Branded as a Thief, 1736-1742
COUNT ZINZENDORF'S diaspora efforts involved numerous trips to England and the European continent. These sojourns were primarily focused on expanding the successful work of the brotherhood begun at Herrnhut. Several similar communities were founded at Heernhaag and Marienborn in Germany as well as a new community in Holland called Heerendyk. The initial concept called for a community to be devoted to the training and preparation of future missionaries.
Early in 1736 Zinzendorf, his wife, daughter Benigna, and twelve other Brethren left Herrnhut for the new settlement located in the Barony of Ysselstein to check on the progress of construction. Among the twelve Brethren accompanying the Zinzendorf party was young David Zeisberger. At fifteen, David was an intelligent boy whose gift for languages had attracted the count's attention. He was fond of David and believed that if his talents were developed, he could play a prominent role in the building of the brotherhood. But he needed more education than the schools of Herrnhut could provide. The count believed the educational facilities in Heerendyk would do. Therefore, David was invited to join the new community.1