Jodi Nisly Hertzler, born in Atlanta, Georgia, was uprooted at three months to join Reba Place Fellowship, an intentional community in Evanston, Illinois. Her family lived there until she was seven (long enough for the words cooperation and community to become permanently etched in her brain), when her parents decided that they didn’t want their children to experience only city life.
So she and her brother were thrust into the antithesis of so-called city life by a move to a West Virginia home lacking in electricity, plumbing, and reliable kitchen floors (it didn’t stay that way for long but was quite the adventure while it lasted). The family lived in West Virginia for six years, attending a Church of the Brethren congregation before moving to Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Jodi graduated from Eastern Mennonite University with a degree in English because she loved literature and fancied herself an adequate writer; she didn’t declare a minor because she couldn’t commit to one. Feeling a distinct lack of direction, she tried various jobs: as a university secretary, an interior design assistant, a nursery worker (plants, not children), and a special education assistant at a middle school. For two years she and husband Shelby led a Service Adventure unit in Albany, Oregon.
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