least three sets of “House Parents”. Our children had always been taught to be respectful to all who are in authority. And here we come close to the worse, or nearly the worse harm done in the behavior of the children during the whole ordeal. They immediately had to adapt to a whole new world, in which they no longer had parents to lead, guide and correct them. They had many people with many different convictions and manners in conflict with what the children were use to at home. For instance, when they were asked a question that demanded a definite answer, the individual child would be under great stress to give the right answer. They would have to think “What would Mom or Dad say”, or what does this particular authority figure want me to say. Remember that everything they had seen in their lives was being challenged. Only two of them had ever spent a night away from home. They were forced to be able to be double minded, just to survive. They would have to consider what was true in their world view as compared to what was true in the world view of the authority figure. Add to the confusion their parents were being accused of being criminals, and we parents were forbidden to ever talk to the children about our case. We could not tell them why they were taken away, and why they could not go home, and yet they had to learn to answer the most personal questions.
They came home from foster care a different family of children. Three years later the scars, or wounds, of the trauma are evident in some of them. They came home with another world view, and they came home to parents overwhelmed with the injustice our family had suffered in a country we love so much, and thought it was the most just society on earth. Things which use to flow, were now accomplished with great stress, or just never got done. I must not go further here, but some day I hope I can.
Financially we have been stripped, and lost most of our support. Rumors that we had given our children drugs or did other criminal things circulated in the papers and on the internet. Although we were in the courts proving that we were innocent of all allegations, reports of our innocence were rare when we were removed from the “Child Maltreatment Registry”. By the way, we were put on that terrible registry for “educational neglect”. We home school, and use Switched On Schoolhouse which is an excellent system of education. At this time four of our children who were educated with our home school system are in college and they really know how to make “A”s.
We are fighting the good fight of faith, but it is clear that we are greatly wounded. I am not discouraged. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord always comes to the rescue. We are wounded, but not defeated, bloodied, but not bowed!
This section cannot be written yet, but by God’s grace, and your prayer and help, we will restore what the evil one has wrecked. As mentioned, we are in a civil case and there is so much I cannot say. We are delighted that four of our “educationally neglected” children are now in college,and one is very successful in the Air Force. We still have five to Home School, and teach the way of the New Testament, or the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Most of you will realize that in today’s economy just five children makes a large family. Actually there are still seven of the children at home. We must rebuild. We passionately want the younger five to have all the advantages, the older children enjoyed. Brother Hal