Lynne Bickta, director of Independent Living at Zerbe Sisters in Narvon, invited me to a Cafe Dinner at Zerbe's Retirement Center on Feb. 26 to share “The Dream Continues,” a book written by C. Ivan Stoltzfus and myself.

The book is a compilation of his journal written as he traveled Across America for Wounded Heroes. The journal of his 2016-2017 adventure is brought to life through his colored photos and personal reflections of his life. His spirituality and the why of his mission fill the pages through countless interviews with me and the sharing of his heart.

“Ivan is the real deal, he is excellent. I remember when he came to speak here at Zerbe Sisters May of 2018. He was so honest and personable showing his slides, telling his story. Seemed like he couldn’t stop telling us about the trip and the veterans, words kept tumbling out. I drove from Terre Hill to hear him in a tent filled to capacity. I want to buy his book but I am waiting for him to come home from Florida so he can personally sign it for me,” said Joan Daniels who is known in the Tri-County Area for her photography excursions posted on Facebook. A real fan, she is eager to post flyers throughout Lancaster County for people to buy the book.

Bickta agreed, “That was a great day at Zerbe’s in the tent. He was our Spring Speaker and drew a crowd. This book is great with all the colored photos. The story is riveting, alive! Ivan speaks from the heart. I look forward to giving out flyers to all our residents so they can buy the book.”

Many of the residents reflected on the Amish and Mennonite background that Ivan talks about. They are excited to hear about the Pinecraft community near Sarasota, where Ivan spends his winter, a thing that many here in Lancaster County know of with relatives and friends also visiting that community.

“I have his first book. I enjoyed reading about and recognizing a lot of local people that he visited all over the county when he was on the road. Such good stories you can’t put it down. I am excited to read this second book to see who is in it! I know him from Kerns Hardware in Honey Brook,” said Peggy Ritchie as she shared her book with her husband Emory and Tom and Barbara Acker during dinner.

“We remember his talk. He was amazing. We lived in New Holland for 43 years, and are married for 63 years. The last three years we have lived in the cottages here at Zerbe Sisters. We love the events and people here,” said Jay and Lois Fulmer.

I have been writing for the Tri County Record since 2004, coming to know you, your neighbors, and your personal dreams. I have a great affinity for the community. In 2004 my first assignment was Preserving the Stoltzfus Homestead. What a serendipitous event it was the day I met C. Ivan Stoltzfus and agreed to join him on his journey to bring his book to life for you, this community, America and the world.

Nicholas Stoltzfus, a pioneer seeking freedom from religious persecution of the Amish in Germany, has brought forth thousands of descendants. C. Ivan Stoltzfus is but one who carries the message of freedom from Lancaster County to preserve and honor those hero veterans who have preserved it for all.

“I believe America is like one big family, and families help each other.”- C. Ivan Stoltzfus, 2014

Note: We all just witness neighbors helping neighbors with the Amish barn that recently burned down in Lancaster and in two days it was resurrected by Amish men building with their women cooking their meals as they toiled.

Signed copies of “The Dream Continues” and his first book “A Dream to Reality” are available by contacting me atquaintancecarol@gmail.com.

Follow on Facebook, The Dream Continues by C. Ivan Stoltzfus with Carol Quaintance.

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