top of page

"In this intriguing atypical Mennonite autobiography, we see Jane Herstine growing up in a poor family in a hardscrabble setting: poverty, early death of mother, strained family relationships, alienation and reconciliation.  We observe miracle moments: the liberating invitation to study at Bluffton College followed by seminary studies where she meets and marries a Canadian youth, Jacob Friesen, a pastor's son of a sturdy Russian Mennonite emigrant family. Two radically different family stories.  We follow the young couple into service with the Mennonite Central Committee, where they develop a community center in the heart of an impoverished black rural community in Mississippi on the very path of the civil rights movement of the sixties. Jane writes with an open, unapologetic piety that can be refreshing for those of us who tend to understate our faith. I recommend this as an inspiring narrative and a call to others to share their stories."

Robert S. Kreider
Historian and educator

"Jane Herstine Friesen embodies many comings-together; the continent from east to west, the family in all its layers of relationships, the various expressions of Christian commitment.  I thank her for telling her story.  I thank her immediate family for their gracious permission to do this important work.  I thank Jake for his willingness that this came to pass.  I thank our inventive Creator in having Jane's and my paths cross, resulting in 54 years of contact and correspon- dence. What a testimony to friendship in many forms."

The late Muriel T. Stackley
Editor, former pastor, poet


bottom of page