Home » Leaving a way of Life, and leaving this life

Leaving a way of Life, and leaving this life

You know you’ve become too involved with a show when you are walking down the hallway at the dealership, walk by the door to the mens’ room with a sign hanging on the door that says, OUT OF ORDER, and you feel a overpowering urge to get your sharpie out and write above it, AMISH: That’s when you know it’s time to get out of Dodge for a while.

                                     Playing football in Indiana during some down time

In this part of my blog, I wish to point out that I was thrilled to see that not only did I not get as much face time on episode 8, but the times I was on there, I at least wasn’t bawling my eyes out about some past experiences or some future unforeseen dilemma. Rather, I find myself co signing for Albert Y, the father of 4 ex Amish boys who live in and around Columbia, Mo. Reuben, Levi, Chris, (featured) and finally the last one, Joni. I might add that Albert wasn’t the first ex Amish that I’ve co signed for, and probably won’t be the last either. My motto has always been that every ex Amish that leaves, deserves one chance. What they do with that chance, is up to them. A few have come back to bite me, but most of them, including Albert, are very responsible!

Although I had no way of knowing this when I co signed for some of them, now they are coming in to buy vehicles from me with the very same credit that I helped them to establish. As a matter of fact, between Albert Y and his 4 sons, they have bought a total of 9 vehicles from me in the last year. This is when you know that there is such a thing as karma, no good deed goes unnoticed, or “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you”. After all, how could I have known back in the early 2000’s that I would in the future, be selling cars?

Michaela finally gets a fair chance at the Amish life in a place where they were lenient enough to allow the cameras in and actually show faces. However, she learned the hard way, same as I, that just because that particular community was more liberal, doesn’t exactly mean that they are more liberal in their rules. On the other hand, I’ve learned that often the Mennonites are much stricter and quicker to ex communicate then are the Amish.

As a side note here. This episode was filmed right after I came home from my road trip last September of 2011, and I made it known to Stick Figures and NatGeo that I needed some serious time off. That would explain why a story of Michaela disappearing into the confines of the Amish community in Sarasota, FL became possible.

Although I have met almost all of the people featured, I personally didn’t make the trip down to Sarasota, and so I will let the viewer figure out how I might have then personally met these people.
As I sit in my basement on my day off from work, writing randomly what comes to mind for this weeks blog, I actually find myself somewhat relieved that we have just 2 more episodes of Amish: out of Order left to air.

When I, after many months of arguing with myself and the Owner of Stick Figure Production, Mr Laikind himself, finally committed to doing a whole series of Amish:out of Order late in 2010 and early 2011, and I went to my manager at my car dealership to see if he would allow me to even take time off, and my manager challenged me to be able to whittle 2 major things at once.

As anyone who has ever been in sales might know. If you want to be successful in sales, you have to give 150% of your focus and time to it. I’m talking 14 to 16 hours a day, 6 days a week. Now looking back, remembering all the late nights of filming, the Sundays when my brain and body were absolutely screaming for some quiet time at home with the family, but I’d drag my sorry rear to the next place to film, I finally realized why my manager, bless his heart, was concerned about my managing 2 things at the same time. I will add that I did successfully, out of 18 sales people, keep my position as one of the top in our store during this time. That is, all except September, when I took off on my road trip.

I tell you that behind the scenes story to get back around to my original topic. My thinking process was that when I finally wrap up the filming process, I can sit down, relax, sell cars, spend time with the family, and watch it come across the screen. Did I say RELAX? Boy was I wrong! In the months since the show has been airing, I am receiving mail from all corners of the world, over 5000 emails a week. 2000 facebook requests per episode, and probably 50 people a week just randomly driving in from any Midwestern state to meet me. Although I appreciate the support, and am mighty glad that the show was such a huge hit, for those reasons, the distraction has been multiplied since the show has been airing, vs when we were filming it. In other words, I will take the time after episode 10 has crossed the screen, to finally for the first time in 1 1/2 years, breath for a while.

After tonight’s episode, I will for the first time post a spot on my web site for viewers to actually send mail to a PO box. I will make a valiant effort to in time answer each and every email and letter, and for the people who out of the kindness of their hearts are sending money to help the ex Amish, bless your hearts. It is another step in my already busy life, but one that I more then gladly accept, is the fact that I am in the middle of forming an Non for profit organization for just this purpose. To help ex Amish get an education and get started in the outside world when they first leave.
In tonight’s episode I will try to remain rather short so as not to give it away. Let me put it this way. For anyone who has ever lost a dear, loved one, you will know exactly what I am speaking of. The first thing you say is, “it’s not possible”. “It must be a mistake”. And for myself personally, “surely God would’ve given me an opportunity to say good bye one last time”. Because Verily I say unto thee, The disconnect when you realize that a great friend in surely gone from this earth, and in this life you will never have another chance to speak with this friend, that shock is sometimes greater then any one person can absorb at once.
Although I will not mention ahead of the episode, the name of this friend, I will tell you that you have seen him in previous episodes, and that you will be torn by “WHY” as I was for a long time, and still sometimes am.                                                           A Funeral In Missouri

I struggled for just a short time on participating in doing an episode about his passing, but realized very shortly that this is not my or any other person’s decision to make. The decision is “WHAT WOULD THIS PERSON HAVE WANTED”, and it became clear immediately that this is exactly what he would’ve wanted and exactly how he would’ve wanted to go.
As a matter of fact, I remember when I first approached him about participating in filming, his eyes lit up, and he told me that one of his dreams was to one day become a star and have major parts or roles in films.
Although a community grieves, and many will never understand why, an angel went home sooner then expected and is now doing exactly what he always wanted to do, and he is doing it sooner then the rest of us. Heaven can surely use you more then we could here on earth, and may your lofty dreams and goals forever come true!

Until next time: “Es is nach evich nicht zu schpot”! “It is forever, never too late”!

40 thoughts on “Leaving a way of Life, and leaving this life”

  1. Mose –

    I thought it was wonderful of you to co-sign for Albert. It was a beautiful moment to see his reaction after he climbed into his spiffy new truck and was driving away with that huge grin!

  2. I just came upon your series today while working and I couldn’t stop watching. Mose, your quiet heart roars mightily. We are blessed to be a blessing and I have learned that as God has given me grace, he has given me opportunity to share that grace with others. It completes the circuit and with that grace and Love will infect all it touches. You are a light in a dark place. I have seen many godly people burn out, myself included. You have to fill the cistern daily and take those quiet times. Your witness humbles me and challenges me and shows me God’s grace. Your kindness and love is inspiring. I’ll be praying God give you strength and help you bare your burdens. You can’t help everyone, so don’t try. Stay strong and humble brother!

  3. It will be hard to relive this sudden and unexpected death of your friend, Mose. I remember when it happened: praying for all of you as you view this episode tonight.

  4. God Bless ya Mose and all the other ex Amish … Hope that after you get some much deserved rest you’ll come back with another season of the show. It’s VERY interesting ! Thanks to you and all involved.

  5. All kidding aside, as I have done in past posts (deleted) :( Both my husband and I think you’re wonderful & you do an amazing thing. While watching the last episode, my husband said – wow, he’s co-signing for them and everything – I don’t think I’d do that. So hats off to you. I look forward to tonight’s episode & send you and your family / community for your loss.
    Be blessed,
    Jenn

    1. I agree, Mose. You are an exceptional man. First, “met you” on Amish In The City-so long ago and was so happy to see you again. Will sorely miss you when this show ends. Thoughts and prayers to all of you and your loss. God surely has a plan for your life. God bless.

  6. Hi Moses I also lost a very good friend but it was in May she was like a sister to me was there to see you 2 childern born and they call me uncle i think the pain may get better but will not go way i think of when things happen good or bad i would call her and it would just make my day she was so full of life i new her for 20 years for 8 yrs of that she was fighting cancer i miss her so much. the last day i went to see her before she passed away she told me she was not going to do chemo anymore and when it was time god would take her she was so full of love and faith…..

  7. I love what you are doing. I would love to be able to donate and help out those who are in need. Please post a link so that those that want to help can.
    I am so sorry for your loss. Losing loved ones is devastating. I am glad you are surrounded by those who love you and can support you in your time of need.
    If there is ever any of the ex Amish that want to come to California, please contact me, I would LOVE to be able to offer my home to someone in need.

  8. Mose. I too sell cars. But fords. I haven’t consigned for kids from my youth group. But I have loaned them the money to buy or use as a down payment. That way my credit isn’t affected. I love your show and your heart. I really do pray that you find what you are looking for. That is Christ. Hes right there walking beside you in all of this. Just start talking to him. In Christ. Rex. From Oregon

    1. Well said Rex! “I really do pray that you find what you are looking for. That is Christ. Hes right there walking beside you in all of this. Just start talking to him.” The Bible says we CAN know for sure that our eternity is with Christ in Heaven. I pray that Michaela takes this home with her from Florida instead of trying to create a new Amish family. In Christ. Julia from Ohio.

  9. I pray for you and your family and your whole community there in Missouri. I am not Amish or exAmish, but i understand what it is like to have to make a decision that puts you at odds with your family. I admire you greatly for your desire to help those who follow in your footsteps and am inspired to help in similar situations myself.
    God bless you and all your loved ones.

  10. Brother Mose,

    Many would say. “time heals all wounds,” and while in a physical sense that is true, the wounds we carry in our hearts, in our spirits, and in our souls are very different. We carry them always.
    When I was 9 1/2 my father was killed in Viet Nam. I can still remember the shock i felt when, while helping out my granddad at his store, my grandmother burst in crying out, “Raymond, close up, Sam’s dead!” I recall laying on the couch wanting nothing more than a B52, an H bomb and directions to some place called Hanoi.
    The loss of a person close to are hearts is probably the hardest thing that can happen in our lives. Time will teach you how to carry that burden. That person still lives in you. The goal is to live in a way that they would be proud of.
    I will hold you and your family,both the ones under your roof and your extended group, in my prayers. May God bless you all.

  11. Mose, I have found myself inexplibly addicted to your show. In an effort to keep from overwhelming you and to let you breathe I’ll keep this short. I can’t see this episode until Saturday when they repeat it, but I do know who it is, NatGeo’s website gave it away, but I had to dig for it. I offer my condolences even though it was almost a year ago. I know from having suddenly lost that the pain never really goes away, but in a way it gets easier. I hope you get the much-deserved break you need. You do so much for others I hope that they can return the favor and let you rest for a while. Take care.

  12. Mose, tonights episode was the deepest and most touching one for me. I’m very sorry for the loss of your friend. It was very encouraging to see the ex-Amish in Columbia come together, support and mourn all at the same time. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Looking forward to the next episode my friend. Take care and God Bless

  13. I’m sure I speak for many when I say that we mourn the loss of a boy we knew only through this program. I will say that this episode helps deal with the shock and sadness we feel for his friends and family, as well as his family back in the Amish community.

    Mose – you are right when you mention history repeating itself. Thank you for sharing endless hours emotionally and physically for something so important and dear to your heart. Peace & Blessings to all.

  14. Mose,

    Again I was Moved To Tears By All that Transpired on the Show tonight. What a wonderful Godly Man You are For Doing All that you have for the Ex-Amish Community.
    I truly hope and Pray that you get the Much Needed Rest and Relaxation and Down Time With your Family.
    Thanks for Being So Real and Open and Honest with us all!!
    B.J. Miller

  15. Mose, you are such a special man. My whole family wants to hug you to pieces! God Bless you and your family. Please don’t be too tough on yourself. God has given you an important purpose in this life. Thank you for sharing it with us. You and your kindness are an example for us all!

  16. Thanks to you and your friends for sharing so much of themselves. You’ve created “new families” to help each other through the hard times, what a blessing! I can only hope the death of Cephas will remind us all to wear our seatbelts…..someone would miss us if we were gone. Please don’t let his death be in vain. Prayers to you all….

  17. My husband and I absolutely love the show. I was stunned to hear that Cephas had passed away! We are heart broken ! We send our sympathy to you and your family and his family. I hope that you get to take some time off and spend it with your family and just get to relax. Thank you for doing this show and We hope to see another season!!

    Rachel :)

  18. Mose,

    I am loving the show …..watching from Sacramento, CA. What I like the most is your heart & the struggle that the ex-Amish have dealing with the teachings driven into your brains as a child….such a burning in hell for leaving….. Think of all the people in the world and all the different cultures and religions, it isn’t possible for just one of them to be (right) …I think that when people are isolated…it’s hard to see the bigger picture. I am curious if the Amish ever travel or leave the farm (if you will) ??? I would love to hear more about what it was like experiencing life such as travel and other (firsts) for the first time. Also, how do the Amish who want to leave contact people on the outside??? Are the Amish young adults aware of anything going on in the outside world??

    I could go on forever! The show is very interesting…. Now I’m getting hooked on the Hutterites show… Have you seen that??

    Oh well, keep up the good work!! You have a huge heart and you are not going to hell!!

    I will be tuned in …. Thank you for the look into your life.
    Christina

    1. Hi Christina,

      Isn’t it great to read how the show is touching people all over the country? :-)

      I am not Amish or ex-Amish and do not claim to be an expert on their way of life, however, I have had the opportunity to learn about many people in the Holmes County, OH Amish community. You asked if they travel, and yes many do. “The Budget” is an Amish newspaper that is distributed across the country that includes information about the families and communities. It is a way in which many of the families keep in touch and exchange information about weddings, births, deaths, and even travels. I purchase a copy whenever I get the chance. Really interesting!

      PS – Since you mentioned you are watching the program on the Hutterites. You may find it helpful to look up a little information about their way of life that is not necessarily explained in the show. (I know it was useful for me.)

  19. Mose,

    Thank you for you and your family’s sacrifices to make this series possbile. For the past three years I have struggled greatly as I left my incredibly STRICT Catholic family. Seeking my own identity, I became an enemy amogst people who have known me my whole life. If there was a religion, I tried it. My recreational thinking and reflections were absorbed in wondering if God could accept me if I wasn’t Catholic anymore. Until your show, I don’t think I ever knew WHO God was…only WHAT he was. Your story has brought me closer to Him and for the first time in years I feel comfortable and accepted. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

  20. ZanderTheWonderPup

    I just watched the episode where it tells about Cephas being killed in the car accident. This is incredibly sad because that young man had so much living to do. I am sure that in his short life he touched the lives of so many and they are better for having known him. On a side note, I was also shocked to learn that Cephas was killed on my birthday.

    Mose, you are a wonderful man and you are doing great things for the youth who are trying to find their way in this world. There is no higher calling than helping your fellow brothers and sisters no matter how or what it is. I look forward to seeing many more epsiodes of Amish: Out Of Order. Peace and many blessings to you and your family. May God bless all of you!

  21. to all participants in this show and to mose and your beautiful family i hope you all will find peace. I watched this show from the start and was so impressed with Cephas, his love of family, hard work and dedication/determination. Keep his memory alive in your hearts.

  22. Mose,
    Your show has educated more people than you can imagine. This is one of the few shows my husband and I watch together. Do you have any info about the counseling center you wanted for your area? How are the participants of this show coping with the death of Cephas? There are thousands of watchers praying and thinking of everyone in your show.

  23. Hi Mose, I just wanted to say that Im sorry for your loss of Cephas. I just watched that episode last night.. (i record them) I also wanted to say that I love what you are doing for these kids you are an insperation to thousands of people… God Bless you and all of the ex Amish….

  24. Mose, the loss to your community I’m sure has been overwhelming. I can only imagine the thoughts that each of you must have experienced. Although I was never Amish, I can somewhat relate to leaving what you know. I was born and raised Catholic, but chose to leave the church as our family prepared for our 3rd child’s confirmation. It was a difficult decision, but in my heart I knew why we were doing it. Every week I find myself drawn to the next episode. I live in PA near Amish and I have always had many questions about faith. Thank you for sharing your beliefs and questions. It helps me think about my own.

  25. I was so excited to see you had another show. I have always enjoyed the documentaries about the ex-Amish & all you do to help them. It is incredible how everyone supports one another once leaving the Amish. I like following the stories of these kids. I think you & your wife are so amazing for giving these people amazing guidance & support!!!!!!!

  26. Mose, yesterday was the very first time I watched and learned about you and your journey to leave Amish.(I live near Gap,PA and know about Amish)I was moved beyond imaginable! I can relate to so much of it. I grew up in Soviet Union, attended old conservative russian church until a year ago, wearing headcovers and dresses. Im not a member of it anymore, I felt like I couldnt be what God wanted me to be there and know how hard leaving a certain belief sytem and a community can be,you are judged already as spiritually dead and it hurts very much.That is why Im so glad that God looks at my heart.I always wanted to do Gods work, my life took strange scarry turns and now without a job, divorced mom of two boys and caring for my mother who has cancer, I believe more than at any time in my entire life that God is amazing and I still believe and always will serve Him!
    when I heard you saying that you wanted to open counceling place I was so happy because I know God showed you direction He want you to take and He will use you greatly. Counceling been on my heart for about a year now, people need it very much, many people perish for the lack of knowledge. I am praying for you, your family and work you do for others.Blessings.

  27. I want to let you know that I love what you do and the fact that you are sharing it with the world. I hope that all you help will find their dreams and be happy. I only recently found your show and have found each and every episode truly heart warming. I also hope that Michaela finds all that she is hoping for, I for one cannot imagine leaving my English life to become Amish but I hope it gives her all she is seeking. God Bless all of you.

  28. Mose, dear child of God, I am so glad you brought these thoughts and images to our hearts! I think every encouragement and blessing I wanted to give you and your dear friends has already been mentioned here, but one maybe important thought. If the Amish Bible is in German, maybe not enough Amish have read it as well as they could if they were to get an English language bible. Perhaps if your Ex-Amish were to read in the new testament where Jesus expands on the rules that were given His fellow Jews by telling them to forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven. ( I could have this wrong here, but hope you get the idea.) There are so many instances where Jesus tells us to go beyond what is written in the law, and it’s always toward the Good. If your friends were to read all these good things for them-selves, it surely might help them to know that our God is a loving, forgiving, and caring God and loves them, always has, and always will. Bless you !!!!!

  29. Mose, I just discovered your series for the first time last week when NatGeo ran a lot of the reruns. In the first episode I watched there was a young man who reminded me so much of my own son when he was 19–that wide,infectious grin, the short-cropped fair hair, the “big plans,” the easy philosophy, the fearlessness, the willingness to work hard to make his dreams come true, and his constant good nature. I was hooked on the series from that moment on. And then, in the next episode he was gone. I just couldn’t believe it or accept it. I still choke on the tears when even his name is mentioned. What a loss to his friends and community and to all of us who got to know Cephas through your series. He was just way too young to die and leave so much unfinished in his life.

    Thank you Mose for all the work you are doing with these young people who simply want more choices in their lives. Thank you for sharing so much of your own life with us, the viewers. Your own personal journey and growth has been as interesting as all the things you’ve taught us about the Amish and ex-Amish life.

    I sincerely hope the series will continue. It has captured the hearts of so many people. It has made me re-think a lot of my own beliefs, like “everything happens for a reason.” I don’t think so anymore. Sometimes things just happen and you have to accept it. There are some questions that have no answers.

    Best wishes to you, your family, and all the people we have come to know in Amish: Out of Order. God bless you all.

  30. What you are doing Mose, is amazing and thank you so much for sharing it with all of us. Thanks also, must go to your wife and kids for supporting you and sharing you.
    Your show is educational and inspirational and makes me hope that you, every now and again along your journey, sit back in the quiet and realize how special you all are. You are a literal guardian angel for the kids and families you are helping and guiding.
    Another series of this show would be wonderful, but if not, just knowing that you are still out there would be enough to inspire the rest of us to do more for others!

  31. I just watched show 10 of amish out of order. Sorry I didn’t see this show from when it started. I did see most of it. I liked it very much. I always wondered what the Amish were like. I live in Pa. and used to take a ride with a friend to Amish country. Lovely place. I would just like to say please take care of those lovely young boys as much as you can. They seem like nice kids. Sorry about your friend who died. Take care of you.

  32. Your story has invoked thoughts about my own personal journey away from faith. You are a brave, wise man who was courageous enough to leave something that you had so many cultural and emotional attachments to. In America, especially in the south and rural areas, to not believe in god or christianity puts one in such extreme social isolation. From what I saw on your show, you are still a believer, but you are also a man of reason who probably has had some doubts about the validity of the Christian story. Just remember, all religions are man made and wherever you grew up, that’s probably the religion that you will adhere to (if you were born in Saudi Arabia, you’d probably be Muslim; India- Hinduism; America- Christianity and of course if you happened to be born in an Amish settlement, well, you know the rest…..). You appear to have an open mind and seem to be on a quest for answers and knowledge in the world. Its ok to be skeptical. Keep asking those questions and use your powerful scientific reasoning and critical thinking capacities and you will discover more beauty and awe and wonder in our natural world and universe than any of the churches can even come close to. HELL IS A MADE UP PLACE THAT WAS CREATED BY THOSE IN POWER WHO WISH TO INTIMIDATE INNOCENT KIDS INTO BELIEVING IN SOMETHING THAT CAN’T OTHERWISE BE BELIEVED.

  33. moses you are an incredible man father and american. you will be a shining star in heaven. jesus said that if you love your brother then you have followed my commands should give you comfort. i am sorry to hear about cephas. As a combat veteran i still struggle with the loss of so many friends. we were so young. I had thought i had settled the issue until my oldest son was killed in afghanistan and my youngest was wounded in iraq. you share a belief with us rangers. you leave no one behind.keep up the good work brother because as a son of god you are my brother. if you ever get a ford dually crewcab diesel long bed in call me.

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