Like the lazy writer that I am, I often wait until I stumble upon some memory or inspiration from my past before beginning my next blog. This time, however, the reason I got motivated is because I have been receiving a lot of messages regarding the cast of Amish: Out of Order, what are they doing, and will there be another season of the show? So, today I will try and answer a few of those questions. I will also try and be respectful of the cast’s privacy. Hopefully the reader will understand that they, the cast, are real people with very real feelings who will probably read this blog and the comments that follow.
Life goes on in Columbia, Missouri. Most of the cast and myself are living a very normal lifestyle, with the show a distant memory of a time in our lives when things were abnormal for a short time.
One year after the final episode of Amish: Out of Order aired, here are some answers to oft-asked questions.
I receive a lot of emails asking me if, or when, there will be another season. There is still no major news regarding another season of Amish: Out of Order. Many people seem to believe that this was one of those shows that would run indefinitely. The fact is, there was only one season of ten episodes, and they aired on the National Geographic Channel from the dates of Tuesday, April 17, 2012, to Tuesday, June 18, 2012. There haven't been any new episodes since the first season ended, although the National Geographic Channel has done a few re-runs of that one season.
The Albert Y family
Chris Y was the person who brought his father Albert into the dealership looking for his first truck and they bought the Nissan Titan from me. During the filming of the show Chris was also looking into a high school education and he reconnected with his father, Albert Y, after many years spent apart. Chris is still in construction in and around Columbia, Missouri. Besides construction, he is trying his hand at amateur bull riding and hopes to make it to the big leagues one day. Chris now has three brothers that have also left the Amish. Their names are Reuben and Levi, both featured in the stand-alone episode of Amish out of the Order in 2010. Both Reuben and Levi recently got married. The youngest of the four brothers is Joni, and he is currently attending high school in mid-Missouri.
Most of you won't have any trouble remembering Jonas. Jonas was in the bad car accident. After he got out of the hospital, he went home to try and reconnect with his Amish family. Jonas has remained in construction in Columbia and once in a while I see him at an Ex-Amish-thrown barbecue. Jonas has become pretty stable in the outside world, likes his job, and probably will never go back to the Amish to stay.
Chris and Albert L
The Lee brothers were just getting into cage fighting during the filming of the show. In episode one, Chris won his first fight. Since then, his record is 4 and 0. Although he still practices, Chris has made the decision to retire from the cage. Chris is 'Mr. Nice Guy.' He is laid back and has never had a desire for the spotlight. He recently bought his own place and is content to remain in construction in Columbia.
Albert L and I
Albert L, the younger brother, has since begun training and loves it. He recently won his 5th fight, bringing his record to 5 and 0. He is currently a roofer in mid-Missouri, married to a wonderful girl who also grew up Old-Order-Amish, and they now have two children. With the direction he is going, we may see him in a professional UFC Cage in the future.
Mose and Shana Gingerich
This won't take too long, as through Facebook, Twitter, and a few other sources, I try and keep everyone up to date on my life. Most of you cringed with me during my recent barbecue accident, and the well wishes were appreciated.
Although I am not currently filming, I haven't lost my burning desire to make a difference in the world. These days I am working on a few projects, to be revealed soon. I still work at the car dealership here in mid-Missouri and live a pretty full life. My wife is doing well and recently had a garage sale to sell some clothes that our two daughters are outgrowing. The kids are growing up fast. Ella is five and is always making me paper greeting cards for me to try and show her affections for her father. Anna is two. Need more be said? She is in all her glory exploiting those terrible twos. I figure we have about nine or ten years before it goes from the terrible twos to the terrible teens.
Abe was featured in the 2010 stand-alone episodes of Amish at the Altar, and Amish out of the Order. He went back to the Amish but returned briefly to visit Jonas S in the hospital, and to attend my birthday party. Abe is currently dating an Amish girl, and I have a feeling it won't be long before they become Mr. and Mrs. Abe S. Abe is one of the rare kids who leaves, is out for four or five years, and then is able to return successfully. Although Abe is missed, he seems happily reconciled with his Amish family and the community.
Abe and wife (far right) with their two children, along with a brother and one of the field producers
Esther is from Kansas, and during the show was trying a career in acting. She had a change of heart during the filming of Amish: Out of Order because she felt like her calling was to remain in Kansas where she is more firmly rooted in the word of God. Today Esther is married to Devin, of whom we saw a few glimpses during the show. Esther has a wonderful business called Anointed Massage featuring The Life Vessel, which you can find on Facebook. With a degree in massage therapy, Esther has big dreams for the future.
Esther M under the bright lights
I recently attended a Seminar at a non-Amish church where Joe Keim preached. He did a piece on Amish people, and 'do you understand them?' Joe is a very talented speaker and God is certainly working miracles through him. Joe guided me and advised me during a very difficult time in my life, and he turned me toward God when I most needed him. This event occurred during the filming of the show, and even if the rest of the show was a failure, this encounter alone would all have made it all worth it for me. Because without the show, I would've never met Joe Keim.
Joe can be found at his website at http://www.mapministry.org.
Steve Lapp & Joe Keim
The Lapp Brothers
It is difficult to remain in close contact with someone so far away, but I do manage to remain in touch with the Lapp brothers. In case memory fails you, the Lapp brothers did the Spiritual Faith Healing with me in Pennsylvania. Although awkward at the time, and still one of the most difficult moments of my experience on TV, I have no regrets. I am indebted to them forever for helping me overcome some difficult scars from my past. Today the Lapp Brothers, Steve, Jake, and David, are traveling the country devoting their time to doing seminars on exactly the topics mentioned above. They can be found at www.lightofhopeministries.com.
Alas, Michaela didn't remain in the Amish community in Florida. The change was too great, and she missed her family. However, it was a great experience for her, and one that she will always cherish.
And speaking of life-changing events… With Michaela's permission I thought I would help her announce the wonderful news. Michaela and her boyfriend recently welcomed into their lives' a healthy little Gunnar James.
There are many viewers who have asked about Michaela and how she is doing and how her life is within the Amish community. But I truly believe that she is happier with her family, her boyfriend, and the new baby, then had she chosen to join the Amish community. The baby will almost certainly fill the void she was trying to fill by joining the Amish. This is a happy time in Michaela's life. I wish to congratulate her and have no doubt she will make a wonderful mother.
Michaela and Little Gunnar
I would like to mention that this (Michaela's update) will not be a place where judgement will be made, nor criticism tolerated. It is one thing to see an edited version of one on television and make assumptions about what that person should or shouldn’t do. Or be. It is quite another to actually walk in that person's shoes and struggle toward adulthood without the fair chances many people are afforded in life.
After four years in the outside world, Amos made the decision to return back home. Unlike many ex-Amish families, Amos and his Amish family is extremely close, and when his grandmother recently passed away, he was allowed to attend the funeral. There, he got to see his entire family for the first time in years. After the funeral he drove away in his truck, but a seed had been planted. After hanging in there for a few more weeks, he finally disappeared back into the Amish community. Although Amos is still searching for some answers in life, it has been rumored that he has found love within the community, and his religious beliefs have become much more grounded in faith.
And finally, a moment of silence for Cephas. He is greatly missed in Columbia, Missouri. I often wonder how far he could have gone in life? What sort of degree would he be majoring in? It is with fond memories that he is remembered, and it is a time of celebrating the life he lived and the positive impact he had in everyone else's life around him.
In loving memory of Cephas Y
In closing, thank you to everyone for all the comments and emails. And thank you for helping us make Amish: Out of Order a memorable show. It was a deeply personal experience for many of us, and it took a lot of courage to put our private lives’ out there for the world to see. However, as the cast and I agreed upon before we started filming, if we can positively affect even a single person's life, was it not all worth it?
Mose's quote of the day: Keep making the world a better place, one step at a time.