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Don’t Look Back

Every person, at some point in there life’s, comes to a point where he or she needs to take a step back, regroup, and think things through. Where one realizes that although you’re living the life you wanted or desired (for the most part), things have gone a little too fast lately, maybe almost slipped out of your control, and you have to stop, reconsider, and even question yourself and whether or not you are really on the route you wish to be and want to stay for the rest of your life. Long story short, did you absolutely, positively, make the right decision back at those crossroads or that fork in the road.

Me talking to a random Amish person in PA

This is where I was last September, 2011, when I finally took a whole month off from the dealership to go out and find myself. Either that or a midlife crisis. Take your pick. It seemed that since I had left the Amish, A lot of what had happened in my life had been preplanned. Like it was destiny. I had owned my own construction company, married and had 3 kids. Built and owned our house. And finally, successfully switched from my construction company to being in sales at a car dealership. What more does one want. My dreams were all coming true. I had in 9 years, accomplished what I had left the Amish to do. I was exactly where I had wanted to be by now in my life….. Or was I?

Was there more out there for me in life then just being the ordinary working dad? The man who works such long hours to pay the bills that he is rarely home. The one who when he finally does get a day off of work, he is so tired that he just wants to watch cartoons on TV instead of a movie so his brain doesn’t have to think. Had I truly gone through so much trauma and sleepless nights while still inside the community just to leave and for the most part do exactly what I could’ve done within the community? Marry, have kids, a house, and work my tail off. (With the exception of having more freedom to make my own decisions). Was I close to a deeper meaning to life, or had I completely missed the boat? Whatever happened to being a Country Singer? I was so sure that was what I was going to be when I left. Or what happened to owning my own Ranch out in the middle of 5000 acres and give trail rides to tourists. Instead, I lived in the city, worked long hours in the city, and carried the usual stress of too much going on in my life, typically goes hand in hand with the city life.

So was there more out there. I didn’t know, but in typical Mose fashion, I wasn’t afraid of finding out. I wasn’t sure where I was going or what I was doing, but what I did know, was that I was going.
When you see me in PA, IN, WI, and OH, this all went down last September, my official month of “Rumspringa” from the confines of the “English” world.

During this trip, yes, it only makes sense that I visited people such as my past Amish family, and especially my mom, the woman who carried me in her womb and also undoubtedly had many sleepless nights over me when I was a baby, and then again, yes, when I was a teenager. It only makes sense that I visited people related to religion and Christianity like Joe Keim from Ohio, Elmer Miller from Indiana, The Christian Motorcycle Association in Wisconsin, (never made the cut) and finally, The Lapp brothers. Does it also make sense that I was searching for answers to counseling centers from people like Jonas and Ann Byler in Gap, and finally, forgiveness in Pa from the Lapp brothers. The only part of this trip that I really have some remorse about, was the fact that the cameras were following me around. Now let me clarify that I invited the cameras along on this journey, if you hadn’t noticed, and felt it could be an inspirational journey for viewers, knowing full well that there are many people who have wanted to take this same soul searching step in their life’s, and that it could be interesting for them to watch. When I say that I have some remorse about it, I mean that sitting in the home of Joe Keim accepting Christ into my life, was tough for me. The same goes with sharing my story of my visit with my mom. Here is why. This journey was quite necessary for me to embark on. However, the hard part was when I would start getting into a very serious scene and I would see the cameraman zooming in, or see the Boom/mike (squirrel) coming down from above to catch every sniffle I was letting out. Realizing a camera was present and this was subject to editing and then being broadcast to the world, had a draining way of taking the sincerity out of it for me. Now had I had the presence of mind to justify it by reminding myself that I was doing this for an inspirational series, I might have embraced these personal moments a little more.

Again, I overstate my case here, but it is absolutely the most humiliating experience imaginable to mankind, to sit there and watch oneself come across the screen and watch yourself make yourself completely 100% vulnerable to the entire public. The remorse is when I receive contact via email or phone, or even in person from thousands of strangers who want me to call them on the spot because they feel like we now have an undeniable, personal connection and should be close friends for life. For that one moment in my life back in September of 2011, I went through a time in my life where I was needing answers. It touched a lot of people. However, by making myself so open and vulnerable, I have been subject to almost more sympathy and empathy then I can sometimes handle on my own. It is sometimes a little hard realizing that that version of you on TV almost a year ago, is the person people think you are right now and will always be, when indeed, I got home, went right back to the dealership, and returned right back to being just an average Joe in mid Missouri.

However, not to be mistaken, I sincerely appreciate the thousands of heartfelt emails etc. It is only then that I realize just how many people there are in the world who fit into the first category of what I started out describing myself as… The person who had to find some answers.

My encounter with the Lapp Brothers uncovered some things that even my wife didn’t know, and thank the Good Lord they edited out a lot of it. I was told later what some of the things were I mentioned. I will never be able to explain what went on in that room, or why it happened. All I know is that for like 4 hrs I was numb and couldn’t seem to move. I don’t know for sure if it was the Holy spirit or if it was just a hex put upon me, but I do know that I wouldn’t go back to the person I was before I entered that room. Although I still have my struggles and doubts from time to time, I can honestly say that I became more free on that day.

The bible study was something I had to try out after I got home. I always have, and always will, continue to search for answers and continue to look for a deeper meaning to life, and the bible study was an attempt at trying to see if this feels like it should be done on a regular basis.

As far as the Counseling Center. This is something I would love to do, and at some point in my life, I will probably achieve this dream. I was so touched to see people readily going into an environment where there is for that time, no judgement, and someone truly is there to help them deal with there trauma or just there life in general. This is something that I believe is needed more in the world. Something selflessly put together for a greater good.

Honestly, my dream is to some day have a 1000 acre place out in the country with woods and mountains where people can go to retreat. Horse back rides, canoe rides and camping, where people can just go to recoup for a time with no worries or cares. At the front of this land would be a large family Counseling Center for these people to come to several times a day for professional advice or Counseling. And quite possibly, at some point maybe even a Church and a Chapel would go up there for people to come in and worship.
Will this ever happen… Maybe. Maybe this is the deeper meaning to life I was set out on my road trip to find. Maybe years down the road this just may become a possibility.

Albert Yoder

In Episode 8 I can and will finally take a deep breath and know that things will be just a little but lighter, (for me, that is). We follow the story of Chris Y, and his trying to get a higher education. His father, Albert Y, is introduced for the first time, and we will see if there is a way to help them get some of the years back that were lost, while trying to figure out if Chris can find a way to go to High School.

Michaela, oh Michaela. Yes, for those of you who have wondered for so long if she ever went Amish, or if she intends to ever go Amish, I promise a lot of your questions will be answered in this episode. The hint I will drop is she just may take a visit to a rather sunny part of the country. Michaela’s story is quite moving and I felt myself many times over, relating to her and what she was going through.

And finally, take a deep breath, and relax during this episode, because I can promise the last 2 will leave you torn up and with a lot of questions and concerns as was I during the filming of these last 2 episodes. Just when you thought things were starting to make sense, it all unfolds. Stay tuned….

Until next time…. Sei mich Eingedenkt in Gebet!

54 thoughts on “Don’t Look Back”

  1. Enjoyed reading this article Mose. I know you have been overwhelmed with so many people wanting a piece of you. I hate that you are having to go through this. Somehow a lot of these people think that since you have been on television, they can demand a piece of you. I hope when the series is over, things will go back to ‘normal’ for you. Hang in there Mose, and God Bless you and your family!

    1. great article Moses I think in everyone life we go throw med life crisis I feel as if i am also I am 49 and i feel my life is going no were so we all feel this way thank god i just ask him to guide me the right way and it will work out when he see’s fit for it. I hope one day you would do a retreat would be nice at times to get awayhave a peace of mind and have someone to talk to
      have a great week….

    2. I am not Amish but I feel led to learn and help with this. I live in Centralia, Mo., not far from Columbia. I have 5 boys of my own and just want them to be able to choose how they want to worship however they feel they want. I come from a Catholic family on Dad’s side and I was in a Pentacostal Church growing up. I am not Pentecostal now, I feel led to just to believe in the Bible. Please let me know if I can help!!!

    3. What a life changing experience for you. I have worked closely with many Amish families over the past 8 years. I give therapy treatments in their homes and eat meals with them and have formed a close friendship with many. My daughter is engaged to an examish man and we have Andy watching your shows with us. He really has noone close to him, and his family, being from Iowa have pretty much shunned him. We are his family. He gets something out of watching you and the other ex amish presented in your show that helps him realize his own reasons for leaving the order. He will open up a little bit more and share his own experiences with us. Thanks for giving him the opportunity to know he is not alone in his quest for finding his own path and life experience out here in the “english” world. His wish would be for his “whole” family to be out here with him. I remind him that he is where he needs to be and that they are where they need to be. We watched Alberts story lastnight with his father and Andy said ” I would help my Dad if he would leave.” It has been eyeopening for my family to hear of Andys experiences both in the Amish and out here with the “english”. Your show will continue to be instrumental in helping him cope with the many questions he has had that only another ex amish person can help him with.
      Thanks for putting yourself and your family out there to do what I believe is “gods work” for others like yourself.

  2. Thanks for sharing from your heart. I wondered if you would be over-inundated with emails from strangers who felt a connection with you… I think you shared from your heart and soul (and glad that you didn’t bear all for the public eye, as it would likely have made it all that much harder for you.) When I took “recovery” classes (Making Peace with your Past, etc) when people shared their stories – while their stories were unique and sometimes felt 1000 times more painful than mine, I typically could find something in their story that I could relate to or have empathy with — perhaps that’s what’s happening with these people who are trying to connect with you (and like you said, they’re likely people out looking for answers); they also likely have holes in their heart and “wells” in their life that remain vacant from past hurts that they try to fill with people or things that seem to hold an answer.

    I hope you are able to keep the boundaries that you need in your life (and for your family’s life)… the show was not intended as an open invitation for everyone to truly “know” you and get involved in your life. I imagine it will take a great deal of balance and discernment to know who to accept into your life at this point as well as to know what opportunities to take steps towards/away from.

    Though it may be difficult for you and/or your family at this point, I for one am grateful to see the healing that you seemed to have gone through with regards to God (your testimony) – and can identify with the hurts between the Lord and myself too. I am amazed at the level of spirituality that was shared on mainstream secular tv as well – and pray that it will be to the glory of the Lord as well.

    Hang in there! Just take the next right step. :)

  3. “We now have an undeniable, personal connection” (as you write.) Mose, you are reaching more people than you could possibly imagine and the good you are doing is immense. Please keep traveling down the path you are on. You have such a positive outlook on life. You have a precious family. Three beautiful children and your wife who stands beside you. Your courage is inspiring. When you are feeling doubtful about your decisions, remember that God’s love is divine and beyond our earthly understanding. He is with you every step of the way. God’s love is purely that. Love. Let His light be your light. Live in that realm and you will be always safe. Return to the feelings of joy that you were born into. And thank you for helping me to understand the road I am traveling. It is similar, in some ways, to yours.

  4. Greetings, Mr. Gingerich:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is true, we all have our own struggles. I cannot relate to growing up Amish. Even though my family attended a Mennonite church until I was about 12 years of age, it was not part of a Mennonite community exactly; more of a Germans from Russia link if anything!

    I appreciate your candor in that you put yourself out there just as a man trying to find his way. Each of us travels that road, no matter our background. And personally, that road got a lot more negotiable when I, too, repented and was saved. Our roads will still have plenty of hills and valleys, but we no longer are traveling it alone. My hope is that you will find that God will never leave you nor forsake you and He’ll help you if you let Him. The Bible study is a great thing to explore; I hope you’ve found the time for it. It’s safe to say I share some of your skepticism regarding churches; there are a lot of stinkers out there, but still so many great ones. Hope you’ve found one that preaches/teaches the Bible and its relevancy; fellowship with other believers is so important. Scripture says in Proverbs 27:17 that “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

    It appears you have a lovely family; they get a gold star for encouraging and supporting you!

    Again, thank you. What you’ve shared thus far has been inspiring.

    God’s rich and bountiful blessings to you and your family,

    Wendy
    North Dakota

  5. Mose, I totally understand how wierd it must have felt to have bared yourself so much on TV. Making yourself so available to the public at large definitely has a down side, especially when you are on a personal quest and are a person whose perhaps most striking feature is his authenticity. How can you be authentic in a medium that by its very nature is contrived and artificial? I don’t know, but I think you have gotten as close as is humanly possible. We all need that privacy to protect that vulnerable “child” within us, and that includes you, too!

    I was a little scared watching you interact with some of the Christians on the show because I thought you might feel that you need to join some other church. I have recently turned a corner in my life where I no longer believe in the religion I grew up with. While I feel uncomfortable with the word, “atheist”, mainly because it has so many negative connotations for so many in our reactionary society, I think that is close to what I am now. Mose, I gotta tell you, I am 55 years old and I am so tired of religion. I am sick and tired of people supposedly basing their lives on fairy stories and believing in… magic, that is what most religion basically is. Virgin births, water into wine, raising from the dead, life after death, etc, etc. Why don’t we all grow up? I remember as a child thinking how silly the “pagans” in the bible were who believed in other gods like Baal and Ishtar. Now I think that many of our Christian beliefs are just as silly.

    The problem is, however, that when we decide to leave our religion– in my case, Catholicism, we find that we are not just letting go of spiritual beliefs, but also a rich and multilayed part of our culture. Our religion is so intertwined with our identity in society that when we leave it, it leaves a hole in our life that is not readily filled. I think you have found this in leaving the Amish– what a rich culture to leave behind!!

    One last thought. My oldest son asked at a recent dinner– when we give thanks around the table, why do we give thanks to a “God” and not to the farmers who labored and the animals who gave their lives and our wife or husband who prepared the meal, and our friends and family with whom we share it? He was so right.

    Beware of fanatics! Stay true to yourself. Keep as private as you can.

    I also feel like I know you well– but I know I don’t. And that is O.K.

    1. Wow. Everyone has an interesting story. Choosing to believe, not believe, or change from one status to another is what is great about America!

      I guess I would say to you what I have posted before: Our pastor says that religion will kill you – meaning all the rituals, man-made rules, and customs/expectations can strangle a person. The alternative that Christ offers is a relationship with Him – and that is a life-giving and life-enriching thing to have – many will attest to. But that relationship is only offered, not coerced, so there is no danger in exploring the difference between religion and a relationship. Find someone who knows and see if they make any sense. :)

      1. Hallsy- Your pastor sounds like a wise man. As for the alternative to traditional religion being a “relationship with Christ”– that sounds like the old words in new clothing. Many people can attest to many things. I believe in Christ as a historical person. I think he was a very truthful, good, and charismatic Jewish rabbi and that his followers, an extremely unlikely but remarkable band of men who were waiting for the Messiah in very turbulent times, interpreted his teachings to lay down the foundation of what we now call Christianity. Believing in his goodness has given me comfort from time to time. Since no one has died and lived to tell about it, who can we ask for the truth? As a thinking human being, I must make my decisions using as much logic and discernment as is possible. Believing that Christ is the “Son of God” (a loaded phrase to be sure)and that only faith in him will give you “eternal life” is something I simply do not believe in, but I am happy that it makes you happy. Peace!

        1. Hi pablotee
          I am really intrigued by your comments.
          Based on my love of logic and my natural curiosity, I have to ask…
          On what do you base your belief that Christ was a historical person, truthful, good, charismatic and that He had teachings and followers who existed so long ago?
          My guess is that (not having been an actual eye-witness to said events) a person would have to base their belief on historical writings which have been produced.
          If Christ isn’t really who He says He is in those historical writings, then I could not conclude that He was a good or truthful person.
          His many teachings would have been lies and those teachings led many of His followers to the point of suffering horrible deaths.
          Even today, thousands of years later, there are still those who are risking (and losing) their lives because of those teachings.
          I am not trying to dictate beliefs, I honestly do have a true curiosity regarding the thoughts which drive those who choose not to believe.
          While the majority of us who do believe are more than happy to share the things we have learned,
          it is rare to find someone who doesn’t believe these same teachings who is willing to explain themselves as you do.

    2. Pablo: I was raised a roman catholic & educated in private catholic schools right up the line. I knew I did not believe in catholic teachings but stayed because it was easy.After my children were raised I embarked on a journey by myself & for myself. I am a member of a wonderful Methodist church now. I feel like I belong in this belief system & I think that Karen
      armstrong & Bishop Shelby Spong helped me to understand puzzles that I had. You remind me of me.

      1. Mam120- I am glad that you have found peace with the church you are a member of now. Karen Armstrong also helped understand many “puzzles”. It is interesting to note she is no longer what you would call a traditional “believer” in any one sect these days, which I think is a good thing since it has given her a clearer perspective on religion. She believes in the power of living well and doing good. I think we both can agree on that!

  6. Mose, every time we have emailed back and forth, I have wondered whether I was taking your time away from more important things – but I have enjoyed our short exchanges. I guess if you want to know something about the Holmes Co area, feel free to contact me. Otherwise, I’ll try to communicate with you on the blog.

    Looking forward to tonight’s episode.

  7. Mose,

    Please know that there are so many of us out here supporting you on your journey. In deepest part of my heart and soul I know this journey you are on is a God given one. You were meant to do this. I watch the show and see a very old and wise soul in your body, knowing that this path was truly your calling. I am an ordained minister in spirituality, and see the good you are doing. I admire your strength, courage and complete honesty. You are connected to your inner spirit Mose and what a blessing that is.

    I wish for you Mose is peace of mind that you are doing the right thing, that you find that inner knowing when the time is right, and that you never loose sight of the truly special light that your soul has, and you so unselfishly share with those around you. We are all human, we are all one in God’s eyes -continue to follow your path in joy and light.

    Namaste ~ “I honor the place within you where the entire Universe resides; I honor the place within you of love, of light, of truth, of peace; I honor the place within you, where, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.”

  8. Dear Mose, I hope that you have received more clarity for the direction of your life after all you have experienced. You and you family and Amish friends are in my thoughts and prayers. You asked a question about why the Pentecostals were using their religion to get the Amish out of their lifestyle…As a former “Jesus Only” Pentecostal, I have an answer for your question. This may not be correct but it’s the answer I came to because of my experience. I believe they try to get the Amish to join their religion because they believe that they have all of the “truth”…that every other church or religion is wrong or hell bound.

    I would be happy to discuss this further if you like.

    I wish you and yours all the best,
    Mark Fout

  9. Mose, keep up the great work, you are an insperation to many. Your experiences carry over into so many different aspects of life for so many different groups of people. I grew up in NorthWest Pennsylvania where there are Amish communities, and I was always impressed by the closeness of the communities and their dedication to family and God. I think for a while I was under the impression that the Amish life was a life of contentment. The older I grew, I came to realize that the Amish community had issues just like every other community. Your journey is allowing others to see that no matter where we come from, there are those of us who will experience rejection or be judged by our community, but that if we take the time to stop and listen to our hearts we can find our place, heal, and begin a journey to happiness.

    I wish you many years of success and life full of wonderful memories with your family.

    Peace to you,

    Rich

  10. Moses thanks for being that open& sharing your journey each step of the way I truly appreciate your courage& generosity of spirit. I’m so sorry that because of the show it has been so stressful but the gift of wonderful wisdom& heartfelt emotion is more of a tremendous help to others than you will ever know. That said, for you to have your own quiet time as well I will& do keep you in my prayers every day. Moses God bless you& your beautiful family, I’m a better person having watched you& all the good type do. Just a side note about counseling,I grew up Irish Catholic& counseling was looked down on to start the last but as an adult I maintained my faith but sought out on my own& it was the best thing I ever did soo… Thanks for just being you,Moses God Bless You :-)

  11. Dear Mr. Gingerich (u. Family), I have been watching your program for sometime now and I want you to know that your dedication to the ex-Amish as well as the clear respect for the Amish is a demonstration of God’s work, without any doubt in my mind. You are doing the Lord’s work. I feel as though I can connect with much of your feelings, although I am not Amish. I am a counselor and I have been waiting for you to find the Christian counseling as an avenue to help your heart and the heart of your fellow ex-Amish. In the Amish religion it is so heavily intertwined with certain demands on lifestyle. But as you have demonstrated that lifestyle is not as narrowly defined as many may believe. It is clear that the ex-Amish may continue their quest for the Lord and hold Him close to their hearts as do their families who remain in those communities they have left. I have spoken with friends often of your community and it is a place where I ca see myself living. If this is the Lord’s plan for me I will see you in person one day, I hope it is in His picture for the future. God Bless you, your family and your community. Debbie

  12. Dear Mose, Thank you for your sharing your blog, I enjoy reading your thoughts. You and I are the same age and come from 2 different backgrounds. I’m wondering why you’re trying so hard to “find yourself”? I understand that you had hard times in your childhood, and so did I, but I’ve found myself one with the Lord and that’s what has put me at peace from my past. Nothing is perfect, so why try to make it be? Learn to live your life to the fullest each day and teach your family to do the same. God wants you to be happy, so why not be? Are you still writing your mother letters? Let her know how happy you are with your life and how much you love her. Again, be the bigger person and DON’T BE AFRAID. It’s your mom. There is a show called “Little People, Big World”, and the dad on the show is name is Matt. Even though he is a little person, he has done everything that he wanted to do. If you watch the show, you’ll know what I’m talking about. I’m not rich, and nowhere near where I wanted to be at in my life, but i have a great little family, and good faith in the Lord, and that’s what gets me through each day. You only live once. :)

  13. I enjoyed episode 8 a lot. Co-signing a loan for Albert was a huge financial risk for you and your family, yet I understand why you did it. I’m a little confused as to why he was allowed to drive off in it, without a driver’s license, if indeed that was the case, but it is a lot less complicated than driving a tractor or a backhoe.

    As for Michaela, you may have found her the right place in Sarasota. She came across as confused, but determined in her quest to find a new life that suits her needs. The conversation she had with the father of her “foster” family about Rumspringa took me as much aback as it did her; the signals I read from him were that every answer she gave to his grilling was wrong. That is understandably scary to a 16 year old.

    As always, I wish everyone involved with this series the best of luck in achieving their goals, and look forward to the next episode.

  14. My dear, dear Mose –
    I cannot explain the fascination I have always had with the Amish, but what started out as admiration for these wonderful, wholesome, self-reliant people has slowly changed with the realization that there is a rigidity of belief and a lack of nurturing of their young except to demand complete and utter obedience. When I saw the NG series Amish: Out of Order, I watched to see what made young people leave everything they had ever known. And I now see. Your unburdening of yourself, at the poignant moment when you asked that the camera be turned off, brought me to tears. Your description of your mistreatment at the hands of your father made me see that the Amish life is not all goodness and light.
    Because of the horror you endured in your closed community, no one would blame you if you had turned into a bitter recluse. But in spite of the horror, you are a caring person and surely God will reward you for the kindness you have shown to your fellow man.

  15. Watching this personal journey reminds me of the quote: “No matter where you go, there you are”
    Finding peace within oneself really seems to outweigh external circumstances or influences

    Skepticism is healthy
    Undoing many wrong teachings from my upbringing has brought a healthy prospective to my spiritual journey

    For those who have tried man’s religions and found them distasteful, why not try faith in God instead of religion

    My guide: God’s Word
    Romans 10:17 – So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    How can I understand what is written?
    James 1:5 – If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

    A person is free to share whatever spiritual belief or teaching they wish, but if it isn’t found in God’s Word, then I won’t believe it
    Romans 3:4 – God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar….

    How can I know if someone speaks the truth? I read my bible (I know, this is a lost concept – even in this age when it is more readily available than maybe ever before)
    2Tim 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    My heartfelt wish would be for Christian churches to teach God’s Word – verse by verse, chapter by chapter
    Instead, in the various denominations which I have visited, I find a verse or two given and then the speaker launches into a great speech
    A motivational pep-rally which stirs many in the congregation to examine themselves and perhaps change for the better, but does little to build faith and knowledge

    It’s a sad truth that many denominations are filled with false teachings. They have enough of the truth sprinkled in to make the false teachings palatable.
    I am a Christian and I attend a Southern Baptist Church. I love the brothers and sisters with whom I associate, but I am ever hopeful to find a TRUE bible study group.

    I’m thankful for my personal relationship with Christ and accept whatever criticism is thereby given for taking that stand – I am not ashamed for I too know whom I have believed
    2 Timothy 1:12 – For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

    I appreciate the deep inner reflections that these broadcasts have provoked and wish you the best

    God Bless

  16. Dear Mose;
    I have enjoyed watching the Amish: Out of Order series. I first of all want to thank you for sharing your life journey with the world as well as extend my thanks to the other ex-Amish who also have participated in the series. I feel that the series has generated a great deal of discussion across the country not only about the Amish and ex-Amish but also on how we can transform ourselves through hard work and dedication. I wish you well on your continued journey and I’ll be watching the series for as many seasons as it lasts.

  17. This has all been so interesting and eye-opening. Thank you for being so open, honest, and vulnerable. Whether it was your intention or not, you have become quite a pioneer in educating us “English” about the mysterious and often misunderstood Amish in a way that no one has ever done before. You have, for me, humanized the mysterious Amish community. Growing up “English” in Michigan I would sometimes pass through Amish communities with such curiousity and because of you I now have a much better understanding. I’m learning about how that at the end of the day we all have the same basic struggles – Finding ourselves, being ourselves, fitting in, rejection, friends, family, love, religion, god, and discovering the life we were destined to live even when the choices we make aren’t popular with the people in our lives. I hope there will be a second season of Amish: Out Of Order. Will there be a second season?…

  18. Mose, thank you so much for sharing your story on this blog and on the television show. I have always been curious about the Amish community and how they go about daily life. I am a social worker here in my local area and wish so much to work with ex-Amish. In episode 8, when you are working with Chris and his father, I couldn’t help but feel for them. Filling out papers for school and struggle to understand the basic forms. I would love to be able to work with these young people like you do and make them successful in their life.

  19. Mose,
    Watching your experiences and faith explorations, it strikes me that you are incredibly grounded. It might sound weird, but I think this is mainly because you question so much. You question things, but rather than making you lost, it makes you a better and better person. Some people hope for answers, but I hope you keep questioning always. That way you will always be learning. Knowledge is good. Thank you for sharing so much with us via this blog and the show.

    1. I too am ex-Amish and have gone/go through many of the same emotions and experiences that Mose so eloquently depicts. Tracey, your remark regarding questioning and answers is spot on. Part of a song I wrote says:
      “A good man’s not always right nor the bad one always wrong
      Things are not always black or white as I’d been taught my whole life long
      Instead of haste, I’ve learned patience and deep gratitude for questions
      The answers can wait; that, at last, I have found.”
      Thanks, Mose, for your blogs.
      Elva Bontrager

  20. Don’t be humble about posting! You have such an amazing character & strength. You should be proud of the work you do. Many folks, like me – admire you and the work you do. And I’m not just saying this because of my TV crush… even my husband says you’re awesome! :)

  21. Open Mic Night, Mose. Open Mic Night.

    You ABSOLUTELY have the voice for it!!

    With all of your fans and followers if you were to put a CD out, it’d go platinum… and you could use the proceeds to open your Ranch.

    1. There is no sin in singing other kinds of music besides gospel hymns…

      I hope he feels free to sing whatever kinds of songs HE likes and enjoys- whether they be rock ballads, county/western songs or gospel hymns.

  22. After watching episode 8 I found all of it interesting and entertaining, but Michaela’s adventure really grabbed me. I have worried that this girl didn’t really know what she was getting into. She kept saying things like “The Amish accept everyone” and “Amish families are stable”. Well, the Amish are just flesh and blood people, and all the less desirable characteristics we find in English people, you can find in the Amish. Michaela needs to understand that she will find difficult, judgmental, and even abusive people in and out of the Amish. While their culture and beliefs do inhibit some things like divorce, it still happens, and there are quite a few Amish homes that are anything but happy and stable.

    I was cringing with the rumspringa discussion. Michaela understood the process where one just dabbles in the English world to decide whether to join the Amish church. I think John equates it with drinking, doing drugs, and having sex with anything that walks or crawls. Both views can be correct. I suspect that his wife was all for having this girl live with them, but he was wanting to guage what trouble he was bringing into his home. His understanding and sensitivity was low and his mood, tone, and body language were all wrong. He did make a good save though. He did the right thing by apologizing to her.

    I think she now has a better understanding of what she is getting into. I still think that she has a revelation coming where she finds that a church with a lot of rules regarding every area of life tends to result in a lot of people watching you closely and judging whether you are within the boundaries, on the line, or stepping over. This is one of the things that makes English to Amish conversions difficult and often unsuccessful. She will also have to learn to not ask “why”, and if she does ask, be able to accept an answer of “because that is the way it has always been”.

    1. First I want to say is ur show is great. I just watched the episode “Pentecostles” from an ex pentecostal I see a similar match to the Amish and no ex-Amish should become that. They still will be like the amish and pretty much the same rules. When I divorced my ex his family shunned me for years and my 3 children never received bithdays, congratulations on graduating or when the finished college and what hurt the most is they never acknowledged my grandchildren. Mose u must continue on ur quest and u r sent from God, u must follow ur heart and listen to the most awesome God!!! Watching ur show has moved me to find what I am looking for. I still pray and teach my grandchildren that Jesus is great. I could tell u so much of what the church had did but I won’t dwell on it. Please continue ur quest, for there r teenagers who need ur guideance. U n ur great wife r in my prayers!!!

      P.S. I hope u continue ur bible study in ur home and I hope to someday sit in on one. Also to I am praying that I win the Lottery to help pay for ur counsel center. If ur on Facebook I would be honored to have u as a friend!

    2. I also found myself interested in Michaela’s story, however I am afraid that she is still a bit misguided in her notion that she wants to be Amish. I believe she became infatuated with an idea of what Amish life is without the maturity to realize that Amish life is not just about dressing up in bonnets and prayer caps, packaging candies for sale at the roadside stand, a family lifestyle, etc. I have yet to see her approach it with the need for a deeper sense in regard to religion. Everything in her life will revolve around religion and the rules of the Ordnung.

      Michaela is looking for the perfect family that she has conjured up in her head. Truth is, there is NO perfect family…English or Amish. I am so sorry that she does not have fulfillment in her own family. I would be interested to see how many 3-4 Sunday worship services on narrow wooden benches, spoken in a language she does not understand, she will manage to make it through before she has had enough religion and wants something else.

      I would also like to see her free from makeup when she is dressed plain. If you cannot give up the foundation, eyeshadow, and eyeliner for a few days I don’t know if it will happen for a lifetime.

      Don’t get me wrong…I think she is a delightful, sweet young lady. But I also see her as a misguided, disenchanted young lady that has mistaken the “Amish quaintness” that commerciality/movies has left the English. She saw the Amish, thought they were odd but cool, and decided she wanted to be Amish because they have families that stick together. Michaela does not seem to realize that abuse & problems occur in Amish homes as well.

      I would feel much more comfortable with Michaela’s viewpoint if she seemed to comprehend Amish FAITH. For teenagers in the English world things like being subservient and obedient are as foreign as the Pennsylvania Deutsch language.

      If I was her mother I would wrap my arms around her, embrace her, but tell her…”your place is here…I am your mother…I love you…and we will work together to get through this because WE are family.” If you still want this at 18…when you are an adult then okay, but for now you are a minor child in an English world and you are staying with me. I would find a good Bible based church, introduce her to religion, and give her a better base for making such a drastic decision. Regardless, God bless this young lady.

      1. I have to agree with your assessment of Michaela. I wonder if this is where the Amish can provide a lesson to others? They can demonstrate what it means to be a good family, and how to build a better family. Bottom line, they build their life around hard work and strong family ethics, which can provide self esteem and support. Even the ex-Amish have this internally programmed and could teach others this secret to happiness.

  23. First I want to say is ur show is great. I just watched the episode “Pentecostles” from an ex pentecostal I see a similar match to the Amish and no ex-Amish should become that. They still will be like the amish and pretty much the same rules. When I divorced my ex his family shunned me for years and my 3 children never received bithdays, congratulations on graduating or when the finished college and what hurt the most is they never acknowledged my grandchildren. Mose u must continue on ur quest and u r sent from God, u must follow ur heart and listen to the most awesome God!!! Watching ur show has moved me to find what I am looking for. I still pray and teach my grandchildren that Jesus is great. I could tell u so much of what the church had did but I won’t dwell on it. Please continue ur quest, for there r teenagers who need ur guideance. U n ur great wife r in my prayers!!!

    P.S. I hope u continue ur bible study in ur home and I hope to someday sit in on one. Also to I am praying that I win the Lottery to help pay for ur counsel center.

  24. Mose, you are such an inspiration – more than you’ll ever know. Just trust Jesus and remember – it’s not about a religion. It’s about a relationship. I have to remind myself of that every day. I believe the feelings you were having that day – where you were numb – were because you finally let go of some of the pain you have been carrying all these years. Whatever happened to you to hurt you – was wrong. Your road to forgiveness will grow you and change the world. It’s amazing how forgiveness can relieve so much pain, stress, and plain old heavy weight that holds us down. I learned the biggest lesson about forgiveness when a 20 year old young man killed my 20 year old niece. Losing her made me feel like I was walking in a dark tunnel – constantly trying to run from it and get to the light (relief – happiness). It was only when I realized I had to run through the darkness to get to the light (facing the grief & destruction), that the weight began to lift. And when I told the young man I forgive him, I could barely stand on my two feet. It has only been uphill since then, and I believe that God intended for me to use my experience to help others. It amazes me how he works, and who he chooses to help others.

    Many, many blessings to you and your family. We truly enjoy watching your show. We’re excited to see where God is leading you.

  25. I absolutely love the hymn that the Lapp brothers sang on the show. I would dearly love to have a recording of them singing their hymns…. hey, maybe cut a record and the proceeds go to a counseling center??

  26. Hey Mose,

    Two things.

    First.
    When I get ready to buy my Toyota RAV4 or Toyota Tacoma truck will you sell me one? I live in Washington State and am nearing retirement. Flying in to buy a vehicle from you would be a great way to see the country and meet you. This would also be a small way for me to help you establish your retreat. You are one of a kind Mose and all of us love you.

    Second.
    All I want to suggest to you again is read Romans and the Book of Hebrews. The Holy Spirit will clear up many questions there for you and it won’t take long to read them.

    Blessings…

  27. Moses, I know its not just something that I’m seeing, I know it’s a GOD thing!! When I first starting watching Ur show!! I was HURT.. To be honest, U bursted a bubble N My Heart about the Amish, I have always admired the Amish for being set apart!! and I saw U as just wanting to go into the world with innocent Kids following ur Backslidding!! But I kept watching, because there was Something about U!! so I Prayed, not knowing U had been scared N the Amish, some of the same scaring that I had N the world!! ~~ and I now see watching ur Show how GOD is getting Glory and HE is UR HEALER and all the HURT that U went through as Amish, will be wiped away and HE is going to RESTORE unto U, what the enemy of ur soul wanted to rob U of!!! I see UR testmony beginning to grow and as U keep seeking and experiencing GOD’S Annointing U will be RESTORED!!! I LoVe to see it unfold on TV!! to GOD be the GLORY.. Allow HIS Sweet HOLY Spirit to keep stirring up N U!!

  28. I admire the journey you took ‘for yourself,’ to ‘find yoursdelf,’ and in all honesty, the vulnerability and sheer strength shown on the TV show was not only amazing, but deeply encouraging. Men do not allow themselves to be that open and honest with themselves, let alone the entire world, and yet we often times need that experience to make who we are supposed to be, in God’s plan and in that of our friends and families. I personally thank you for your bravery and your honesty, and for allowing an entire world to witness your journey. As much as it has changed your life, in both positive and negative ways, it has changed and encouraged a host of others along the way, and perhaps that is God’s will for you.

  29. Hello Mose I left a comment a few weeks ago.
    I know what the ones leaving go through as I had to do the same thing. The best advise I could give is this old Evangelist that has passed on but left a powerful message for those searching for the truth! What Must I Do to be Saved! Let every person watch this message!

  30. Dear Mose,

    It’s funny that you said after watching the show people feel a connection to you. I was actually thinking I felt more of a connection with your wife! She seems like such a neat, laid-back lady. My husband and I live in Washington, MO, and we also have three little kiddos. I watch the show every week on the edge of my seat. Believe it or not, Out of Order is the only TV show I watch! I like movies and the occasional cooking program, but at the momement yours is the only show I make sure to catch regularly. My friends and family jokingly call me “Amish” since I don’t watch much TV and hardly ever use my clunker of a cell phone. (I am obviously NOT Amish since I am here on the Internet! Ha ha.) Anyway, my favorite parts of the episodes are the ones that include tidbits of Shana and the kids. She has actually inspired me as a wife and mom. How, you ask? Well when you decided to take a MONTH long road trip I was thinking how stressed I would be if my husband left for that long! But she took it in such stride and was so supportive. She always listens and is so patient and honest. She’s truly an example of the gentle and quiet spirit described in the Bible; 1 Peter Chapter 3. I’d love to see her get a little more screen time (I know you have no control over that). As a Christian wife and mom I am grateful for your show and grateful for your efforts. I know behind every good man is a good woman, so I applaud Shana for holding down the fort in order to enable you to carry out the Lord’s will.

    Bless you both, and if you are ever in the WashMo area bring the kids over for a play date!

    Elana

  31. I have to say we have enjoyed your show but has left us with many questions. Like your experience in Lancaster, our experience for the past 7 years has been a very positive one. The order doesn’t seem to be as strict as the Missouri community.
    While I understand that there are many groups that have also lost members it seems that this particular group in MO is more strict than most.
    I applaud your efforts to help those that seek you out and guidance for them as they follow their choice.

  32. Mose
    I am sorry to hear about Cephas Yoder it hit home in many ways ,I’am ex amish i lost my dad in 1996 last year i was in ohio i visited my dads grave it just so happens i spoke with my mother on the phone a few weeks ago while she was in the hospital i told her i had visted dads grave she told me she has never been to his grave it blew me away

    1. Miller, this has me very curious. Do the Amish speak of the dead as if they are alive, or do they never speak of them as though they never existed? I am trying to understand if this is just the way they cope with death (by believing those who have died are still alive in Christ and merely not physically visible) or if the cutting off of the world, those who leave and even the dead is a coping mechanism because the changes around them actually frighten them. Maybe you can tell me?

      1. I am not Mose so I can’t speak for him but from my own experience in an Amish family and in the Amish world, I think the Amish (officially) think of the dead as literally gone, as in totally out of reach.
        I know they do not approve the concept of praying for the dead’s souls. P\A good part of this reasoning, I think, is the Amish antipathy toward and fear of the Roman Catholic religion. The Amish, via the Mennonites, sprang from the Catholics; for most Amish whatever the Catholics believe and practice is WRONG. They even preach that the Catholic church is the Great Whore spoken of in Revelations.
        Notwithstanding, many of the Amish practices and expectations and requirements mimic the Catholics of the 1800s. Go figure.

  33. I watched the show for the first time yesterday and have since watched every episode. I was stunned when Cephas was killed. I’m so so sorry for all of you.

    Mostly, I wanted to write you Mose and tell you how much I respect what you’re doing for these kids and the other ex-Amish. I’m glad you are a dad because you’ve served as a father figure to so many and I have no doubt you are a good father to your kids. That help SHOULD come from their families, so to see you doing what their families are unwilling to do is truly a selfless act and it speaks highly of your character.

    Also, I was more than a bit disturbed about the “Born Again” Christians trying to convert ex-Amish. It’s a very unfair thing to do, as they have only been on the outside for a little while. They need to be exposed to all kinds of religions and people and make up their own minds afterwards. It’s not right to ambush and indoctrinate them into their religion, especially right now when they are vulnerable and trying to figure life out. The “Born Again’s” truly believe that if you haven’t accepted Christ as your savior that you won’t make it to heaven, but I don’t believe that for a second. There are all kinds of religions in the world and I don’t think God would send anybody to hell just because they were brought up in or believed in another religion. I think all religions lead to the same God. So many of the religious right are as close-minded as the Amish when it comes to that kind of thing.

    Anyway, sorry so wordy here and I don’t know if you’ll get to read this, but I just wanted to express how I feel. Your friends are lucky to have you and I’m certain that in the future when you need them, they’ll be there for you as you were for them. Keep doing what you’re doing and God bless, Mose!

  34. Mose. God bless the efforts and caring you continue to display to those in need. Your gifts are felt far beyond those in direct contact with you and such efforts.

  35. Mose,
    It may comfort you to know that the experience you had involving the “trance” is, actually, a very common experience for those of us who have endured extremely challenging or painful moments as children. It is called dissociation by psychologists. It is a survival mechanism of the brain and it acts to protect us in order to allow us to continue functioning as a normal human being. If you want to understand it, there is a book called “Trauma and Recovery” by Judith Hermann which describes it and makes sense of it.

    I began a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology for the same reason you began your journey through your past. I wanted to know. It would be remiss of me to state it is not an action of the Holy Spirit, but it serves us to walk the path in order to understand what we are meant to do.

    You ended the episode with a goal to help the ex-Amish with a counseling center. This is a very important and noble purpose. I think you may have an intuitive knack for it. Don’t give up. Your purpose is very important.

  36. Dear Mose:

    I cannot tell you how watching this program has change my life. As you can see in my profile I was born Amish some 40 years agoand it has been a long time since I left. But I will always believe that God moves in mysterious ways and we will never know the true meaning behind why things happen as they do. So I say God Bless my friend. And you must always know that you have done the right thing. and that you will always continue to help Amish teens wishing to leave the coumminity. I would like to also help any ex-amish teen if I can in any way possible. just get intouch if you would like to.

    Thank you and God bless

  37. Mose I want to try to share a scripture with you that I feel came directly from God on the day I read it. I was a salesman for a large foodservice company in the Charleston West Virginia area. One day I was in Charleston around lunch time, and decided to spend my lunch time at my church, which has office hours Monday thru Friday so the seceratary let me in and the only thing I said to her was, do you mind if I spend some quiet time in the santuary, and of course she told me she didnt mind at all to help myself. At this time of my life I was still suffering great pain from a terriable child hood and I was 50 years old at that time. Remember I said nothing to the seceratary.
    I was the only person in the santuary, the seceratary was in her office with the door closed. I began to talk to God as though he were in the room with me, feeling sorry for myself, asking God why me. As I was walking thie isles , walking and talking too God I was walking the center isle faceing the back of the church when I heard my name. I stopped and thought that was good lord do that again. I began to walk and again I heard my name. I stopped and turned around and the seceratary was standing behind me and told me to come with her. She said there is something I must show you right now. I followed her to her office and there she had the Bible open to Psalms 27:10.I will never ever forget this The scripture said to me, when your father and mother forsake you (I will draw you up) Well the sky did not open up, and there was no booming voice, but there may as well have been. Im so thankful my sister in christ(the seceratary) was willing to listen as God showed her the scripture and required of her to summon me to his word. I cannot tell you the comfort this has given me. Stay focused on God Mose what ever you do.

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