Nine former Hutterites from Canada and the United States are set to make their second stop in Red Deer next week as part of their new book tour.
Cindy Waldner, Rodney Waldner, Junia Waldner, Karen Waldner, Darlene Waldner, and Sheryl Waldner were once part of the Hillside Colony in Manitoba. They all left the colony in 2006 with the exception of Cindy who left in 2007.
Glenda Maendel, Jason Waldner and Titus Waldner were part of the Forest River Colony in North Dakota and left that colony in 2006 as well.
Together the group, who calls themselves ‘The Nine’, has co-written the book
Since We Told The Truth, a sequel to Hutterites: Our Story To Freedom.
The group will be in Red Deer for a book signing at Chapters on Aug. 6th from 6-8 p.m. The Nine’s first book detailed the story of nine young people who left their Hutterite colonies to follow Jesus Christ. They have said their motivation for writing this book is to help people in similar situations, Hutterites and non-Hutterites alike.
“After Hutterites was released, the readers emphatically suggested we continue with more in-depth detail and that is what Since We Told The Truth is all about,” said Darlene. “We answered questions that people thought we didn’t answer in the first book. This book is more about our personal lives now as well.”
Cindy said The Nine were surprised at the success of the first book.
“You’re amazed that people want to hear your story. It is a blessing. We got a lot of support from other people who have left the colony as well.”
In their second book, The Nine answer many of the questions raised by the readers of Hutterites: Our Story to Freedom and then step beyond their life as Hutterites to bring a national perspective to their story. The Nine proclaim simple truths to offer an accurate solution to those challenges currently shaping the social and political landscape.
They said they hope to see those foundational truths, bring a fulfilling vision and future for both individuals and nations. With a worldwide outlook some of The Nine were recently invited to Liberia, Africa to teach from the Bible about healing and restoration to numerous church leaders and their congregations.
Since the release of the first book, Darlene said they didn’t imagine writing a second book right away.
“We thought after the first book was finished that our work was done and we gave a sigh of relief,” she said. “But that is when the work actually started. It all happened way faster than we thought it would.”
The Nine have enjoyed their time touring promoting their book.
“Coming from a colony and being so secretive and secluded and then going on book signings and meeting new people has been so great,” said Darlene. “It’s great to interact with people because some of them come with similar struggles. It can be different forms of oppression they have experienced in society and we can relate with each other and encourage them.”
Cindy added during some of the book signings, Hutterites who are still part of a colony will come as well.
“We have never had a bad reaction where they come and disturb the book signing. Most of them will sit and listen or will talk to us afterwards. A lot of them have admitted that the book is true and they understand that it is that way but they don’t know what to do to change it.”
Meanwhile, both Cindy and Darlene said their lives have changed immensely since leaving the colony.
“My life has totally changed. It feels like my life began after leaving the colony. From going from being shy to not being able to share my heart and openly express to people what I feel inside to now being able to share the truth with others and encourage other people and to minister to others – it’s amazing,” said Cindy.
As for Darlene, she said the door has opened a lot for her as well.
“We are able to go and minster to others overseas in Africa now. We can minister far wider than Hutterites,” she said. “It was also going from someone planning your life and telling you this is who you are going to be to going into a world where you have endless opportunities and you can be whoever God created you to be.”
For more information about the book or the group visit www.thenine9.com.