Forgiving the sins …

August 18, 2021
Good afternoon,

” Forgive us our sins, as we forgive the sins of others.”     
    Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount ( Matthew 5 )

As you travel north out of Elmira on Arthur Street North, there is a series of S-bends. There have been a number of fatal accidents on these curves over the last few years. Both cyclists and pedestrians have been killed along this road. I am aware of these deaths every time I drive north out of Elmira.

On May 1, 2020,  a young driver hit and killed Lester Martin, an eighteen-year old Old Order man. The Old Order community was quick to absolve the young man ( the same age as Lester ). The driver stopped, and used the cell phone of Lester’s cousin to phone 911. The driver then left, and phoned the police the next morning.

The Martin family has chosen to forgive the driver. The Victim Offender Reconciliation Program was used to bring both offender and victim’s family together. The program VORP was developed in the 1970’s coming out of crimes committed in Elmira. It is now a world-wide organization or reconciliation rather than going to the courts.

The judge said, “They ( the Martins ) express that they harbour no ill will… and that one of their focuses was on helping him ( the driver ) with his feelings of shame. It would appear that this process was truly restorative for everyone involved.”This is not the first time that the Old Order community has forgiven. It gives me hope that this might be an example for the whole world to model when they have been wronged. It is hard work, and not easy to meet the offenders. I believe this is one reason that we say the Lord’s prayer every Sunday.

( You can read the whole story on page A5 of today’s WATERLOO REGION RECORD. )
Shalom and strength for our journey of life and faith.

Soaring like Vultures
lifted up by unseen Hands
Trust, silent enters my fears     Monica Pieper Landoni 2021