Bombs fell upon the city of Darmstadt, Germany on the night of Sept.11 and 12th in 1944.
In 18 minutes it was almost completely demolished. The city became a sea of flames, a mass
Young girls throughout Germany had been meeting for Bible studies throughout Germany with
two women in leadership roles (Basilea Schlink and Erica Madauss) for years. Now they were
anxious to find the girls and they found that they had miraculously escaped.
The night of death brought the hour of birth. These women all went into a state of repentance
for their nation Germany. All that had made their lives pleasant and rich they had lost.. everything
including their homes.
Out of this group and through these two leaders, came a Sisterhood that would be known world wide.
It would be a centre of blessing for all nations. These young women would be in a state of constant
reconciliation with each other. They felt they must serve in atonement. Through this work in
Darmstadt German visitors learned how deeply serious was the crime committed by their nation.
especially to the Jews.
They would live completely by faith and they started to build themselves a place that they would
call Kanaan , in the fields and meadows bordered by forests where a castle stood at that time
on the Estate of Hesse, near Eberstadt, like the biblical kanaan. They would build a chapel
out of the rubble of their city on land that included 20 privately owned properties , an area that
had infertile sandy soil.
This is a new century. How successful were these christian women in their dreams and their goals?
In St. Margaret's Church in Vancouver B.C. under leadership of Pastor Robert Birch I had become acquainted with the whole story when hearing Sister Josepha speak in the early 70's..I had followed their story when I became familiar with two Canadian branches; one in Millet alberta and one in Tracy New Brunswick. The Sisterhood had grown to approximately 200 with branches in Canada, the U.S.A. and Brazil, Paraguay, England, Holland, Switzerland and Australia...
World War 2 was always close to my heart since two brothers had joined up in our Canadian Armed Forces and one had not come back... he was lost in the Mediterranean area serving in the R.C.A.F.
This year I was delighted when I found out that my husband and I would be going to Germany in Sept.
I was overwhelmed when I contacted them to find out that they would have a room for us in their
guest house for the 2 days we could be with them.
The new Darmstadt Main Train station was overflowing with activity as trains arrived and departed.
We were about to find out that Kanaan is indeed a little bit of heaven on earth in the year 2002.
It has been 57 years since the war ended for Germans. This little heaven had been brought about
by german women who took their christianity seriously even through the third Reich.
It is hard to describe the beauty . As we approached the entrance we saw on a large brown
monument words in German that said "Repent the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. On the other
side it said "God's name is Yea and amen. His Holy name we laud and praise. He does
whatever He says>" There are two chapels, a Sea of Galilee, Gardens with amazing Bas reliefs
sculpted by a Sister. The orchards were heavy with fruit. sisters were digging up potatoes and
squash was ripe on the vine. Flowers were still in bloom.....three Sisters (one of them Josepha)
met us and "sang" a welcome.
There were now 19 nationalities at least represented. A Canadian group met with us one evening.
Sister Passionatta from Surrey, sister Consolata from Burnaby, Sister Bethany and Sister Hilkia both
from Alberta.They have a special prayer concern for Canada. Sister Bethany drove us to the train when
the time came,
Time spent there is life changing. As we left we had met also a brother...there are some Fransciscans
there too.. In 2001 Sister Pista had organized an international repentance conference to be held in Jerusalem. 1000 Europeans had attended and repented towards the Jews ..the two founding sisters had passed away and this had been a desire on their hearts for many years. The Sisters in Jerusalem
have been there for 55 yrs. The home in Jerusalem called Beth Abraham was dedicated in 1961and it was for ministry to Holocaust survivors, over a 41 year period thousands of them had been to this retreat. (8 at a time come free of charge for a week.. Passages of the tanach are on the walls... One of the Sisters said that "we here in a German christian house give them a ray of hope."
Yes, the Sisterhood has been very successfull in their main endeavour which is "repentance" towards the Jews. They have in deed built a land of Canaan.. we too in Canada can visit them and their gardens in Millet. Also in New Brunswick.
They also have published hundreds of books, videos, films all available to us. they ask nothing in
return. This journey to Damstadt was a blessing.. Repentance in Germany is alive.....
Evangelical Sisterhood Of Mary Website