Episode Six – Mending Fences
Episode Six recap:
A Camry Hybrid running out of gas? Right… So, in my Camry's defense, there was a little more to the story than just running out of gas. My trusted GPS was the bigger culprit. When I got into the car to go to the baptism, I plugged in the address, and it said 26 miles to destination, 28 miles to empty. Never one to back down from a challenge, I went for it. In hindsight, I should’ve been better prepared. Are we seeing a pattern yet? And didn’t I, just last week, warn you that my life was messy? Long story short, I got to where the GPS took me, circled the one-mile square about three times, and nothing looked like the description I had been given. I parked and tried to call the people, but not only couldn't I get ahold of anyone, because they were all at the baptism, waiting for me, their phones presumably shut off, but I was now out in the middle of nowhere Ohio, miles from the nearest gas station and no one else left to call. I suppose it only makes sense that the film crew and I narrowed the whole confusion down to me just running out of gas.
In Ohio I stumbled across Joe Keim and MAP (Mission to Amish People) Ministries. I have rarely, if ever, met anyone who has given his whole life and trust so completely to God. Yes, like Danny Gingerich said, Joe has caught his share of criticism, mostly from the Amish, but I truly don't think he could quit doing what he is called to do even if he tried. The world, the Amish, the Ex-Amish, and even God, need him right where he is.
Joe Keim and I
Episode five, as anticipated, was the most difficult thing I’ve ever watched on TV, myself included or discluded. I fought tooth and nail against doing the part where I try to reconnect with my mom. The main reason being that I knew she would be devastated when she found out the film crew was hovering, and that our interaction would make it onto TV, albeit she would not make it on TV herself.
Many of you have questioned whether I have found my salvation in Christ the Savior, or whether I am still searching. I am very happy to say that my faith in God is as strong as it has ever been. I still have some battles, who doesn’t, but every time I talk to God, it becomes easier, and the chains of my past are being lifted, albeit slowly.
One of the hardest battles—and one I faced daily, was making myself out to be a leader, or mentor, of the Ex-Amish in Columbia, Missouri. First things first, I don’t accept credit, or compliments, easily, even if they are well-intended. Secondly, there are so many other Ex-Amish in Columbia who do at least as much as I do to help those who are leaving the community. Some do even more than I do, and they deserve recognition a lot more than do I. The one difference is, I’m the one who chose to tell my story… to the world. If you, the viewer of the show Amish: out of Order, or the reader of this blog, are reading anything between the lines, I will clarify why I wrote the above statement. Yes, I catch, and am catching, daily, a lot of criticism, for my role in doing this TV show, and particularly for my role as mentor and leader of the Ex-Amish. The criticism comes almost exclusively from the Amish and Ex-Amish. The rest of you have been great. As for me, I’ll be okay. I knew what I was getting into when I agreed to film this show. I have done what I started out to do, and my story, and the stories from the cast of Amish: out of Order, have inspired millions. For that, I have no regrets.
You met three of my Ex-Amish brothers. (I have seven in all. I know, right?) But it is always good to catch up with family, and they truly make life easier for me on the outside, simply by easing the pain of the family I lost by leaving.
If you, the reader and viewer, were confused about why I was reading letters from the Amish that were sixteen years old, but I’ve only been out of the Amish for nine years, allow me to explain. I had left the Amish multiple times in the past, several times for only a day, before running back home, and once, at sixteen years old, for six months. The letters I was reading were from those days. After six months out, I went back, taught school for four years in the Amish communities, before finally leaving the Amish for good. It felt good to find, and read, letters from those days. Also, it was great finding songs and poems I wrote back then. It’s strange how one forgets details about one’s past, but a song, a smell, or in this case, a country song I had written, instantly took me back fifteen years. I remembered how much value I had put into those songs and poems, and I also knew that if I took them home with me when I went back to the Amish at seventeen, they would be burned, so I hid them at the English man’s house, vowing to return one day and pick them up. As it happened, the film crew was there when I returned.
Curtis, the Mennonite… Yes, there have been many who have come to me trying to somehow inject themselves into the Ex-Amish. Curtis never had a chance to reach them. Later, after being rejected by me, Curtis went to local newspapers and TV, claiming that he was born Amish and converted to Mennonite, and really, trying to achieve fame for that fake story, when in all actuality, he was a troubled teen born and raised in the outside world, had some problems in high school, and somehow, as unlikely as it may seem, the film crew found him and believed his story. Until I told them the truth.
Episode Seven preview:
If you think episode six was a tear-jerker, brace yourself. I am not kidding. Seven will tear you apart. It did me, and still does every time I see it.
In episode seven my road trip continues. I retrace my steps back to Pennsylvania, where I meet some really interesting Ex-Amish men. The experience I had with them was over the top, or in my case, unrememberable. What you will see is me under hypnosis, and according to my camera guy, for almost six hours. So, I, along with you, will be watching myself in this episode for the first time, since I don’t remember the actual scene. That being said, I have been made aware that I said some things while under hypnosis that are truly cringe-worthy. My apologies in advance, and just know that I would not have uttered those things had I been in my right frame of mind. That is saying, if I had been awake.
As I sit here in my safe, cozy, office at the car dealership, waiting for a walk-in customer who wants to take advantage of our Memorial Day savings—a customer who has no idea that I blog, am currently on a TV series, or even that I am formerly Amish, I, on this holiday, send out my respect to our troops. Thank you for what you do!
34 thoughts on “Episode Six – Mending Fences”
thank you mose. you are doing good.
GOD BLESS YOU, MOSE!
Greetings Mose (& family). I have watched several of your shows now & am very touched by your experiences. Thank you for being so open & honest with your opinions and feelings – God is truly doing a mighty work in & for you!! My heart goes out to you – I know what it is like to be ‘shunned’ – I am not former Amish, but was disowned 30 years ago by my adopted parents – what was supposed to be my forever family. They had done this before, but my marriage was the ‘final straw’ & I have not spoken to anyone in 30 years now. My thoughts & prayers are with you and yours. Don’t let ‘religion’ get in your way as you draw closer to God. Christ wants a relationship with you – not religion! He wants to live in your heart & love you as noone else ever can!! It was a VERY hard way for me & I almost ran running and screaming from HIM because of ‘preachers’. Don’t let this happen to you….just let HIM love you into a deeper relationship with HIM and accept HIM as your Savior in your heart. You will NEVER regret it! God’s richest blessings to you and all you are in contact with. Can’t wait to see more shows and to read your book. It touches a deep part in my heart!
It’s been wonderful following your progress, Mose. I am enjoying reading your blog posts, too.
And you’re right; peaceful living today is possible because we have fellow countrymen and women who are serving in our military. May God Bless our country!
Mose, I am so touched by all the stories of the ex-Amish and your decision to share your journey on Amish: Out of Order. I was similarly shunned by my parents after choosing to leave the Catholic church when I got married 35 years ago, as my husband I were married by a protestant chaplain while we were in the military. My parents said we were living in adultery and could not accept our marriage outside of the Catholic church. The latest show brought back so many memories and the pain of rejection from our parents goes deeper than words can express. Many years have passed; we have moved on by God’s grace and healing, but sometimes I still feel sad from the harsh judgment my parents and siblings inflicted on me.
However, my husband and I are so thankful for each other, and God’s love is for everyone. Our three adult children live nearby, and we will always welcome them with open arms, no matter what. Our greatest blessing is that our children love us, and know that we will always love and accept them.
God Bless you! Thank you so much!
Beautifully written. Rejoicing knowing that you have made Jesus your Saviour! Continue to run the race…go forth! You have a vast support system.
Greetings to you From Columbus, Ohio. I am SO THRILLED that you have Accepted Christ as your VERY OWN PERSONAL LORD & SAVIOR!!!!! I now know that if Anything should ever happen to either one of us on this earth…I will get to Meet you in Heaven One Day!!! Because according to the Book of 1st Peter 1: 3-5..It says:
(3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,(4) to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,(5) who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
That Means that NOTHING and NOBODY Can Ever TAKE AWAY What God Has Given You SO FREELY!!!! :) How Way AWESOME AND COOL IS THAT!!!
I am So Grateful To God for Having a Newfound Brother in Christ!!! I am Grateful to Men Like Jonas Keim Who Shared God’s Love With you that you might Come to know Jesus as your Own Personal Lord and Savior. :) :)
Keep Doing what you are doing Mr. Mose!!! You are EXACTLY where God Wants you!!!!
I hope you know that you have truly touched the life of my 17 yr. old son by your Show Amish Out of Order. Can’t wait to see the Next Episode Tomorrow Night!!!
Have a Wonderful Memorial Day Mr. Mose!!!
B.J. & Stephen Miller
I am trying to get up the courage to write here on your blog. It has been so wonderful to have glimpses into your journey and I am beyond thrilled that you are now saved. It’s so nice to be able to call you a brother in Christ!!!!!! I also think its neat that you have this forum to be honest and share some of the behind-the-scenes stuff…always interesting. You seem to keep it real especially when you post from work…hahahaha! Hope you are closing some sales today!
I am happy to hear that you are learning to ignore the false “darts” thrown at you and discern God’s voice and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I know that you will be able to share all of this with the x-Amish/searching Amish that God puts in your path! I pray that the peacefulness that you are seeking will grow strong. I would also pray that your wonderful wife and family are able to follow in your footsteps. The show did not elaborate on your wife other than the fact that she seems very loving and supportive….which is great!!!
Ok….just wanted to add my voice to your supporters and let you know that you, your family and all of the searching Amish are in my thoughts and prayers.
I am happy that you decided to share your story with us. I have been inspired by your dedication in helping other ex Amish. You must know that you are fulfilling God’s purpose for your life.
The best news is of course that now you are a new brother in Christ. I’m sure our Lord has much more in store for you. Especially as you learn more about the Bible.
I accepted Christ after reading the book of John. I reccomend that you read it and that you stay in the word daily.
Blessings to you and yours,
I have watched every show and am in awe at your strength and those who have chosen to leave the Amish ways. I’ve read your blogs and must say that what you’ve gone through is much like so many of us that drifted away from our beliefs. I have had so many personal struggles that while I left my church, I now know that God didn’t ever leave me. About 5 yrs ago, many things were happening in my life and something in my core was telling me I needed to find a church and get things right in my life. Long story short, I prayed many prayers and God lead me to what is now my church and my church family and I’m so blessed. I still have struggles, as we all do, but my faith keeps me strong and gets me through so much. I have Prayer Warriors all over and believe the power of prayer is one of the most mighty things we have. So, I will continue to watch you as you start your journey with God and sharing it with us. May you forever be blessed.
I cant wait to see the new eposide tomorrow night. I cant get anought of ur shows. It just gets better and more inspiring. Thank u.
Your journey continues, and with it, we see the twists and turns it takes. While I understand that you want to put your best self out there for us to see, it is the moments when we are not at our best, and how we react to them that give us the greatest opportunities to gain understanding.
Your willingness to allow us as much transparency for seeing into the reality of your journey is what sets this show apart. It takes intelligence, strength and humility to do that and you display all of those characteristics.
Ernest Hemingway defined courage as demonstrating “grace under pressure.” One could argue that the word “grace” indeed has a double-meaning here.
I am looking forward to seeing the episode.
Mose, I sell Fords, so i can relate some too. I work with our youth group. I can tell you that I understand many of the things that you are going through. I went to bible college and my dad pretty much disowned me. I prayed for 32 years for him. 4 days before he died. he accepted Christ…sorry, this isn’t about me. i was just saying, keep searching, and when you’re ready, just look up,Christ will be reaching down, ready to take you into his arms , just know, many ae praying for you and your ministry.. you’re doing awesome.. in Christ. rex. , rexieman@hotmail
Hello from Baltimore.
Just want to let you know we are so thankful to see that you have found the freedom of salvation through Christ. The work with the ex-Amish that God has set before you is an awesome thing. He will guide you all the way as you keep your eyes on him.
We spend a lot of time in Lancaster, PA and have come to love the people in the Amish communities there. They are as you have discovered,very kind and friendly to the “english” and as Christians and english, we have had a burden for them for some time. They are God’s children too and we hope and pray that they and all of the Amish & ex-Amish find the truth in Christ.
God Bless you,
in Christ, Nancy
Enjoy your show. I was shocked and dismayed by the shunning though. It is so wrong that it cancels out alot of the “rights” the Amish do.
Your faith in Christ is truly an answer to our prayers. Our pastor often says that “Religion will kill you but a relationship with Christ will save you.” This is so often true with the lower Amish groups. It is a joyful occasion when we see anyone cutting through the religion and finding that relationship.
When my wife and I saw the first few episodes, your heart to help those kids was so impressive. We guessed that you had reacted, understandably, to the harsh judgment you had received, and we perceived that you had gone to the other end of that spectrum – where you were not going to judge anyone or any behavior. Acutally, we think the latter is better than the former. But there is a problem with being non-judgmental – those kids can get hurt by some things they do. If we love people, we have to be careful that we are not passive about them getting hurt. Still, exerting good moral influence is best done through unconditional acceptance of people, friendship, truth in soft words, and by example.
It was amazing to us that you had the kind of introspection that allowed you to ultimately recognize that this element was something you were missing in your desire to help these kids. Very few people are willing to be that honest about and with themselves.
We believe that your faith will be the thing that takes your ministry to these kids over the top.
PS: It was terribly hot here Sunday. 7 New Order Amish girls (ages 16-25)came over to sit in the AC. They asked if they could see the “Amish show”. I had last week’s episode on the DVR. They loved it! They giggled a lot. I have a feeling that they will show up again tonight!
Hi Mose: Thanks for maintaining this blog. It’s nice to watch the stories on TV and then get more thoughts here and share. When you say it isn’t an overnight thing and it isn’t easy, I think about a saying I’ve repeated to myself over the years. It’s Buddhist, but you can easily transfer it to your own experience: Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. Finding your own personal relationship with Christ, or whatever it is one believes in, changes you completely and at the same time not at all. You still have all the work to do around here. And you have to be tough to get mowed over by enlightenment and paradoxes. You’re a tough one, Mose. You’re no cupcake. I don’t see you resting on your laurels when the cameras stop rolling, but instead using your experience to better help even more people. It’s a really important show, thanks so much for doing it. Love & prayers for you, your family, & your friends.
Mose – I don’t usually post on blogs, but after reading yours for weeks now I just couldn’t resist any longer!
First, having lived in nine states in my life – and currently living in Ohio (for 9 years) – I agree that Ohio roads, by far, are the most messed up when it comes to the GPS! I’m sorry to hear that you became a victim of that! Being a long term, loyal Toyota owner, I will say that the “miles remaining” feature has never failed me so I’m glad you explained what happened as it had me quite confused.
That being said, my husband & I feel very grateful to have you on our TV again. We were so very impressed with you as a person when we first saw you on “Amish in the City.” You left a very positive and unforgettable impression, so when we saw you on NATGEO we couldn’t wait to see how you were doing & how your life had progressed. We lived near Amish communities in Iowa and Illinois, but have learned so much from the stories you & the other ex-Amish have so graciously shared.
You write of Joe Keim having a calling; I have to say that I also see that in you. You have some very special talents; you truly see & observe life around you, and you not only learn from it but you go out of your way to help others. You are an excellent communicator and you are so relatable; you have definitely made me look at a few things in my own life and inspired some positive changes. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. So I want to say thank you for being you, and for all the good you’ve done; it’s more than I think you’ll ever know.
On a lighter note, I hope the Memorial Day sales weren’t too sluggish! The husband & I love to travel, and often say that when we’re ready to trade in our current Toyota’s for newer models that we’ll be heading to Columbia for the purchase. Maybe in the next year?
Looking forward to tonight’s episode!
I just finished watching episode 7. What courage it takes to share such personal experience, Mose. The Lapp brothers exude positive energy and love, how wonderful that they were able to help you. They truly do act as instruments of healing, and that healing extends to everyone who sees this show, coming right through the TV. If only more people were so open, honest, and caring of their fellow man. My heart goes out to those ex-Amish kids who are struggling so hard to make it in this world. I hope they know they have the support of many many people. Esther is a rare sprit and there is more good work for her in life that lies ahead. Bless you all.
Dearest Mose, I have been truly touched by your journey. I am looking forward to when you do get baptized. Christians are baptized into the Body of Christ and not into a particular church denomination no matter who does the baptizing. Christians are baptized because Christ commands it, and any Christian (it doesn’t have to be a pastor, either) may baptize you. Personally, if I had my druthers and weren’t baptized already, I’d make a trip to Israel and be baptized in the Jordan River! Many blessings to you!
I have been praying that…. if it is something you want to do that the “way” for you to put out a CD of songs will find you. You have such phenomenal experiences to draw from and a way with words with which you could write truly lovely songs you could sing with your amazing voice. I sincerely hope that you will take up singing as an avocation and go to an open mic night and belt one out (http://openmikes.org/calendar/MO/2012/6)- I just know the standing ovation you’d receive would bring down the house.
Blessings to you Mose. I really enjoy show. Thanks for sharing your life story with all of us.
Mose, as a fellow survivor I must commend you for being so brave to talk about your past on national tv. It is difficult under private circumstances but getting it out in the open was a big major step in the right direction. You are much more able now to help those who have walked a similar path and, with your faith & strength, I believe you are headed in the direction God intends you to go.
Mose when was this show filmed? Recently? I really enjoy watching you search for the answers you are seeking to help the ex-Amish kids. I pray for you and your journey to find the forgiveness that only God can bestow upon you thru your faith in what Jesus Did for you on the cross. Stay strong and lean on God for guidance and protection.
I love to see how the Lord is healing and leading you.
You’re on the right track, Mose. I just love you and your show. Jesus is Lord of all, not just a select few.
I was deeply touched when I watched the latest episode of your show.
My husband and I have watched every episode of your show. This past one was by far our favorite, because we were certain that you came to know Christ as your Saviour during this episode. Praise God!
I am so impressed by your willingness to help the x- Amish and judge not (lest we be judged).
I feel like I know a little about the Amish, I lived next to an X-Amish family who were shunned, and have read all of the Cindy Woodsmall, Beverly Lewis, and Wanda Brunstetter books.
We enjoy your show and hope that somehow you can re-connect with your Amish family and are totally assured of your salvation in Christ.
Blessing to you and your family!
Mose: I have thoroughly enjoyed the show so far! I am confident you will find the wisdom you seek. Haveing been part of a “plain” denomination, (similar to Mennonite”, I feel I understand a bit of your trials. God bless you!
When you were on the floor you were “resting in the spirit”. It was God’s gift to you for being faithful and trusting him. I could recognize it when you could not stand on your own feet. This happens in my church when a Charismatic service is conducted. I have experienced what you did for an hour but mine was only a few seconds. Others feel a sense of warmth or visions. The first time it happened my face was very flush. Here is website about the experience of healing. http://www.burningbush.sg/ccr/restingspirit.htm
Some may say that this is movement is controversial in the Catholic Church. http://webmedia.jcu.edu.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf/Suenens%20Writings/Resting%20in%20the%20Spirit%20by%20Leon%20Joseph%20Suenens.pdf
Some do not understand the comfort that comes from the experience as it looks rather dramatic. That misunderstanding comes from the same places as not understanding what it is like to be mistreated or angry or depressed. If one has never had those experiences one can not really know what it is like and would be really pressed to even have an inkling as to what that is like.
God has blessed you. Roll with it.
May God bless you in your personal growth and the work you are doing. The show is interesting, and your character, honesty and integrity are something seldom seen in “reality” TV.
Mose, I’m writing this as I watch episode 7 for the 3rd time. I just want to thank you for sharing your story. You have inspired many people to look at their lives and past. It’s sometimes very difficult to confront and talk about bad things that we experienced as children or young adults. I’m looking forward to watching episode 8 and sharing more comments on your blog. Take care and God Bless
Just wanted to drop a note of encouragement on the blog. I was so excited to read in this post that you are a born-again Christian! I was nervous for you in you search for truth. It does seem silly to have prayed all through an episode for an outcome that has already taken place, but I prayed anyway. I’m thrilled that you are finding your way. It is so easy for us to become stagnant in life. Your story and that of your ex-Amish community has been an encouragement to myself and my own family. Your honesty and transparency are refreshing. This is quality television! We have learned something new about our neighbors and have been encouraged and challenged to evaluate ourselves, our actions and our paths.
Thanks for all the you’ve done! Many prayers and blessings to you and yours.
Mose, thank you so much for allowing all that you did to be filmed. It is really helping me come to terms with something. You are so brave and wonderful to let that much of your heart be out there for everyone to see.
Also, you have an awesome voice! You should put some of your songs on youtube, or something. I’d certainly listen. :)
You are such an inspiring man. Your ministry definitely reaches beyond the ex Amish. You’re in my prayers.