My Joy’s Four Generation Family

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Most recent picture of  My Joy and me.

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From L to R: 1st generation, 3rd generation, 4th generation, 2nd generation

This morning I went to College Mennonite Church with My Joy and her daughter, her granddaughter and her great granddaughter.I have permission to tell you a little bit of their stories. My Joy was born 85 years ago and is now honored as the oldest surviving member of her immediate family.

My Joy’s daughter attended Hesston College, and like her mother, fell in love with a fellow student. Her mother’s love was a  Canadian and the daughter’s love was a Palestinian from the West Bank where his family owned a house and land with olive trees. In the formation of the Israeli nation, his family, as other Palestinian families, was unjustly dispossessed by the Israeli government.

When the struggle between Jews and Palestinians flared anew in 1982 the daughter’s husband felt compelled to return to his homeland where he gave his life with his people.The daughter’s husband’s last contact with his wife was by a letter conveyed  through a Mennonite Central Committee worker.  The MCC worker was present in the service this morning and memories were stirred.

CPTChristian Peacemaker Teams in the middle East report continuing demolition of Palestinian homes and villages.  The teams attempt to stand nonviolently between the oppressed and the oppressor.

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All eyes fixed on the youngest of the four

But the palestinian’s legacy was not entirely lost by his death. He left a twelve month old daughter to be raised for about eighteen years by her widowed mother.

This woman of the third generation wanted to learn the spanish language so when she heard of a Spanish language course offered in Argentina she went to that country, temporarily, she thought.  But for her it was a land of opportunity. She loved and married an Argentinian and they became the parents of the fourth generation of My Joy’s family.

The pictures show their feminine beauty. But they would not be here if it were not for the masculinity of those whom they loved.  Men added to the genetic stream that led to the little four year old girl of the fourth generation.  I did not know the men but I think of their strengths as I see them in their daughters. They were:

  • IMG_1958A Canadian great grand father,
  • a Palestinian grand father, and
  • an Argentinean father.

It is no wonder that My Joy’s four year old great granddaughter feels a need to lead. She persuaded her elders to make a “funny picture”.   (See picture on the right.)

 

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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5 Responses to My Joy’s Four Generation Family

  1. Jep Hostetler says:

    Great to see Joy’s offspring. I remember Nadia from our Columbus days. Thanks for posting this informative info.

  2. Sam Troyer says:

    I seen you in church and surmised this was Joyce’s daughter, grand and great grand daughter. My what a rich background these daughters have and what trauma, this is truly heart wrenching. Come Lord Jesus! If I were younger I would have a desire to be a member of CPT in the West Bank. This story of possessing someone else’s land began way, way back and we are all complicit, there just hast to be another way.

  3. Freda Zehr says:

    Thank you Martin for sharing this with. Your Joy is a beautiful lady, I used to dread becoming old, Never did I think I could enjoy turning 8o years (which I just did this week) However, Since I moved to VMRC, I find that beauty is not is not only in the faces of youthful females anymore than handsomeness is just in young men. I see beauty in the way the elderly women hold onto their lifelong companion as they leave the dining hall. I see beauty in the faces of women in their eighties and nineties, beauty that transcends the signs of living a long life, a good life, a beautiful life. I find such interesting people whose lives are rich and full with experiences and memories, and as they share, I see the beauty shining from their eyes. And so I do not mind being 80 years old, in fact I am grateful for these years that have been given me. I want to make the best use of them and live

  4. Freda Zehr says:

    Thank you Martin for sharing this with. Your Joy is a beautiful lady, I used to dread becoming old, Never did I think I could enjoy turning 8o years (which I just did this week) However, Since I moved to VMRC, I find that beauty is not is not only in the faces of youthful females anymore than handsomeness is just in young men. I see beauty in the way the elderly women hold onto their lifelong companion as they leave the dining hall. I see beauty in the faces of women in their eighties and nineties, beauty that transcends the signs of living a long life, a good life, a beautiful life. I find such interesting people whose lives are rich and full with experiences and memories, and as they share, I see the beauty shining from their eyes. And so I do not mind being 80 years old, in fact I am grateful for these years that have been given me. I want to make the best use of them and live

  5. Freda Zehr says:

    I don’t understand what I did that my post above came through twice, I did not write it twice, I must have done something wrong ——could it be old age creeping up?!

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