Mennonites Forgive Driver Who Killed 7-Year-Old Boy

Members of a Missouri Mennonite community have forgiven the teenaged driver who struck a buggy July 11th, resulting in the death of a 7-year-old boy. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Meanwhile, some men in the Mennonite community have met with the boy to forgive him for killing 7-year-old Mervin Shirk.

“They wanted him to know they were not harboring ill will against him,” said Clay Zimmerman, a minister with the Farmington Mennonite Church. “They didn’t want him to carry a heavy burden throughout life.”

Mervin Shirk’s father made a further gesture towards the young man:

Shirk’s father even invited the teen to attend Mervin’s funeral last week. It wasn’t immediately clear if he accepted.

Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Dallas Thompson said the accident was likely caused by “inattention and inexperience.” The driver probably won’t be charged with manslaughter.

Sunset over farm windmill
Photo credit: Dawn Ellner/flickr

I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Like we’ve seen on many occasions with the Amish, members of this plain Mennonite community have kept Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness.

In the midst of loss and suffering, this community stepped forth and showed their care for the teen’s well-being. Let’s hope that both Mervin Shirk’s people, and the young man, find peace and healing with time.

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    1. Jill


      Praise God! Let us all be to the likeness of Jesus as these good people have shown. Prayers for healing for all.

    2. Marianne McGuff

      7yr old killed

      Such A tragedy but taking the step to reach out
      To the young driver was such a gracious thing
      To do!! May that show of kindness aid in the healing
      For both families! Gods immense blessings to you!

    3. Maureen


      Just as God forgives us, we too must forgive those who sin against us.
      It’s beautiful to see such forgiveness in a world where often times we see none among people in the world.
      I pray for the mom and dad who have lost such a joy at 7 years old.
      Those in buggies must be extra careful out there.
      Too much texting these days has caused very dangerous conditions out there on the roads.

    4. Renee Sailors

      Incredible strength

      I am still amazed and bewildered on the ways of the Mennonites. I admire their strength. Is it really even possible to have that much faith in a situation where it calls for questioning? God Bless those who have questioned.

      1. It is remarkable. If it were me in a similar position, I think the fact that there seems to be no malice involved, would make it easier than if this were done intentionally, or were there premeditated irresponsible behavior, like consumption of alcohol or drugs by the driver.

        “Easier” does not mean anything like “easy” however. And I wouldn’t assume this was necessarily easy for those in this community…though it likely came more naturally than it would in most places outside of the Plain communities.

        1. gOOD FOR YOU

          Thank you and your community for forgiving this youngster, He will have to live with this the rest of his life. he meant no ILL will and it was an accident

    5. Az gal

      God Bless All

      This requires great faith. I will think & pray about this story today. God bless all involved. RIP young Mervin.