A Brief Overview of Who We Are
We are a small fellowship of believers which consists of about 180 people, mostly of Hutterite background. We were part of the Dariusleut group of Hutterites until 1999. Approximately one-third of our members come from various communities over the years, while the rest have been with us from the beginning. We all grew up in a traditional Hutterite setting, practicing the Hutterite way of life for most of our history. However, even while we were still part of the Hutterite church, we as a people have tried to uphold high moral and Christian standards for many, many years. (If you would like to read more on the Hutterite people and their history, visit our "Links" page.)
To describe the events that have led up to what we are today would be a very tedious process, and would most certainly be biased in some way or another. Therefore, our desire is not to show ourselves as though we have attained something, but rather to briefly overview our past and how it ties in with the present.
To put it simple, we started practicing what we believed was the truth found in God's word. Honesty in business dealings, limiting alcohol consumption, and reviving the education of our children. This, plus numerous "other" things led to strained relationships with many of our people, which eventually reached a breaking point...
Our fellowship was excommunicated from the Hutterite church in 1999. Approximately one-third of our people decided to remain with the church, so we established another colony to accommodate them. Since then the Lord has been working in our midst, refining, purifying, and basically bringing us to the end of ourselves. Our story is very similar to the Israelites coming out of Egypt and into the wilderness. It has been a long wilderness journey for us to come to the realization that Christ is building His church, not we.
Over the years the Lord has brought different people into our lives, which one way or the other, helped shape our fellowship into what it is today. However, we cannot giving credit to anyone for what the Lord has done in our midst, least of all, ourselves. It was Him, and Him only and to Him belongs all the glory and honor. On several occasions, our fellowship was hanging in the balance, where things could have easily gone either way, but our faithful God, in whom we trust, knew exactly what we needed, and now, 15 years later, we we can't praise Him enough for His great wisdom, mercy, and faithfulness to usward.
On the surface, our community may appear similar to a typical Hutterite colony, but that is where the similarities end. One can use the example of a building or structure to illustrate that. On the surface they may look similar, but underneath the "siding" there is vastly different materials that hold buildings together. For example, a concrete structure is only as good as the network of reinforcements and rebar that lie beneath the surface. Likewise, a organization or fellowship is only as good as the hidden depths of its members. Many organizations and churches have their structures reinforced by a whole bunch of rigging and rebar on the outside,(rules & regulations, or all kinds of programs) to try to keep the inside from crumbling, but that philosophy is all wrong. The strongest, most durable structures today have most of the reinforcements "hidden" away in concrete, or behind glass and other "finishes". In exactly the same way, we may appear similar to a Hutterite community on the surface, but it is the "reinforcements" hidden away behind the building material that make the difference. That "rebar" is the reality of Jesus Christ working deep inside each member to give grace and hidden strength to the entire structure.
The Bible teaches us the Jesus will write His laws on our hearts and into our minds, which will have a far more enduring effect on the spiritual health of an individual or a body of Christ. But for a church to take on such a radical philosophy takes a complete reversal of our thinking. Most churches, especially Anabaptist, have a long string of external rules and regulations for their members, to help maintain order and keep in check all the possible "infections" that could harm or weaken the body. While this may seem very logical, we find no such teaching in the New Testament.
We have grown to believe in brotherly love and admonition. When a member gets sidetracked or becomes weak, Christ teaches us to admonish and disciple each other, then leave it up to Christ to work out His will in that person's life. It takes faith, patience and perseverance, but is by far the most rewarding, fulfilling concept in the Christian experience.
So, to put it simply, we are mostly of Hutterite background, and on the surface we generally resemble a Hutterite community. But beyond that, a completely different law is at work... the law of the Spirit of Life.
This, in a nutshell, is who we are...