God is intervening again! Below is a note from Ken--sent yesterday.
It looks as though my wife and I just got a 2 day vacation in Vermont! That's really sweet isn't it! We just received word at around 4:15 this afternoon that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in NYC is going to review our appeal and so is stopping the grand jury testimony for tomorrow. We don't know anything yet about a new date. But in the meantime we are going to enjoy our vacation by the grace of God!
Blessings in Christ,
I have now been assigned a sentencing date—March 4, 2013. Below in italics is a question Pablo
Yoder sent to me. Below that is my response.
Does this actually mean that you will be free to be about the Lord's business until after March 4,
2013. I mean, I am sure the suspense won´t be fun, but you can at least get on with life and relax
until then if that is what it means. Maybe you could explain this in a nutshell, telling us how you and
your family feel and then I could pass it on to my readers. Just an idea
By the grace of God, I will be free to be about the Lord’s business before and after March 4,
regardless of my location.
By that same grace which is coming as a result of so many of your prayers, the family is coping
amazingly well. My dear wife has a lot to do with it too. She isn’t easily discouraged; and when
mamma’s happy, everyone’s happy! It’s helped our children adapt to the uncertainty of it all.
As for myself, I’ve just had my 47th birthday and don’t know if I’ve ever been happier in all my life.
You have to understand, for a lot of my life, I lived with worry and anxiety, the pressure to succeed.
Something has changed.
We are learning Jesus’ words are true for every circumstance: “Come to me all you who are weary
and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Someone said, “Rest is simply release from (the) burden. It’s
not something we do. His own meekness, that is the rest.” What a relief to let go of the burdens!
How wonderful it is to know that Jesus is a Friend to all who are crushed by the burdens of life! We
discover that turning away from our sin and yielding ourselves to Jesus is the way to inner peace and
harmony. This is what we are learning, slowly but surely, and this is why we can be at rest right now.
We have learned that Jesus is all-- powerful. He was powerful enough to “destroy him who had
the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them who all their lifetimes were subjected to
bondage.” He was powerful enough to rise from the dead. All authority has been given Him. He is
powerful enough to overcome all the sin in our lives—He proved it by His own sinless life. With our
faith in Him we are secure and nothing can shake us.
Brother Pablo, you asked how we are doing. We are seeking to place our faith fully in Jesus, and
while there have been dark days, we are discovering that He truly IS a Friend to those in need and
the Source of great joy and peace.
Blessings in His great Name,
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!