Episode Ten – A Very Merry Christmas
Episode Ten recap:
We held a holiday party at the Cedar Creek Lodges, then a bonfire by the lake outside, and then on to a memorial service for Cephas Yoder. We tied ribbons to a tree, placed the plaque by Cephas’ tree, sang a song, spoke a few words of peace for the departed, then the group of Ex-Amish turned to face the cameras. Slowly, the cameras faded out, their lenses remaining focused on the group of Ex-Amish, until finally, the little red recording lights on the sides of the cameras went out altogether. Then, the filming of Amish: out of Order was over.
At Cephas's Memorial
Amish: out of Order recap:
When I look back over the long and trying year it took to film the show, I marvel at how fragile the likelihood was of it ever making it onto TV. There were four very important people who worked on this project—people who, once they committed, were going to see it through regardless of what lay in the way. Perhaps there were more than four such people, but the rest were in that faraway place known as the editing offices in NYC… a place I never had the opportunity to visit. Of these four people then, those that worked closely with the cast, I am willing to bet that, had any of the four been removed at any point in the production part of things, the show would’ve come to a screeching halt, and possibly been cancelled altogether. But, by the teaming up of these individuals, a beautiful, albeit emotional ten-part documentary came together, one that I had the honor of being a part of.
Daniel Laikind: Owner and founder of Stick Figure Productions, also a co-producer on several of my previous documentary/reality shows; Amish In the City, 2004, Amish out of the Order and Amish at the Altar, two stand-alone documentaries filmed and televised in 2010. Without Daniel behind me, encouraging me, supporting me, and finally, pushing me to help bring together a cast of Ex-Amish, this show would never have made it past a faint whisper. I fought Daniel and his idea of this show for over a year, mainly because I knew criticism would come, and I don’t always handle criticism well, but also because I knew, even then, that I was going through a vulnerable time in my life, and that my soul would be bared to the world, which is in and of itself, enough to scare most. Certainly, it scared away many of the Ex-Amish who had great stories to tell but were unwilling to share them with the world. Also, I am married, with three children, have a great job that requires a ton of devotion, and really, was resting peacefully in a comfort zone of life. Why shake things up? I don’t even like being on TV… I don’t like the attention all that much, and what good will come of it in the long run anyway—we film for a year, I exhaust every single ounce of my energy into it, then the show, like almost all others, runs its course and fades out, and in ten years, maybe even five, almost nobody will remember me and the rest of the cast. Little did I know how rewarding it would be to invest that time and energy, and how rewarding it would be to meet all those great people that I would have never met otherwise.
Jake Abraham: Jake came on board somewhere around episode four. At that time, when some of the cast realized that TV work was hard, with long hours spent filming in the evenings after work, and on weekends, many of them began to bail. Also, at that time, the chemistry among film crew, sound guys, filed editors, and numerous other production staff wasn’t very good. Jake was able to organize, eliminate a few problem producers, and give us structure. Jake was consistently back and forth between NYC and Missouri, putting out fires before they started, answering his cell phone at any time of the day or night, and really, quickly became the ‘go to’ guy for any problems. Perhaps a good title for Jake Abraham would have been the ‘Man who keeps the wheels greased.’
Jeff Hoagland: When I finally committed to filming the show, I realized one thing with absolute certainty. The camera guy needed to be a country boy, and not a slick-haired city boy like some of the others that had tried to slither into the good graces of the Ex-Amish. The camera guy needed to be relatable, honest, (because an Ex-Amish can smell insincerity from a mile away) and he needed to be able to dig in his heels and work his rear off when the going gets tough. And believe me, the going would get tough. Example: By episode four, almost every cast member had bailed except me and a few select others. At that time, we had committed to filming six episodes for The National Geographic Channel, not the ten we ended up with. Anyway, by episode four, it was apparent that we were not only not going to have enough footage for the first six episodes, but when NatGeo ordered the next four to complete ten in total, a lesser camera dude would have readily thrown in the towel and disappeared back into the city, cursing the fleeing cast all the way. But Jeff, well Jeff did exactly what was needed. He patiently took cast member after cast member out to lunch, and spent a great deal of time making friends, without adding any pressure at all for them to stay on. I could’ve done the same thing, and did, but it wouldn’t have been the same. They needed to trust and respect the guy who will be behind the camera, and who will eventually be back in the studios helping with the editing process. And Jeff delivered.
Jeff, a country boy from nowhere Kentucky, wandered into Columbia, Missouri, looking more like a relative of the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s then a professional camera dude. Very private about his personal life, almost shy, and with no desire whatsoever to be in the spotlight, or to ever receive praise or credit for any of his accomplishments. As a matter of fact, I had to argue and curse him before he finally agreed to let me blog about him, and even then, only if he could read it first. Jeff, a person who never seemed to eat or sleep, and who never ran out of energy. Or Jeff, bringing me my favorite energy drink at eleven p.m., when I am exhausted, my eyes are bloodshot, and I am dragging rear end, but we need to film for two more hours, and Jeff pushed me to dig deeper. Jeff, with whom I would spend dozens of nights sleeping in dingy motel rooms across the Midwest, when budgeting for the show began to run low, and Jeff, who, never one to mince words, was very comfortable looking me directly in the eyes and tell me that I was making a mistake when I had my heart set on certain scenes, or certain cast members who simply weren’t good on camera, but I hadn’t the eye to see it. Jeff, who protected me from the criticism of Amish and Ex-Amish alike, advised me on how to handle the fame that came with being a TV star, long after his job was finished and he was back in Kentucky filming another show.
Finally, I have thousands of photos of Jeff hanging out of my car window, or protruding out through the moonroof on top, while I am driving, him leaning awkwardly with the camera, trying to get that perfect shot. Jeff, spending hours and hours getting out all the camera equipment, setting up the lighting, connecting dozens of power cords and microphones, for only a ten minute clip that was needed. Jeff was there, behind the camera, filming me receiving my salvation with Pastor Joe Keim in Ohio, getting spiritually healed with the Lapp Brothers in Pennsylvania, and he was there when Cephas Yoder died. In doing scenes about Cephas after his death, it seemed Jeff and I rotated in emotions. One day I would have to fight through tears, and Jeff would be the strong one, and then there were days where he struggled emotionally behind the camera, even though a camera guy is supposed to be invisible. Jeff, whose job it was to just get footage, but who, at my request, spent the night before Cephas’ funeral cutting together the DVD that I played for the Ex-Amish in the living room of our house—the DVD you saw a part of in episode nine, and then, with almost no sleep, going to the funeral with us the next day and spending the entire day filming.
Something happens when you spend months together, driving thousands of miles, sleeping in the same motel rooms—a bond is formed. Today, Jeff and I remain the closest of friends, and I trust him as fully as I have ever trusted anyone in my life.
Mose J Gingerich: I’ll try and make this short, since nothing good ever comes of tooting one’s own horn. Let me begin by reiterating that it is extremely difficult to get an Amish or Ex-Amish to agree to being filmed. It is even more difficult to convince them to stick around when they realize that the show will take an entire year to film, when we had at first thought it would be only a few weeks, or possibly a month. And finally, it is practically impossible to keep an Ex-Amish committed to the show when the criticism starts. And believe me, criticism about the filming of the show began before we filmed even one second of it. It really wouldn’t have mattered what the show was about—the Amish belief is that one simply doesn’t allow oneself to be filmed, something about one of the Ten Commandments that teaches about the evil of worshipping graven images. Anyway, we could have been saving starving children from third world countries, or saving the souls of millions in America, or pick about any good cause you can think of… None of it would have mattered—generations of brain-washing are more powerful than any words of wisdom I could speak, even if, for many of them, they left the Amish for those exact reasons—that is to say, to get away from those narrow-minded, strict teachings. For myself, once I finally committed to the show, I committed one hundred percent, regardless of the obstacles. And I am of the opinion that my strength and unwavering commitment was an inspiration for some of them, because that is what they needed as an example, in order to withstand the pressures and criticism.
But why did I agree to do the show then, knowing the controversy and criticism that would come with it? I still don’t have a clear answer, but I will try to explain. If you are an atheist, shut your eyes for the rest of this paragraph, or don’t. You decide. But by the time I was struggling with the decision to film, or not to film, I already had a close enough relationship with God that I could feel his guiding voice. I have many examples of this throughout my life, including when I finally managed to leave the Amish for good. Although I had struggled mightily about the decision of leaving, for years, when it was finally time, a peace flooded my entire body, and on that day I left the Amish with God’s blessing. So, I spoke with God extensively about the show. And I felt the pull. I felt like something about the show could inspire viewers, like, although I had no control over it, and had no idea what we would even film about, that by putting my trust and faith in God, he would use me and the Ex-Amish community to serve a powerful message to viewers. Deep stuff, I know. But I felt it, and it grew stronger and stronger, until the voice was too loud to ignore. Now, looking back, I have a much clearer image of the inspiration God was trying to deliver through us, but possibly, I still haven’t fully grasped it. All I know is that I have received hundreds of messages from people who were struggling in life, and they told me their testimony of how our show ‘saved’ them. One lady told me that she was suicidal, and that she had already planned on how she would end it. But by watching the show on her final night on earth, and seeing other people, (the Ex-Amish), going through similar struggles, it gave her the strength to keep fighting for another day. Perhaps I can summarize it best like this… If we, the Ex-Amish, can inspire one viewer to become a better version of himself/herself, than they had previously been, simply by watching our stories, than isn’t that enough reason to film an entire show?
Moving on: I find it scary how many crazy things went down during the filming of this show—things that weren’t set up by us, for the purpose of getting entertaining footage. From Jonas’ car accident, and then later, Cephas with another, this one much more tragic, from Chris L’s cage fighting, Michaela converting to Amish, Esther M from Kansas following or not following her dreams to become an actor, my road trip where I found Christ in an even truer form than ever before, where I also found forgiveness, a long overdue visit with my own mother, an answers I would have never found if not for this trip. And finally, the tornado that ripped apart Joplin, Missouri. While one would never wish some of these tragedies on oneself, what are the odds they all befell us in this one year period?
Questions I receive: So, did Michaela actually go Amish?
Answer: This is still a developing process. It is a complicated thing to make happen, with loopholes too numerous to bore you with, but the flame hasn’t been extinguished.
Question: Will there be another season?
Answer: probably not. While there have been some rumors floating around, nothing is set in stone. Before I even came close to re-committing to a second season, I would have to go through a serious re-evaluation process. But based on what I’ve told you, with the stress, criticism, struggles, trying to balance family, a second job, and little sleep for another year, does the positive outweigh the negative? Or, has our story been officially written in one season, and a second would become more for money, or fame, thereby losing the intended message?
So, what is next for Mose J Gingerich? Well, he doesn’t want to sell cars until he’s old and calloused. And he can’t go back to construction because he’s had several heat strokes, and one more might be enough to do him in. But, what does Mose want to do as a career hobby? What would make him entirely happy? Not film or TV work—while rewarding, it is not a ‘pull’ he feels himself drawn toward. So, here it is… get ready to laugh. If he can find a way to write for a living, whether it be blogs, newspaper articles, or books, that would make me truly happy. In fact, Mose can say with absolute certainty, that he has never been happier than when he has finished composing a creative story. There is an euphoria that comes with using his creative side, a rush perhaps not unlike some addictive drugs. So, one day, maybe not in the too far future, you may see a novel, written by Mose J Gingerich. And while the first one may be average, the second will be better, then, the third will be better yet. And eventually, if one dares to dream big and lofty dreams, perhaps one day he will finally realize his ultimate dream—that of becoming a writer that inspires millions. Perhaps then, he will travel the world, write from the cabins of the Swiss Alps, or rent a tent and write in the middle of a sandy desert, or buy a ship, like Earnest Hemmingway, and write from the middle of the sea. And when that time comes, you can bet that he will blog and tell you all about it.
Until then, Mose will be holed up in good old Columbia, Missouri, sitting in a relatively quiet office at a car dealership, always with one eye on the car lot outside, willing a customer to drive through and tell him how he is “just looking.” But for now, Mose is perfectly content to sit back, relax, and let the chatter surrounding the show fade slowly away, as does the chatter of every show, so soon replaced by new shows. And Mose will remain content, if only for a minute in life, until one day, much like when he was Amish, he will hear a voice pulling him, nudging him, and finally, shoving him forward, ever forward, always in the direction God wants him to go. And he go with absolute peace flooding his entire body and soul…
66 thoughts on “Episode Ten – A Very Merry Christmas”
I love that you took the time to give very sincere, though-out thanks to those who made the show happen – it shows your genuine & thoughtful nature that you have shown throughout the series, Mose.
I can relate to the feeling of doing best in my life when I’m very busy (especially when it includes helping others) – May I suggest that you ask for discernment from God to see if there may be a reason that you have to keep your mind so busy at times (possibly to avoid feelings, dealing with relationships, etc). NOT to say that is what is going on, but just something to look at/consider.
So glad the series was a success (at least it was, in my opinion!) If the show continues on I would definitely watch it – though I would think many would understand your decision not to continue on with it, if that was what you ultimately decided.
Thank you for sharing so vulnerably of yourself, Mose. You are blessing to your community – and it has poured out beyond them into the lives of your viewers.
oops -> thought-out
The effort put forth by you, your wife, the behind the scenes people and the ex Amish who went on camera was astounding. You made a beautiful series. I think the book will be great, and I look forward to it. I have found myself praying for the Amish, those still in and the ex Amish. God bless them all. I am praying for you Mose. I can only imagine the challenges and pain of being shunned, and your series certainly shed a big light on it. I thought it was so moving that you would also help Michaela become Amish. That shows a lot of decency. I hope there is another season (God willing), and I am praying for you and all the people you are trying to help. God bless you.
I like so many do not like the Reality shows, but i had seen the commercial for this one and said…..I WANT TO SEE IT…. i have always seen the Amish around our town, which is only 45 min from Columbia and wondered just how they lived. So i taped the first episode,came home at midnite from work and started to watch it,,,,,,To only be shocked to see a face that i knew and had not seen in 8 yrs talking to the camera…. The show has answered alot of questions that I have had about the Amish world,,,,and done with a touch of class as well. Please keep up your hard work with these kids, they all need someone to look up to, guide them, and give them the support they need to adapt and make it out here in this crule world of ours…..
I’m glad to hear your evaluation of the year. You have definitely touched many people through the series and I’m glad that you have come away better for it. I would like to add one person who I am thankful for in the making of the series. I am grateful to your wife. She made many sacrifices during this year and she obviously shares your love for the ex-Amish community. Her love and commitment to you made it possible for you to go through this year of self discovery and community. We look forward to your book and we hope that perhaps a second season/ special will be in the future. You and all of the ex-Amish will continue in our prayers. We are all on a journey together. We know where we will all meet eventually but until then, good travels, happy traveling companions and much happiness Mose. :)
Good point on the Mrs. Hopefully she doesn’t read my blogs, lol.
Too late :)
Mose, next time your in Pa, try and contact me as the runnaways are increasing and as in your show, we have the funding in place just need a person to lead who knows the struggles. You have the calling and its time to do what your called to do! God will provide, and we stand ready to fund something to take root!
Love you Shana! you’ve been an inspiration to me as well. you’re devotion to your husband and the courage you’ve shown to manage things behind the scenes should be lauded. kudos to you dear.
big hugs from alaska
Please have another season. This is beyond educational. I am sure this show has taught a lot of “English” to search our hearts.
I really enjoyed the show and would really miss not knowing what happened to everyone in their journey. However, I do pray for you and your family because no what they may say spending time with your wife and children is super important for them and you too.
I really liked your idea of a counseling center for Ex-Amish and/or a training center to help them “in the way of the English”. Maybe that could be a show??
Last but not least, I was very sorry to hear of the death of Cephas Yoder. He was a happy young man, working to realize his dreams. I am hoping that his brother who is out (Ex-Amish) will enjoy his house and the house is put to good use in Cephas name.
God Bless and I believe Jesus will give you the answers your looking for and the help too!!
Congratulations on a job well done! Your show has been such a blessing to me and to many others. I am looking forward to reading your book, too. I keep thinking of that counseling center you’ve thought about… It would be a blessing to not just ex-Amish or current Amish, but anyone who needs good Christian counseling and not a bunch of pills or Freud.
Blessings to you and yours!!
Mose, I’m so happy and grateful that you decided (with the help of your friends and colleagues) to make this series for the rest of us to watch and learn from all of you. It’s been entertaining and a learning experience and I’ve gained more people in my life that I care about. Even though I don’t know them personally, I do care about the people portrayed in your series and I hope that somehow, we’ll learn more about them in the future.
I hope that Michaela will find the happiness she seeks. I hope Jonas will stick to his decision to stay out. I hope that all the others on the show will go on to have happy and satisfactory lives as ex-Amish. I wish that all of you could reconnect with your families, but I know that’s highly unlikely. That’s the saddest part about all of this and the hardest thing for me to reconcile in my mind. As a parent, I just can’t imagine turning my back on my children for any reason.
I was deeply touched by the show with the Lapp brothers where you found forgiveness and the love of Jesus. Thank you for sharing that important event with all of us.
I will always remember Cephas. He was an impressive young man and I’m sorry he didn’t live to meet his goals. I have no doubt he would met them!
I wish you and your family all the best for the future, no matter which way your lives turn. I look forward to reading your book. I hope that you’ll stay in contact with those of us who have become attached to your story.
You’re a good man, Mose Gingerich, and I truly believe that you are leading the life God led you to. Continue to touch the lives of those who leave the Amish. You’re doing an amazing thing with your life and you’re a born leader and a caring man. God bless you, Mose!
Clearly, the story you have told in the series has entranced many, Mose. If you look at those people who have responded, and study their responses, I bet you can uncover the reason. If you can uncover the reason, you can find your next project.
The kids you profiled with this story give a hope in hard work, wholesome values and love of life. It is a rediscovery of the same values our country has been famous for valuing. Why do they crave to see this? Find the answer to this, and you will know what you will be doing next!
Thanks to all who helped make this production a reality. We the Amish Out of Order community, are grateful. If there is not a second season, and we hope that there will be, we want to keep up with the people on the series.
My thoughts on the people and the series http://www.geoffgentry.org/Amish/
I truly hope there’s another season Mose. I’ve really enjoyed the show and ass another person said, it’s educational as well as thoughtful.
Mose: I know what it is like to have too many irons in the fire. You are a High Energy guy who always has the need for a project. Time to step back and find time to process the events you have participated in. As hard as it is, slowing down and finding a place to relax is very important for your sanity and state of health. The series “Ex-Amish, Out Of Order” has become a success. All of the staff and crew are to be commended on a job well done.
I think with so much violence on TV and superficial reality shows, a show like “Amish: Out of Order” is so refreshing and needed. It’s inspiring to see real people in real life situations in a supportive community. We all struggle. We’ve all been alienated. Even though your lives are so much different than many, I believe more people than you realize can relate to the many issues that come up on the show. The people in your show are folks that, if many of the viewers saw on the street, would want to run up and hug. (I would imagine you all would find that frightening, lol, but I’m sure it’s true!!!). Whatever you decide, I’m so glad to have shared in a year of your lives. And I look forward to reading your book! All the best to everyone on the show, in front of the camera and behind the camera. Thank you.
I was going to post what ellenc did about your wife…I loved your show and hope you get another season out of it and we get to hear about more of the ex-Amish.
Have you found a church in your area or are you just meeting in homes with the others? We have a lot of home churches here that seem to get along well.
Hope the counselling center comes to be, too. Not sure what we will watch on Tuesday eve’s during the summer…
I don’t generally watch television programs that fall into the “reality” genre, but the series Amish: Out of Order touched me greatly. Your willingness and ability to explain Amish beliefs and practices — removing the romanticism without showing spite — is refreshing. I can’t imagine opening up to the world the way you and your friends and family have. May God continue to bless you all in your future projects.
My wife and I really enjoy going to Amish place’s like sugar creek Ohio and this fall will be our first time Indiana. I will be riding my bicycle to sugar creek in July.
its only 76 miles from us.I do that ride every year
I did see you go to many places near us Mose try it on a bike next time or let me know we could ride together.
So nice to read your sincere writing about your life. I am looking forward to reading your book and maybe watching another season on TV, if the Lord wills.
Someday Mose, if you’re still selling Toyotas, a retired guy from Washington State is going to buy a vehicle from you. And your commission from that sale can help fund part of your dreams for the Ex-Amish.
And you thought you were only making a TV program. :O)
so glad you took time to post those tributes and thoughts…I feel enriched watching the show. Take some time off and enjoy your summer.
I was sad about Cephas death my thoughts and prayers are with him, and with you Mose. I like the Idea of the foundation to help the ex amish, but you could also include the amish as well, like the place you visited in Penn. They need e counseling as well. It was good to see them talk about Cephas and remebering the good times
it helps them in the grieving process, The way the Amish grieve reminds of the English expression of keeping a “Stiff upper Lip”. I did visit Pinecraft briefly and it is a nice place, but did not see any Amish yet just to pick up a pie from Yoders, but when time permits I will go back for a more detailed visit.
Well done, Mose. I thoroughly enjoyed the series and hope for more. Have you ever considered getting a college degree? You have a natural ability to bring people together and problem solve very complex issues. You’d make a wonderful counselor, teacher, psychologist – anything! Wishing you a great summer and I hope to see more of your story on Nat Geo soon – there are lessons for us all in what the ex-Amish go through!
Thank you for your honesty, for not hiding behind false humility and for being confident in who God has made you as a person.
The people behind the scenes were a definite reflection of how the show came across, heartfelt, sincere and caring.
We all hope for much more from you and the ex-Amish, we all look forward to your book.
I know God will guide your path as he promises. If you and the family every want to escape to the mountains of West Virginia, let me know
I also am grateful that this program was produced. It has been a very inspiring show to watch. My nephew left my brother’s very rigid fundamentalist household & came to us.. My brother is a Baptist Fundamentalist minister. I understand & appreciate my nephew’s strength & courage so much more now after meeting the young people on Amish: Out of Order. Thank you all for putting this show on the air.
I have yet to view the last episode, but I have to say I truly loved the series for showing how it is to live as former Amish. I appreciate the care taken with this project.
I am So Grateful that you did this year long Series of Amish Out Of Order! Having Come From The Amish/Mennonite it helped me to see things from A Different Perspective other than just my own. Even if you helped no one else….You helped me!! But I know for a fact that you helped THOUSANDS UPON Of people across the World. You Showed us ALL …THE TRUTH!!!
I am So Grateful that in the Making of this show…You KEPT IT REAL! You Showed us who you really are, and that you have Feelings just like anyone else. You shared in this Blog that your sales were higher while you were doing this show, and I believe it is due to you Doing the WORK OF THE LORD!!!!
I hope there is another Season to Amish: Out of Order, and if not…Then I will Wait PATIENTLY :) For the Release of your book!! :) :) I can’t wait to read it :)
Thanks so Much For all that you did to Open the Eyes of Others in my own Community that I grew up in. Thanks for Coming to Ohio!! :)
God Bless you my Friend,
Thank You B.J. I took a lot of criticism from a handful of people. Mostly people with Amish ties, If you scan down further, you may see what I speak of. But probably 98% of all viewers “got It”. I will take that ratio. I might also add that by far the majority of viewers with Amish ties were very supportive and agreed with me that this show needed to be told.
When my kids were growing up and getting in trouble I used to tell them that we were going to go join an Amish community. I didn’t really know very much about how the Amish lived. All I knew was that at that time I was wishing for a place to go where they would be protected from all the bad things that go on in this world. Of course I didn’t and couldn’t, but to me it looked like a bit of heaven here on earth.
I have learned so much about the Amish from your show. I have to tell you, this is one of my favorite shows on TV. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I never miss an episode of Amish Out Of Order.
I am so impressed with the solid work ethic that you all have. I have watched the X-Amish kids learn to make their way in this crazy mixed up English world. At times it looks like they are struggling and at other times, they look like they are enjoying every minute of it and all the new experiences.
I want to offer my deepest sympathy for the loss of your friend Cephas.
I hope to see your book in the book stores very soon. I know I will be buying it. If you decide to do another season of Amish Out of Order, I will be watching. You all are awesome people.
May the Lord watch over you and those X-Amish kids. God bless you all.
Amish Out of Order is a wonderful show. Mose, I was brought to tears when you were with the Lapp brothers.
Cephas’ untimely death ripped me to the core. I sobbed during that entire show. It’s been a few days, and I’m still driven to tears and a lump in my throat when I think about him and the grief you all had to deal with.
I have come to think of the ex-Amish in your community as part of my life. As I watch, I see how a Community Center of some sort would be so helpful for the ex-Amish to work through everyday issues they are faced with.
Thanks Mose and Shana. Hoping for another season but only if it doesn’t cause undue pressure on your family life and marriage.
Hello Mose and all,
I am a new follower of your series as I don’t usually watch TV. Thank you for sharing your real life journey. I initially wanted to write out of concern for you and your immediate and extended family. Today, I am relieved to know about Mr. Hoagland and his holistic support for you and yours. I will give thanks and praise to Him who provides for your needs. Please take care of yourself and your precious family.
Best regards always
I’m from Yoder, Kansas but I am Mennonite. It was not pleasant but pleasing to watch this show and see the non idealized side of the Amish story be told.
Yea. I used to teach the Amish school out in Yoder back in 2000 and 2001. It was Whispering Pines School. I miss those days.
I too miss those years. I think the Whispering Pines School is now in Hutchinson. And the public school in Yoder is now a charter school. The Yoder Mennonite Church is now gone and it belongs to a Mennonite church in Hutchinson.
I know you hear this many times a day, but you made me think deeply. I thought about my family members who are still Amish. I am more compassionate for watching your show, thank you.
I hope you keep going ;)
I believe that the Amish: Out of Order series was definitely a project that was inspiring, educational, heart warming and at the same time heart wrenching. You and all the folks involved in this did a awesome job of getting the truth out in public. My grandmother use to say, What is done in the dark, will soon come to light.” I believe that was the case with this show. What ever the Lord leads you to do next, I am sure He will have His hand in it. I certainly hope to see a 2nd season and am looking forward to your book. Thank you to your wife and children for their patience and support they gave you as you took this journey. God Bless all your future endeavors.
Thank you for sharing your life with America. You are truly inspirational and on the path that God has lead you to…I was so touched by your dedication to Cephas, I cried through the episode when he was lost as though I had known him all my life. It reminded me of losing my younger sister who was 17, 17 years ago in a car accident. It was wonderful how you gathered the ex-Amish and the English together to celebrate his life. Please film a second season…your insights to your life, and the lives of the ex- Amish are touching, heartwarming and helping more people lean toward the Lord. Thank you again!!! God Bless!
YOUR POOR WIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL YOU SAY IS I I I NEVER DID YOU THANK HER MOST OF ALL FOR ALL SHE WENT THRU WHILE YOU MADE YOUR GLORY DAY COME TRUE… I AM MENNONITE MY HUSBANDS GRAND PARENTS WERE AMISH AND I LIVE WITH THEM ALL AROUND ME SO I DO KNOW THE AMISH… THIS IS THE WAY IT IS WITH A GREAT DEAL OF AMISH MEN. ME FIRST. THE BOYS LANGUAGE AND SMOKING ON THE SHOW WAS ALSO IN BAD LITE. THE SHOW WAS NOT WHAT I THOUGHT OR HOPED IT WOULD BE.
Yea. Ummm. Sounds like maybe you are harboring some issues in your own household or marriage. Until you know me, my wife, and my family personally, and the relationship we have, do not judge me. Maybe, just maybe, my wife is quite happy with me and this blog! However, if I ever need another wife, I will see if I can track you down, Lol.
Mose, I think everyone with an open mind and who watched understood what you did with this series. I thought it was very balanced.
In groups that are closed-minded, and I would put most Amish and some Mennonites in that category, telling the truth is equivalent to an attack.
I heard a few locals here in Berlin crticize the show as “against the Amish”. I asked if they had seen the show. Answer: “No.” Uh-huh.
No matter what group we identify with, it is best to acknowledge the truth about any aspect of of our group that is negative, and have an honest conversation with our critics. Trying to hide the truth just doesn’t work in the age of the internet.
It’s classic “shoot the messenger” mentality.
Tell the truth without spite, and let the Peaches of the world carry the burden of not really understanding what is happening around them.
It would be nice if NG would at least do a update special on how everyone was doing. Great show, loved every minute of it and couldn’t wait for the next one
to come on. I am one of those people that stay after a movie to read the credits. All I can say to NG and Field Producer Jeff Hoagland, fantastic show, great story, beautiful photography and keeping the story real! Thank you and God Bless
Interesting how some of the Mennonite community responded; of the two I saw one was very positive, and the other not so enthralled. I don’t think the purpose of Amish: Out of Order was to criticize, villify or otherwise harm the central core of the Amish culture or its belief, but to show the “English” a glimpse into the lives of those who choose to leave their communities and how they prevail. Under the guidance of Mose Gingrich and the many people he works with to provide these young men and women some sense of stability, love and acceptance is tantamount to what everyone should do toward their fellow men and women.
Hey Mose, I was going to say that you forgot to mention Shana, but everybody already did! I absolutely loved this show and as much as I would love another season, you shouldn’t do it based on pressure from anywhere or anyone. Only do it if you decide it’s right. Also, you’re never going to please everyone, you’re going to get critisized no matter what you do, try to look at the overall effect you have rather than the opinion of a few. I’m looking forward to your book coming out. Have fun relaxing whether that means doing absolutely nothing or too many things at once. Take care :)
I firmly believe that Mose is following the path that God has laid before him. There will always be critics, but the faithful will follow their heart. I thank God that these ex-Amish young people have a man as brave as Mose.
Thanks for a most insightful series. I live in PA not far from Lancaster county where many Amish live. I have always been interested in the Amish and your show certainly helped to give the English a view of the Amish we never really knew. I look forward to your book and more shows. At least give us an update so we can see how the young folks are doing. Blessings to you and your family.
I have watched all your episodes, Mose, and I think you were chosen by God to do His work, by helping those who want to live on the outside of the Amish faith. I believe there are probably some issues in your life that you may just have to keep praying about, especially your mom, whom you are estranged from. I gather that you do have siblings that are also living on the outside?
I was so touched with your Christmas episode, your gathering and dedication to Cephas Yoder, the young man who was killed when the deer caused his accident. I hope that you will come to find that you are doing the Lord’s work by being the good guy that you are, by being compassionate, and showing those young people that there is a way of life for you here on the outside. Keep up the good work, and I do hope you will have more seasons of shows. If not, I may just have to come to Columbia and get your autograph! I wish you so much happiness with your young family and your extended family of young people who look up to you for guidance and assistence!
First I would like to extend to you and the whole Ex-Amish group from Columbia a most heartfelt sympathy at your great loss. Cephas was a good person surely too be missed but never forgotten. One question I do have is that in the DVD at your home it appeared that he was wearing a seatbelt, yet the night of the accident I understand he wasn’t. Hopefully this will be a lesson for others that they should wear one like you told them.
I am sadden that the season is over (thanks to my DVR I can still see the shows again)but can understand the pressure and inconvience it puts on your family and you while your were filming them. Hopefully Natgeo will at least agree to another update show and everyone can agree to it. I thought it was quite thoughtful in writing about the people behind the scenes, as often times they are not recognize as having a lot to due with the show.
I don’t think you could have done a more thoughtful thing for your Ex-Amish group than having that party and especially Cephas’s memorial service. I can understand the apprehension you had knowing it was not the usual Amish custom, but I do believe it was need. Although you may not consider yourself a leader, to those kids you are. They a very lucky to have a person such as yourself. I know it is hard for Jonas to be away from his family, but I always thought that the Ex-Amish of Columbia to be one big family with bothers and sisters helping each other. It still was a hard decision for him to make, wish him the best of luck.
It was also great seeing you find God. I still wrestle with belief in him, but seeing you struggling and then finding him has only given me hope and strength that I will find him also.
In closing (think I said enough), Can’t wait for your book either. I read Ira Wagler book and found it quite interesting reading. As far as forgetting your wife Shana, anyone who has a love one should understand what she did for you and not have to be reminded of the sacrifices she has made and the devotion for her family that she has ( by always being there). Good luck to you my friend in your future endeavors, and the Ex-Amish center. May God Bless you and your family (and extended family)and keep you safe and in Good Health.
With no more shows, please keep this bog going, as it is the only way to keep up with the Ex-Amish and you.
God Bless you all
You should be very proud of all your hard work you did helping the ex- Amish.
Loved he show it taught me alot regarding the Amish way of life. Good luck with all your future plans. Can’t wait to read your book!
God Bless you and your lovely family.
Please, please, please teach all the young ones the importance of wearing their seat belts! I noticed how many people don’t wear them and it scares me just to see it.
I’ve come to care greatly for the success of all your new worlds and safety is also a newly learned lesson. So, each time you hand over the keys to a car, please add “Always remember to buckle up for safety”.
God Bless you all.
I hope you enjoy a well deserved rest. You and your family as well as your ex-Amish friends need to have time away from the spotlight.
I, like many others, do not usually watch any reality television programs. Yours was different as I grew up near Amish in several states. In fact my Grandmother was from an Amish background. It was not so severe culturally to leave the Amish in 1908. I enjoyed seeing how some of the ex-Amish coped being away from a family structure and a life so very different from what they now are experiencing.
I was so amazed at how attached I could become to Cephas and I only saw a bit of him in a few episodes. He was so positive and fearless and I was devastated by his loss.
Now that Cephas has passed, it is evident that he is influencing his other ex-Amish friends and the memory of him will live on with them. I hope that Amos continues his studies at University and achieves his dream of being an Engineer. He could also influence the other ex-Amish as they see him achieve his dreams. Jonas needs a lot of support if he is to stay out of his Amish family. He appeared very vulnerable to me.
I look forward to hearing somehow about Michaela, and how she is doing in her Amish life, She is very young too and will need support to attain her dream of becomming Amish. It seems that she will get that and will be successful.
I also cannot wait to read your book. I read Ira Waglers book and Marlene Miller’s book (she is a woman who joined the Amish but was born English). I have enjoyed reading both sides of the issue. Your book Mose will be great. As you can see your fanbase is eager to learn more about you and your ex-Amish friends.
Thank you so much for opening up your world to the rest of us. I think the counselling center will be a great addition to Columbia and I definitely want to be a part of the Cephas Foundation. You have touched many of us and I know God will reward you abundently.
Best Wishes to you and your lovely family.
I really enjoyed watching this series and learning all the things I have taken from the show. I also would love for it to continue as a series to update us how the kids and your family are doing. I have come to love each person on the show and want the best for all of you. God bless! jen
I am truly sorry to see this end. I have learned a lot from this series. I hope in the future there will be more of the ex-amish. I don’t watch reality shows, but this one is different.
You should be very proud of your family and your friends. You and your friends have struggled with a decision that not many can make. To leave your family and venture out into a different world is something that not many people are willing to do, esp. if it means cutting ties with your family.
I pray that the ex-amish community will continue and thrive.
I get somewhat upset when people critize the amish. They are no different than “English” people are. They only live a lifestyle different than ours. Law abiding citizens with a sense of family.
I hope you are able to continue at some point to be able to keep us updated on the community.
Your wife is an amazing woman. You are very lucky to have her in your life. She seems to be a very loving person who supports you 100%.
Please keep your blog going and update us on what may be coming up in the future.
It never occurred to me that there might not be another season. My 17-year-old daughter and I watch the show every week. We have learned so much and the show has opened up some great dialogue between us – esp. regarding the different denominations of Christianity. I truly think that God shakes His head in disbelief at some of the rules we have made up forgetting what Jesus said, “To love one another as I have loved you”.
If you decide not to film another season, I want to thank you for the work you have done.
BTW: Glad so many readers mentioned your dear wife. She sounds like such a wonderful woman and truly the one for you!
I just began following the blog. I will be looking forward to reading more of your thoughts and how the community is doing.
God’s Blessings on you and your family.
I just wanted to let you know how much my family and I have enjoyed watching the show. It is clearly evident how much you care for your community of Ex- Amish and how heavy that burden can be to carry at times. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you seek out the next chapter in your life. God has called you to a great undertaking….I know because I too am in a life of service to other and sometimes the cost emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially can seem overwhelming. Yet, God will give you the grace as you need it.
My prayers are with the people in your community as they set out in a foreign land to forge a new life for themselves. May you all come to truly know in your hearts that The Lord is for you. He loves you with and everlasting love and if He is with you and for you, who could be against you?
I look forward to seeing what the future holds for all of you. Just remember all of you have many friends and supporters out here among us English… more then you know! ;0)
Blessings upon you and your family especially your dear wife who I am sure you are grateful for!
Mose, You actually do read these things! I say that because I visit here occasionally – my way of ‘keeping in touch’- Reading the criticism by the Mennonite lady (Peach)of Amish men in general and you in particular (June 21) I got a big laugh out of your reply. I had an ‘uncle’ by marriage (to my aunt) whose sister was a Mennonite from Dixon, Illinois. Some ladies can be testy.
The note is for Esther who wants to be an actress. There are many independent film companies who do good family films that she could act in without lowering any of her convictions. Two companies, Provident films and Affirm films have worked a church somewhere on the southeast coast (Georgia or the Carolinas) making the films “Fireproof”, “Courageous”, “Fly Wheel” and one other. Bob Jones University is a Christian college that has a fantastic film department that does a film every few years. They also do several Shakespearean plays a year. I thinks they would good options for Esther.
Here in Canada, the series has only recently started. I think we are at the half point now: this week’s episode is the one were you visit your cousin and try to regain contact with your mother. I must say my heart ached for you upon hearing her unwillingness to reach out. I cannot fathom what that must have felt like. I can imagine how much you miss her, as I lost my mother to Breast Cancer back in 2005.
I felt compelled to try to reach out to you to offer what support and sympathy I could, even though it sounds strange when you think that, to you, I am a total stranger. And here I find out that Cephas has passed away: I had no idea, since I have not seen that episode yet. I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and the whole community.
Be proud of what you have accomplished and of the work you continue to do. You are a wonderful mentor.
I really enjoyed watching Amish Out of Order.
All of the things you spoke of I took to heart.
I lost my father when I was five and my mom died from brain cancer in 2006. I was her care giver. My father n law and mom both had cancer. It was a very hard year. My daughter got married then two days later my father n law died and eleven days later my mom died. I was so stressed it took me a very long time to feel normal again.
I was not allowed to follow the religion I was raised, my exhusbond would not allow it.
A few months ago, I decided to become a full catholic. I felt something was missing in my life and I was watching one of the Amish Out of Order episodes by my self. Thats when it hit me I need God in my life to finish what was started for me by my father.
I got a surprised call and I will be starting classes in October 2012 to become a full catholic and my first marriage was anuled by the church. My husband was very supportive and we will be married for ten years in August.
I feel at peace and thank you for the series. Keep up the wonderful work you do for the kids.
I truly loved this show and all of the people on it.
I have absolutely loved watching Amish Out of Order. Being one of those myself, I know first hand the struggles and culture shock that come with the choice to leave the Amish. By the end of the show I felt like I knew these kids and I hope there will be a second season coming. What you are doing for the kids leaving home is incredible and I think Shana is awesome to be able to open up her home and heart to them. It is not always easy for someone who has never been there to quite understand how it is to leave. I had a hard time understanding how Michaela would want to join the Amish but you were right in saying we all have our choices and we can’t make those for other people. I am looking forward to your book when it comes out!
Thank you sooo much for this television show. I like the way it brings both the Amish and the ex-Amish into the reality of their lives instead of just being a quaint tourist attraction. I live in Canada in a region where the Mennonites have begun to move to because they are tired of being a tourist attraction. Years ago a group of stupid “English” boys threw a beer bottle out of their truck and it hit a lovely Mennonite girl who was riding in her family buggy…that sparked some families into moving away from the Kitchener/st. Jacobs region. I am a high school teacher and I remember my grade 12boys telling me about encountering one of the first Mennonite families that moved here…the mennonite boys had ditched their buggy and it was cold and dark late at night, they were scared of my boys and insisted they didn’t need help….my boys helped any way and got the buggy back on the road. I found it sad that the Mennonite boys were afraid of my students because of the taunts and stares they had encountered in their other town. The families became friends and the boys told me that the mother of the mennonite boys brought pies over to the families of ny students as a thank you. Friendship can definitely begin over pe! Now, years later, we have horse &buggy parking areas right in my city of 25,000 and seeing them around town is normal…here they are just members of the community, not a tourist attraction.
Thank you Mose for doing this show and showing the people behind the stereotype. Your show has done so much good. I really hope we see a season 2.
I also want to thank you for bringing the stories of the ex-Amish to everyone here in Canada where your shows airs on Nat Geo. I stumbled upon the show and was immediately taken in by the sincerity of this “reality show” which is sorely lacking in other shows of its ilk.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed for another season. I want to catch up on everyones lives. I also think that the more exposure the ex-Amish have, the more support there will be from the public for a future counselling center, similar to the one you visited on your road trip. I think about how great it would be to have a place for the ex-Amish to congregate, especially the new ones who feel rootless. Someplace they can feel at home, where they can seek help or simply put their feet up for a few hours in a comfortable environment to chat with others and feel part of a community. I hope this happens.
I’m going to send an email to National Geographic expressing my interest in another season of Amish Out of Order!
I have watched the show and am from Quebec, Canada. I have to say you have truly inspired me. I think what you do for others will always be remembered. I also believe that family is who surrounds you with love even if not always blood related. Be proud of yourself and always remember that if you manage to inspire one person in your life than you will always be remembered and that is a huge gift. God bless you for being there for others.
Moses to be honest with you i was skeptical of you at first when i started watching. Then i was in arthur helping an amish friend of mine. he asked about my life in the army. when i sat that night i thought of how hard it was to leave the Army. i grew a new perspective. I am glad thaet i have watched the show. you have been such a good christian helping those who have chosen to leave the order.i know that it is a very hard choice to make. i hope that you find your answers