Are we followers or fans…are we groundbreakers or “draadsitters”
Today as Moravians we commemorate the memory of Susannah Kuhnel who at a young age said ‘I Will Follow Him’ – Kinderfees is a time for us to celebrate our children allow them to shine and shower them with praise, encourage them to grow in FAITH and show them that all the answers will be given in time.
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Children are seen as pure and honest do not let society hinder that image with the distructive power of substance abuse and other negativity. Let only words of praise come from the lips of a child
But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the
wonderful things he did and the
children shouting in the temple
area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus,
“have you never read, ” ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”
For those who are not familiar with the Moravian history below you will read about this touching and groundbreaking story of a young lady who should be an inspiration to all little children, showing obedience and faith in the Lord.
Genadendal Mission Museum
THE SPIRITUAL HERITAGE OF
We read of many heroic deeds that took place through the ages. You might have heard about such deeds by children which took place recently like, e.g. the five-year-old Riley Braden of Florida who saved an 18-month-old from drowning in a swimming pool in 2009 or Kamal
Nepali from Nepal who descended a gorge to save a toddler in 2012. In
the South African history, the 13- year-old Rachel de Beer (sometimes known as Racheltjie) is a well-known Afrikaner heroine who gave her life in order to save that of her brother in 1843. Also Hector Pieterson who was killed at the age of 13 when the police opened fire on protesting
students of the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa is regarded as a hero during the Apartheid regime. For years, 16 June stood as a symbol of resistance to the brutality of the
apartheid government. Today, it is designated National Youth Day — when South Africans honour young people and bring attention to their
needs. But, in Genadendal/Moravian history there is a heroine with a different
focus, namely that of a spiritual
nature. Almost 300 years ago a girl called Susannah lived with her parents in Herrnhut, Germany. Her mother was a dedicated Christian and brought her daughter up in the fear of the Lord. Johann Kuhnel, the father of Susannah, was a weaver by trade and became a close friend of Christian David, pastor of the Herrnhut congregation. Susannah’s
parents were refugees – fleeing from Moravia (today the Czech Republic) and settled in Ober-Oderwitz, where she was born on 28th June 1716. After the refugees got permission from a German nobleman, the Count
Von Zinzendorf to build their own community/ Church on his estate, they called the village
“Herrnhut” (Under the protection of God). Johann Kuhnel and his family also moved to Herrnhut and got
permission to build their house next to the Church. Susannah often heard the testimonies of the older people and one testimony that touched her
deeply was that of a man called
Melchior Nitchmann, who said,
“ Even if they burn me on the stake or jail me till I rot and die, I will never turn away from Jesus, my Saviour”. Later, he met Susannah in the street
and challenged her to give her life to Jesus. In the same year, her mother fell ill and had a vision of Jesus in His glory. She shared her testimony with her family, urged them to commit their lives to the Lord and soon afterwards fell asleep in Jesus.
For three days, Susannah was so
absorbed in thought and prayer. On 17th August 1727, having passed through a severe spiritual struggle, she was able to tell her father that she invited Christ into her life. The
children in town noticed the change that took place in her life. She was no longer grieving over her mother’s death and her face was beaming with
joy and happiness. One by one the children turned to the Lord, forming small prayer circles, gathering on the Hutberg and joined in singing praises unto to the Lord as their voices echoed throughout the village – a
mighty Children’s Revival had taken place! Susannah got married in her late
teens, lived a simple life until the Lord called her home on 14
April1785. For many years, I was
convinced that this was a myth and a mere pious anecdote, until I discovered a sketch plan of the old Herrnhut cemetery in our archives and in 2001, I set off to visit Herrnhut again with a copy of the plan showing that the grave is to be found in the
4th quarter, the 6th row as the 151st grave. A friend, Christoph Model assisted with the research and at last we found a hidden gravestone in the Hutberg cemetery. Today it is clearly marked with a headboard for visitors to see where the remains of this heroine of the Gospel were laid to rest. Susannah’s conversion is annually celebrated (Sunday closest the 17th August) in
many Moravian Churches. The day is marked with a special service for children, choir singing and wild flower decorations in Church. “But Jesus said, Suffer the little
children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of the heavens”. Matt 19:14.
With all the above being said one last thing to the children….
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”-which is the first commandment with a promise- “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of
Geseende Kinderfees aan u Almal 😀