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Healing the Wounds

One Family's Journey Among the Northern Cheyenne


Wenger, Ann/Wenger, Esther & Malcolm


Pandora Press



$24.00  ($CDN)


•  ISBN: 1894710096
•  Publication Date: 2001


What happens when two newly-wed Mennonite twenty-year-olds are sent as missionaries to the Northern Cheyenne people in Montana? When Malcolm and Esther Wenger arrived in Busby, Montana in 1944, they encountered an "utterly alien" world of beads, braids, feathers and hunters, just a few days' journey from home. The Cheyennes they met were a people whose great grandparents, 68 years earlier, had defeated George A. Custer in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Only in 1884, after fierce resistance, had the U.S. Government successfully forced the surviving Cheyennes to settle on this reservation. What did the Cheyenne people make of these Mennonites, who would learn to speak their language and tell them of a Savior who had come to earth for the Cheyennes too? This is the story of the Wengers, of the Cheyennes who became their brothers and sisters in Christ, and of those who chose other paths. It is also the story of the five Wenger children, especially of Ann, the daughter who more than anyone else in the family absorbed Cheyenne ways, and felt the pain of the Cheyenne people. She, like the Cheyenne people as a whole, suffered serious wounds. And she, like many Cheyennes today, has overcome the wounds of a painful past and begun to heal. Her poetry and her mother and father's prose tell the stories.