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A Converstion with Elizabeth Hershberger

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland
The Truth Network Radio
December 11, 2021 12:00 am

A Converstion with Elizabeth Hershberger

Alex McFarland Show / Alex McFarland

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December 11, 2021 12:00 am

12/11/2021 - A Converstion with Elizabeth Hershberger by Truth for a New Generation

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TNG Radio, where today's culture and timeless truths come together. It's reasoned, relevant content apologetics, worldview, and answers to the questions that you need to know. From Alex McFarland Evangelistic Ministries.

Welcome to Truth For A New Generation Radio. And now the man who preached in 50 states in 50 days, speaker, writer, and advocate for Christian apologetics, Dr. Alex McFarland. When you think about Jesus and the coming of the Savior, as we do here at Christmas, we think about the ministries of Christ.

He was prophet, priest, king, and obviously the greatest thing of all was that Christ went to Calvary's cross, paid for our sin debt on the cross, and rose from the dead. But the Bible says that among his purposes and ministries, he came to set the captives free. And today on Truth For A New Generation, we've got a very exciting guest who knows what it is to be in captivity and to have been set free. We are recording at Karras Bible College in Colorado, just had a wonderful class on media and public relations. And I meet so many students, they're in different ways, they're all memorable, but Elizabeth Hirschberger grew up in a very special community, the Amish. And she's got a story of deliverance, and she's got a story not only of the spiritual deliverance that Jesus gives, but actually of literal physical deliverance. And Elizabeth, I want to say thanks for being with us for a few moments. And I heard part of your story in the media class, and I think you're very courageous to tell your story, and I want to say how much I appreciate your willingness to share your story of deliverance with the listeners here on Truth For A New Generation.

Thank you, Alex, for having me. I appreciate it, and it's just a great honor to share my story and just glorify Jesus. And you're married and a student at a Christian university, and how did God bring you to where you are?

Well, that's a long story. I did first and second year in 2012 and 13. Our house burned down in 2012, and that kind of shook our foundation because we're just learning about grace, you know, just coming out of the Amish. But through a lot of friends that had faith in us, they just really pushed us through and helped us see that this was not of God.

And yeah, so graduated Cares in 2014. But I got a little bit ahead of myself, so how did God call me here? I used to watch the healing journeys, and I would watch those people, like, go up the steps to Cares when we were still down at Elkton. And I would always, like, kind of tell God, man, that would be so awesome to be there, but I'm still this. I had already left the Amish, but I was still in the Mennonite community. And so there was not a question, like, Mennonites don't do this. They don't believe in what is taught here. And so I always just kind of brushed it off as a pipe dream.

It's another one of those dreams that can't come true. Fast forward in 2012, my husband and I decided to come out here for our anniversary and just visit Colorado, and we ended up here at Cares. And God specifically spoke to us, not audibly, but through people.

And long story short, Andrew personally told us that if you come, your school will be free. And so we were like, okay, that's a word. But I kind of had to put out the fleece, like, you know, I'm a little bit of a Gideon when it comes to hearing from God. And so I said, and my husband had just partnered with our friend in a business that we had a one-year agreement.

And I thought, Lord, that's a problem. But if this is really you, you're going to send somebody to us that will offer to buy that business, our part of the business. We're not going to have to look to sell it.

You will send somebody. Thirty minutes later, I get a phone call from someone who says, hey, you wouldn't want to sell your part of the business. Long story short, we go home five weeks later, we move to Colorado with our four children at the time, and we're first-year Cares students.

You know, it's amazing. We're here to hear your story, not mine. But when Angie and I first got married, I felt led to go to seminary and Bible college, and we were trying to sell our car to pay tuition. And we prayed and we prayed. And I had never fasted before, but I heard a preacher talk about fasting. So I thought, I'm going to go 24 hours without food.

Is that even possible? You know, well, we had, the day after I completed my 24-hour fast, I said, Lord, please help us sell this car so I can pay tuition and I can enroll in seminary. And I had completed my 24-hour fast, and I said, Lord, when I finish this prayer, please make that phone ring in your name.

Amen. And I said the word amen, and the phone rang. And it was a lady said, I saw the ad, I want to buy the car.

Wow, thanks. I'll meet you tomorrow. As I was hanging up, the phone rang a second time. Somebody says, I want to buy your car.

I've seen this ad. I said, well, there's a lady. They said, well, here's my number. If she falls through, call back. I promise you, Elizabeth, I'm hanging up the phone.

I had not even let go. It rang a third time. And somebody said, I want to buy the car.

I said, there's a first lady, then there's a second. They said, well, take my name if they fall through. My point is, doesn't God, when we've stepped out on faith, didn't God affirm and encourage our little feeble heart? And he, he gives these little gentle reminders.

I'm with you. And I think he's so gracious with us when we, for me, I had never heard of hearing from God. Like this was legit the first time I heard from God, like personally.

And I thought, this is so great. And I think he's so gracious, especially as we're just learning to hear his voice. He's okay if we lay out the fleece and go, you know, Lord, I don't know if this is you, so prove it.

You know, we got a break in a minute here. If you're just tuning in, this is Truth For a New Generation Radio. We're talking with Elizabeth Hirschberger, who's sharing about her journey of coming out of the Amish community. But briefly, what do you say to somebody who's, you know, like all of us growing in their faith, but saying, how, how do I hear from the Lord? How do I know if a voice is truly from, from Jesus?

What would you say? Well, for me, I would say just trust. And one of the ways that I check to see if it is God is, does it line up with the Word of God? And so I would say, first of all, you got to get familiar with the Word, you know, the Bible, and you'll know, you know, the Bible says that my sheep hear my voice, but as strangers, they will not know. So I would say get familiar, get really familiar with the Word of God. And often when God speaks to me, it sounds like myself, you know, but it's a, it's a really inspired thought.

I'm like, I did not come up with that. But then I check, okay, does this in any way contradict the Word of God? And if it does, I throw it out. If it doesn't, I take it as the Word of God. I had a journalist asked me one time, said, are you one of those Christians that hears from God? And I said, well, yeah. He said, does God lead you like in an audible voice? And I said, well, not an audible voice.

It was much stronger than that. We're going to come back right after this. Stay tuned, folks. We're talking with Elizabeth Hirschberger, her amazing story from the Amish world to a dynamic walk with Jesus. Truth for a New Generation is back right after this.

DNG Radio. Have you ever wanted to raise your hand during a sermon? Well, here's your chance. Hi, Alex McFarland here from the nationally syndicated radio program Exploring the Word. For more than 10 years, my co-host Bird Harper and I have taught scripture and answered hundreds of Bible questions. We've compiled a brand new book of the top 100 Bible questions from listeners of all ages, from questions about supposed Bible contradictions to apologetics facts that prove the truths of scripture. This new book features practical content that will make the Bible come alive for you.

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Welcome back to Truth for a New Generation. Alex McFarland here speaking with Elizabeth Hershberger, and we started this conversation talking about the Isaiah prophecy where it says that Jesus came to set the captives free. Elizabeth, much in the news these days are things about human trafficking and people that are abused and being set free, and you know that story personally, don't you?

I do. I was not trafficked, but I was sexually abused by my father in the Amish community. I think people would find that hard to believe because I think when we think of the Amish, we think of people that are hardworking, they farm, they've not conformed to the modern world, and they're Christians. I mean, you know, I would say the impression of the Amish is overwhelmingly positive.

Help us understand it even more, though. Old order, new order, I've heard phrases like that. What are the Amish?

Okay, so from looking on from the outside, you're right. They look very intriguing, hardworking community people. In fact, a lot of Amish have loving families. The problem I have is their religion, well, let's go into the different, the old order, new order, because that is a factor in what I'm about to say. So there's new, new order, there's new order, there's old order, there's Swartzentruber, and then there's everything from, everything in between. So there's like many different, I don't know if sex is the right word, like S-E-C-T-S, within the Swartzentruber Amish, there are different churches, like church splits happen, and then you don't have any dealings with them, you know, so still considered Swartzentruber. So there's just a lot of different types of Amish, I should say. So in the new order, this may not be the case.

In the old order, I'm not even sure how this works. But in the Swartzentruber, where I'm from, any type of abuse that happens is not reported to the law. So because of this, a lot of the people that are looking on think, oh, they're this wholly great people, because rarely are cases reported from the Swartzentruber Amish. Dr. Darrell Bock Big on family, just great human beings. Dr. Angela Brintlinger Literally big on family. Most Amish people have eight to 12, in some cases 15.

My aunt had 19 children, no twins. So literally big on family, which is great, you know, because they're hardworking, you know, and there's, I learned a lot of good work ethic. But my problem is, there is so much abuse that happens and goes unnoticed, that it's kind of a, it's really kind of a dangerous place to live. Because you can be abused, you're not allowed to talk about it. In my case, I was told it's my dad's job, that what he's doing is what is a dad's job. Don't talk to mom, don't talk to your brothers, don't talk to your friends. And so I didn't, I was eight years old when he started, I listened to my dad, right. And here's, here's what's intriguing to me how God created us, because even as an Amish little girl with no dreams, when he first did this to me, I remember walking away and I walked outside to, we had an outside entrance to our basement, and there was a little step there. And I remember sitting there and just crying. And I looked up and I said, God, my life is ruined forever. The creation that God made was now perverted. And God just gave me a revelation. I've heard many people say, I've had some ex Amish people say, you can't get healed from this, you have to learn how to cope.

Well, I disagree. Because I am living proof that you can heal, you don't have to cope. The Lord revealed to me that if you truly want to be healed, you have to open every single door in your heart and let the original designer come in there and restore what has been violated. And so if, if you don't want to cope, if you want to be healed, you have to let the one who created you, he's the only one who knows how to restore you back to its original purpose. And so that's what happened to me once he gave me that revelation.

And it was incredible. The healing that happened inside of me was like, wow, I all I have to do is just open that to him. I don't have to heal.

I just have to open it to him. And he did the healing part. You know, Elizabeth, I meet a lot of people around the country, many who have been abused, many who have gone through unspeakable pains. And I think a lot of Christians, I mean, we know that the Lord will forgive our sins and Jesus can save us and when we die, we'll go to heaven. But you're saying even the deepest emotional scars, he can not just cope, not a band-aid, he can make us new and heal us even if we've been egregiously violated.

The answer is absolutely yes. Now let me point out that healing doesn't mean you won't remember. You know, you can still remember what happened, but as I sit here and talk about, there was a time when I couldn't have talked to you about this without just crying and feeling sorry for myself and hurt. I can now sit here and actually tell you this story with a smile on my face because I know the healer. I am truly healed.

Now this happened years and years ago and it took time. It's a journey. You know, first you want to trust, you want to know that you can trust God because sometimes when your father paints such an ugly picture as a father figure, it's hard to trust God. So to have somebody explain to you who God is and first you need a revelation that God is good and then you can let him in there. Listen folks, this might be the most important show you hear all year because Jesus loves you. I think Elizabeth would say this, he is not only the Savior, he's the healer and he is the friend. The Bible says that Jesus Christ is the friend who sticks closer than a brother. Elizabeth, say a word to the person who can believe God would show love to you, but maybe they find it hard to believe God would show such love to them. You know, I used to think those exact words.

You know, I understand that God would do that for you, but you don't understand how messed up I am. And honestly, where that changed was when I came to Charis and I just sat under the Word. We renew our minds by the washing of the water of the Word. And so the Word of God is a life and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword.

It will go in and it will literally start, as you put the Word in, it will literally start slicing away at the pain. You know, and so just, I guess that's what I would say. Just get in the Word.

I completely agree. One of my favorite verses is 1 John 2.27. It says, the Holy Spirit that abides in you remains and will teach you all things. Folks, stay tuned. We're going to come right back and continue our conversation with Elizabeth Hirschberger, because this message of healing, restoration, even joy on the journey, that's a message God has for you. America today is like a patient struggling to live, yet is being forcibly euthanized by her, quote, doctors. The life force within the patient, fighting for survival, is the honest citizens like yourself.

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You're listening to Truth for a New Generation Radio. Welcome back to the program, and let us say from all of our staff at Truth for a New Generation and Carl Peetz, our producer and our board, we do wish you a very Merry Christmas season. Hey, do something.

Let me give you a little homework assignment, if I may. During this Christmas season, try to invite somebody to church. You know, Christmas and the coming of Christ, it's a great built-in conversation starter. And don't let this season pass by without making it a ministry opportunity. And of course, we're here to help you do that with all of the things on the website, alexmcfarland.com. There's a tab, What Does God Say About My Relationship With Him?

And that tab has a free explanation of the Gospel, how you can know Christ. And I do want to say, it's been a great year. We've done conferences, we've done camps, we've done so many things, and you help us do this. And we've given away I don't know how many thousands of books this year. So for all of the listeners that have prayed for us and have helped us financially and in so many ways throughout 2021, from the bottom of our heart, we thank you, we love you, we lift you up to the Lord in prayer. A couple of things that are very exciting. Our camp, our Youth Worldview Camp, July 17-22, the registration page is up now at ncrefuge.org, as in NC, North Carolina, ncrefuge.org. And if you look for the tab about unashamed, building your biblical worldview, the apologetics worldview camp, that is what the teens need.

And summer will be here before you know it. But right now, I want to get back to our conversation with Elizabeth. Elizabeth, before the break you were talking about how God really does heal and restore. And when it says that Jesus came to set the captives free, don't you think when you were in a hard place, from the world's perspective would be a hopeless situation, but when we turn to the Word of God, the promises of Scripture, and Jesus Christ, the Savior, we've got hope. And there's hope. There was hope for you, there's hope for everybody, and Jesus isn't there.

Amen, there is. And I don't know, now I didn't grow up listening to radio, so if you're listening to radio, you obviously have access to a Bible. Personally, I did not. When all this stuff was happening, I had access to a German Bible, which I could not read. So I didn't have access to the Word of God, and some of you might, for some reason, not.

So it's tough. What I did during this time, there was also a lot of spiritual confusion going on, because my dad said he did the whole reincarnation stuff, and there's many gods, and one day you'll rule the planet. And so I didn't know who I was praying to, but here's what I prayed. I always said, to my God, and then I prayed.

And I am still seeing some of those prayers come to pass. For example, my husband was extremely Amish. He was content with the Amish.

His family was super Amish. But when we were dating, my prayer was always, Lord, keep me on your side, and keep my husband on your side. And the picture I had when I was praying that prayer was, I was dangling from a string that would pop at any moment.

On one side of the fence, there's this pasture of green grass. On the other side, there is an endless dark pit. And I was hanging over the pit, but I was begging God to kind of bring me over on this green side.

But I don't want to go without my boyfriend at the time. All I knew was what was inside of me instinctively, that there is a higher power. And so I prayed with the knowledge I had. So if you're listening to this, you can always pray.

If you don't have the word, you can always pray. But to finish that story, my husband, when my older brother started talking to us, he was actually on board to leave before I was. Because I didn't trust my dad, I didn't trust my brothers. And so he, my husband was actually on board with the gospel before I was.

And he had to teach me. So if you think about him being a conservative Amish, and for somebody to leave the Amish, you've got to understand how the repercussions of that, because there is excommunication for life that happens. I still have two Amish brothers and an Amish sister that we're completely banned from.

We can't have any kind of interaction with them. Dr. Darrell Bock Were you able to, your family, to talk about Jesus and to say, look, more than culture, more than tradition, the most important thing ever is to have a personal born-again relationship with Christ? Dr. Lynn Chisholm Isn't that sad? Because, you know, for me, and I'm sure for, you know, the vast majority of believers everywhere, the great joy is the reality, the assurance, the certainty that when we have Jesus, we are secure.

Dr. Lynn Chisholm That was one of my biggest reliefs when we left was the fact that I can know. Now it took me a while, you know, even after we left, but that actually didn't happen until we left the Mennonite culture and came to Charis and actually heard, you know, who God is. But I used to be really scared about the fact that God knows my heart.

You know, that really scared me. Now it's one of my biggest reliefs. It's one of my comforts is to know when I make a mistake, I immediately go, thank God, you know my heart, you know.

And so that's made a complete 180 from what it was growing up. And so even with my children, all my children except for my, well, I think my five-year-old is born again, he says, you know, he prayed that simple prayer. So I'm going to say all five of my children are born again. So it's easier for me to commit them into the Lord's hands going, hey, if, you know, I pray over my children, I pray protection and safety. But if something were to happen, I don't grieve as those without hope.

I want to say, listeners, don't bail out. God is with you. God is for you. God knows, Matthew 6, 8, he knows what you need even before you ask. And I want Elizabeth to visit again at some point, but we praise God that he's the one who calls us, he equips us, he saves us, he heals us, and on that journey, he sustains us. Folks, as we wrap up, Jesus went on a journey to be the Lord of your journey. He came from heaven to Bethlehem, to a manger, to a cross, nailed to the tree, rose from the dead, the empty tomb. Jesus made the journey so he could give you a journey into his very presence. So we always say this, Jesus is as close by as a prayer.

He has promise. If you call on him today, he will be your Savior. Hey, thanks for listening. We're going to be back again next week with more Truth For New Generation. Please, you can find us on social media, you can share this.

Go to alexmcfarlane.com. We love you, but more importantly, Jesus loves you. We'll see you next time. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-10 03:55:58 / 2023-07-10 04:07:03 / 11

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