A big-hearted woman who never gave up on her childhood dreams of reaching out to children in need
Else Arnold (1973 –)
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Brian Bachman was born in Connecticut. His parents divorced during his childhood, and his young adulthood was difficult. After a stint with the Marines, he joined the Bruderhof in 1990, but then left again some years later.
I drove a tractor trailer for a long time, and it was pretty much to run away from the things I felt I’d done wrong. But when you sit in a tractor trailer for all those years, you realize you really didn’t run away from anything; you’re the only one in there. I finally got tired of the videotape of my past that was playing through my mind, and one day driving along, I just cried out, “Father, I’m tired of this, please, please, show me what I got to do to forgive myself.” I knew he forgave me. But I couldn’t forgive myself.
One day, I just pulled my truck into the terminal, handed everything in, and quit. I started doing volunteer work, hoping to fill that hole. It never worked, and then one day, it dawned on me: by me not forgiving myself for my mistakes, I robbed Jesus of what he did for us. Our Father’s love is forgiveness and no matter what you’ve done you can be forgiven and you can live for more than just yourself.
If we don’t find a real humility and submission to God with whatever he plans for our lives, then things can go very wrong. But each one of us, no matter how our lives have been, has the chance to turn around and live for Jesus and live for our brothers and sisters. It isn’t the number of years one has, especially, but how intensely we live and serve.
While volunteering in Georgia, Brian met old friends from the Bruderhof, and that encounter convinced him to return. He visited Fox Hill in 2018, and came back for good shortly afterward.
There are Mondays here as well. I mean I had three Mondays in a row this week. But on the other end of the spectrum, if every day was wonderful we wouldn’t know what a wonderful day is. There’s all spectrums of emotions and feelings and realities here – anybody who thinks that this is easy, come and live with us for a while.
But here I am, and I wouldn’t trade it for the best tractor trailer in the whole world.
In 2019, Brian married Rosemarie.
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With photography by British photojournalist Danny Burrows, this 300-page hardcover book celebrates what is possible when people take a leap of faith. It will inspire anyone working to build a more just, peaceful, and sustainable future.
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