Note: this is old news--sorry for the delay in posting.
Here is yet another update on the Grand Jury testimony. Recently Judge Sessions ruled to deny our motion to delay the grand jury testimony and the date for testimony was set for November 15th. The deadline for appealing his ruling was yesterday, Oct. 16th.
A few days ago ago our friend, Wilson Ring from the Associated Press, spoke with our attorney, Josh Autry. At that time we had no plans to file an appeal, and it was reported that way in Ring’s article. Since then, after reviewing the situation with my attorneys, and with the deadline fast approaching, we have arrived at a different place. Yesterday Mr. Autry filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals in New York City.
We have been extremely grateful for David Bercot’s legal counsel. As you may know, David is a licensed attorney-at-law. He stepped forward soon after the trial and offered to serve as a liaison between the Anabaptist community and the legal system and we have met several times now. His counsel on the decision to appeal was quite helpful. David has reviewed the case and assured me that this isn't a frivolous appeal, but that there are substantive issues at hand.
We don’t know, of course, if the appeal will be successful or how long it will take to wind its way through the appeals court. We simply trust our Sovereign God---who holds the courts of earth in the palm of His Hand--- to decide what is best.
I thought it would be good to clarify the changing circumstances with our people. No one was trying to mislead anyone, we are simply at a different place than we were two days ago, and so have decided to appeal after-all.
Dear friends in Christ,
We now have a date for the grand jury appearance-- November 15th at 9:00 am at the federal court in Burlington. Please pray for wisdom and that God would somehow receive glory through it all.
Resting in Him,
Ken wrote this recently in response to a request for more news.
Thank you for reminding me about the need for communicating. We are so grateful for all the love and support we have felt from God’s people and wish we could thank each one personally! We are trusting God to reward each one.
We have not received word on a sentencing date. There was an idea floating around that within thirty days we would know something. I think that was a misunderstanding. Our attorney tells us that it could happen in days or months, it all depends on how the court in VT schedules it. Sometimes 4-6 months can go by between trial and sentencing.
I think the uncertainty has strengthened our faith and has helped us to appreciate the beauty in each day. God is good, and we are not discouraged. We wait on Him.
A separate issue is the grand jury testimony. That has been put off a couple of times. The last date set for the grand jury was Sept. 14th. But our attorneys filed a motion to delay it until after the sentencing. Since Judge Sessions was on vacation, he wasn’t able to make a ruling on that motion immediately. This past week he ruled to deny our motion to have the grand jury testimony delayed. So we are now waiting for the prosecution to schedule a new date, and it’s likely to be fairly soon. In the meantime we continue on in faith, knowing that "tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope... and hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us." (Rom. 5:4-5)
Jesus is Lord!
Ken just received word yesterday afternoon that the grand jury testimony which
was supposed to happen in VT this coming Thursday has been postponed. We do
not yet have a new date. This is just another opportunity to trust our
Heavenly Father with the details of our lives. We are so encouraged by all
the support from God's people.
We wish to express our heartfelt appreciation to all the people who have supported us in prayer, encouraging words, and finances. How can we ever finish thanking God for the grace that has come through you, our Friends in Christ?
There are those who do not see things as we do. We thank God for those people also; those who are still “friends in the making.” We only wish the love, mercy, and transforming grace of God upon all of us poor sinners.
We can’t pretend that the journey has been easy. There are days when the situation seems completely overwhelming and we can only cry out to God in our great helplessness. The pain of what seems as unfulfilled ministry in Ireland and separation from our brothers there causes the most acute distress. The legal situation and implications of the verdict can be faced and accepted, but the uncertainty of our future with the country and people we love has brought many tears.
But in the midst of our trouble we have found God to be “Our refuge and strength,” and have found “Jesus’ yoke to be easy and His burden light.” More than anything we are so very thankful to be reconciled with God and at peace with him through faith in His Son Jesus. He is Lord of heaven and earth and in him we remain unshaken.
Stuarts Draft, VA