Why was Linda Stoltzfoos’s black head covering a source of confusion? And are Wayfair & Amazon disguising sex trafficking in overpriced item sales?

AMISH PRACTICES OF BLACK COVERINGS & WHITE COVERINGS

Someone from PA, who lives near the community where Linda Stoltzfoos was kidnapped, asked if I would be interested in clearing up the confusion surrounding her black head covering on the afternoon of her kidnapping, when she was seen in the car of the kidnapper. My understanding of intricate Amish practices is limited. So instead of 
In some church districts in Lancaster the unmarried girls wear black coverings to church Sundays. And that is only when they go to their own church district. When the girl gets married she wears a black covering to the ceremony. After she is married she wears a white covering for the rest of the day. Other church districts do not practice this.

Linda’s district would practice this so she was walking home from church wearing a black covering. She was going to change out of her church clothes into a white covering for youth group. In the Gap area all Amish wear white coverings to church. That’s why it was so odd for bypasses to see Linda driving Sunday afternoon in a black covering. Especially in the Gap area where the young girls do not wear black coverings and even if she was from another area she would have changed to a white covering by the afternoon.”

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TRUSTING GOD IN UNKNOWNS

Over the years in ministry, I have learned that when something is meant to be, and it is God’s time, it will be. There’s no stopping the hand of God. There is also no forcing it. In my previous blog I shared how I’ve dreamed of having my memoir translated into Low German. I will always have a heart for my people — the Old Colony, later the Kleine Gemeinde, and the the conservative Mennonite groups — and when there is opportunity to serve them, I will do it. What God knows better than me, is what they are ready for, and what their needs are. So, while I pray for the funds to come together, and watch as the response is slow to none, I recognize that God knows what is best for them, in this season.

We will run the GoFundMe for a time, and see if things come together. If so, then I believe the time is right and the book will bring hope and encourage healing among survivors in the Low German culture. We ask you to consider sponsoring the project. If 300 people give $10, we have enough funds for the first phase. It isn’t about breaking the bank, to help with something like this.

Books don’t make a lot of money. I invested around $2000 in the initial editing of Between 2 Gods, and five years later the royalty checks have covered almost half of that. Unless you are a big name, books are ministry, not income. If you are able to support the cause, it would be much appreciated. If enough funds do not come in to move ahead, we will refund all GoFundMe contributions to donors. (Those who prefer PayPal will also be refunded in that case).

GOFUNDME (Canada): Translate Between 2 Gods to Plautdeutsch (Low German)

GOFUNDME USA: Translate Between 2 Gods to Low German

If you wish to give but prefer PayPal to GoFundMe, you May donate via: trudy.metzger@rogers.com.

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WAYFAIR & AMAZON SEX TRAFFICKING ALLEGATIONS

After people sent me links to allegations of sex trafficking by Wayfair and Amazon, I did some reading. I have to say that I believe it’s a theory, at best, at this point. The allegations are that they sell lines of product inspired by or named after ‘celebrities’ — for a lack of better word — like Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Epstein is the sex trafficker with a net worth of over 500 million at the time of his suicide while in prison awaiting trial, August 2019. Maxwell is one of his victims who later became his accomplice.

Wayfair carries a line of high priced (according to some, overpriced) furniture. (One example is Ghislaine solid wood dining table, and another the Epstein 6 – Light Pool Table Lights Square/Rectangle Pendant). Amazon allegedly carries (or carried) Epstein inspired merchandise as well.

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Would such a thing be possible? I’m sure it would. That said, naming a product line after a celebrity is common.  (And, yes, Ghishlane Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein have a certain ‘celebrity’ status, albeit a negative one. Celebrity merely means, “well known”). It is strange to have these two names in particular as product lines, given their connections to sex trafficking, and frankly I find it warped, but an assumption of trafficking based on that alone is weak. To my knowledge there has been zero victims. Zero strange activity reported. Zero reports of trafficking beyond these assumptions and speculations, started by someone who saw the names linked to overpriced items and produced a theory.

My concern about these theories being spread, as fact, without more to substantiate them is that it weakens the fight against trafficking and sexual violence. It makes advocacy look gullible (or undiscerning) and increases the likelihood that people will tune out legitimate cases with evidence.

This has been my biggest struggle and frustration in advocacy over the years, and it is not getting better. The assumption that all advocates should, if not must, jump on the bandwagon of assumptions, no matter what. This is not something I can do, or want to do. I am a firm believer in supporting victims of sexual violence, no matter what, and paying attention to credible allegations. Speculation that is based on assumptions and based on nothing more than speculation, do not fall in that category. If and when more evidence is produced, that changes, but at this stage I find it premature and irresponsible to pass on the allegations.

This should not be misinterpreted as me saying the allegations are not true. Simply that they should not be presented as fact until more evidence is available.

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PhD & COURSEWORK PROGRESS

I am days away from completing my final paper for the coursework portion of my PhD program. By mid August, it will be fully edited and submitted to my supervisor for review and grading. The next phase is to prepare for my first comprehensive exam, which is a 7 hour exam that will likely take place later this fall. While my short-term memory has made incredible progress, which was lost following a concussion August 2019 when I was rear-ended at 120 km/hr, and due to medication side effects in spring 2019, I still have some symptoms. This makes me a bit nervous, but thankfully University of Waterloo has been incredibly supportive and understanding in the recovering process.  Nonetheless, I welcome your prayers during this time.

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2020

Gustavo (Tavi) Rendon Faces 33 Sex Assault Charges; Has Harold Herr Been Cleared of all Charges?

The Tavi Rendon case is another reminder of the horror that some children in conservative Anabaptist settings suffer, while those who know (or should know) remain silent. The words of the judge in the Jeriah Mast case, when I attended the sentencing, will echo in my memory for the rest of my life. In my own words, “Someone had to know and no one did anything to intervene.” He called out the church and its leaders for that failure. The same is true in this case. Someone, somewhere, sometime had to suspect that something was terribly, terribly wrong. And no one intervened.

Among the charges Mr. Rendon faces are allegations that he took the victims to another location for others to abuse them as well. There is no indication whether these other abusers were also in the Charity Fellowship Churches or any church, for that matter.  While it is sometimes easy to speculate, it is seldom beneficial. I am grateful the law is looking into this and taking the case seriously.

Law enforcement continue to ask anyone with information about Rendon to contact Pennsylvania state police at 717-290-1965.

To read the article visit: Lancaster County man to face 33 counts of sexual abuse, including of children: prosecutors

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Numerous people have written to ask if it is true that Harold Herr has been cleared of all charges by the committee looking into the allegations. To my knowledge this is not accurate.

First of all, no professionals have been hired to look into the allegations, so even if he is ‘cleared’, it does not mean he didn’t do it. It just means the group of Anabaptist men investigating did not get a confession and did not find evidence. That said, last I heard — and I contacted Allen Hoover directly — they had not reached any conclusion, though that was quite a few months ago. I have not heard otherwise. I do know that to date they have not met with Daniel Herr or the other alleged victim in USA, and I’m not certain they even know who the alleged victim is in Haiti. They have not contacted me for any information.

I continue to hold that the allegations are credible, and the evidence/testimony is a strong indication that the sexual abuse took place. However, I am also comfortable leaving that in the hands of Almighty God, who sees the past, present and future clearly. He loves truth and is Truth. He is just. He is merciful. He is compassionate. And He will not be duped one way or the other. I find peace in that.

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To those who have asked regarding my silence, thank you for messaging. It has been an interesting season. Between working on my final pre-comp-exam assignment — a study on female sex offending — and working as a TA for the university, taking care of my health, as well as my love for outdoors, I have been busy. Blogging had to take a back seat, temporarily.

I am currently going through some medical testing, looking for answers to some of the health issues I have developed in the past year or so. I will do an update at some point when I know more. For now, I am at peace and doctors are helping me manage symptoms while they look for root causes. They have almost certainly eliminated congestive heart failure — to which my symptoms pointed most strongly — and for that I am very grateful.

As always…

Love,
~ T ~

© Trudy Metzger 2020

 

 

New Holland State Police seek public’s help: Gustavo Rendon former (Charity) Ephrata Christian Fellowship member

Gustavo Rendon has been charged with sexual assault of six children. New Holland, State police seek the public’s help in this ongoing investigation. (To read the article: INFORMATION SOUGHT ON  ACTIVITIES INVOLVING NEW HOLLAND MAN CHARGED WITH ABUSING 6 CHILDREN Sourced via CRIMEWATCH®

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I received an email from an individual who attended church with Rendon, and am sharing with permission to help with awareness. (This makes a connection for people as to where he might have prowled and abused). Rendon was a former member of Ephrata Christian Fellowship (Charity Church), around 2005-2010. He allegedly taught children’s lessons and gave opening messages. Around 2010 they allegedly moved on to Joy Fellowship, which was a split from Ephrata.

Anyone with information they believe police should be aware of can contact Trooper Wardrop at 717-290-1965 or kwardrop@pa.gov.

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As always…

Love,
~ T ~