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November 2010

The Best Month

Every person on earth if he or she looks back, can think of something somewhere that impacted their life in a positive way, Quite possibly even altered the path they were taking in life. I can think of many such moments in my past. Some of the notable mentions would be these.

1. When I chose to teach school as an Amish teenager. Some of the most rewarding years of my life!

2. The day I finally chose to leave the Amish and my family behind for good.

3. And finally, the day I committed to marry a woman who was non-Amish.

There were many more, but I am about to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of probably the most important month of my life! NOVEMBER 2010! There are 3 big deals that happened during this month that I will mention in story format.

The first and smallest of these was this. I had been hunting on my wife’s Grandpa’s property for 7 yrs, and had bagged several large bucks, but in the summer of 2010, he passed on and the family sold the property. For the first time since I had left the Amish, I was without a place to hunt on. I remembered the huge trophy I had seen several times on her grandpa’s property, and how he had eluded me, and I was saddened by the fact that he would probably never hang on my wall now.

One week before deer season began, I called a friend in Jefferson City and asked if he had a place I could hunt. He had 2 farms, a 250 acre farm where he had seen several large bucks on his cameras, and an 80 acre farm where his cameras has seen small bucks and does. He gave me permission to hunt there. I was not a happy person, but it was better then not hunting at all.

The rest is history. By reading my previous deer story in the archives, you will see that I got the 3rd largest buck recorded in Calloway County since 1920. Against all odds, truely at the right place at the right time.

The 2nd of these was this. I had been out of the Amish for over 8 years. Ever since I had left the Amish, I had been in construction. I owned my own business and was pretty successful. We had a nice, big, new house that I had built all by myself with a large mortgage payment. We had a decent sized family, with my wife and I, 9 year old step son Cole, and 2 year old Ella. Yes, the bills were often hard to pay, but we managed somehow. However, I had never done well in the Missouri heat, and in the spring and summer of 2010 I began to have serious problems. After my 3rd and most serious heat stroke, of which I was unresponsive for several days, my doctor told me if I have one more of these, I probably won’t recover. In other words, I had to find something else to do. I was devastated! I only had my GED that I had taken after leaving the Amish, but without any college degree, what could I do, and where could I go? What was even more, we were pregnant again, and as hard as it often was paying the bills before, now with one more mouth to feed, and with no work, I was at my wits end!

I looked at becoming a banker, which is what my wife does, but starting wages were not good. I Looked at many different options, but finally one day I was speaking with my cousin in Columbia, Mo. who sold cars, and he said, “why don’t you come up here and I’ll arrange an interview”? I smiled at the thought of being in sales. I was sure I was gonna fall flat on my face. Several days later, on August 15th, 2010 I was hired. My first 2 months were a blur, and the finances were so tight we were about to lose the house, and I was thinking of selling all my construction tools just to make mortgage payments, daycare, etc. I was worried of losing my job going into the winter of 2010, and knew if I did, it would mean going back to first base, and selling all we had worked so hard for, and moving into an apartment.

In November, 2010, I sold 20 vehicles, and out of 18 salesman, I was the salesman of the month, and the money paid some bills to keep us afloat. For the first time I realized that if I just kept faith, maybe there was a future for me in Sales without taking a college education.

The 3rd and last of these was this. As I had mentioned before, we had become pregnant again. It was a complicated pregnancy. On a routine checkup at about the 2 1/2 month stage, we received the bad news and saw the xrays of the baby. I can’t remember the word for it, but the majority of it’s intestines were protruding from it’s stomach. We were told that there is nothinig you can do for this until after the baby is born and that their is a 90 to 95% chance it would be mentally challenged, would probably be handicapped for life, and that we had 2 weeks to make a decision on whether we were going to keep it or not. I remember the dark evening sitting on our back deck after we got home from the doctor visit, where my wife and I sat there and very briefly entertained this thought. I also remember that although at that time in my life I wasn’t all that strong of a religous person, I knew what God would want us to do, and that our decision became to move forward and place our trust in God, even if it meant one of us would have to quit working so as to be able to remain at home to take care of this child for the rest of it’s life.

For myself, I am an analyzing person. Trying to think my way through this scenerio was frustrating! I knew that all the plans and dreams we had for our future and the future of our kids was all of a sudden being jeoperdized.

It was a feeling of peacefulness when I finally accepted that whatever God has in store for us is good enough for me. It was a humbling moment when I had to quit trying to control every aspect of my life, and put my trust in someone I had always been taught about, but had never seen or had no serious proof even existed.

On November 1, 2010, Anna Grace Gingerich was born in Columbia, Mo. She weighed 7 lbs even, and was perfectly healthy. Not the slightest bit of a health issue. Truely a miracle that Anna, a bundle of energy and joy, was a 5 to 10% odds beater!

I have since become much stronger in my faith in God, but am still growing. However, this is my story of November 2010, and I am thinking of making it a holiday in the Gingerich household so as to remember that one month in my life where I was at several huge crossroads in my life, and I can’t be thankful enough for the direction that I was steered.

Matthew 17:20
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have FAITH as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21 thoughts on “November 2010”

    1. Mose…I respect everything you have and are doing! I am a born again christian who doesn’t go to church anymore because of the hypocritical things I find in church…I love the Lord with all my heart, & even though I was not raised amish, I find the same beliefs(mostly anyway)in my heart! I so respect a lot of the amish beliefs but not all…I do believe you can love the Lord with all your heart, but also live in this world as well with all the conveniences that GOD has given us!…And I think your family shouldn’t shun you , but love you know matter what with all your heart! I think you are a fantastic man for helping these kids & still keeping their hearts for God! I think that’s what means the most!!!

      1. kandj215,

        Church is not a sanctuary for the righteous. It is a hospital for sinners. I don’t doubt you’ve encountered legalistic Christians who do not live the way they preach. Nevertheless, when comparing ourselves to Christ, every Christian is a hypocrite. But people have to have standards in order to be hypocrites.

        I’m not arguing with you to return to your church, but perhaps to give yourself the chance to find the right church.

        Hebrews 10:19-25 reads, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. LET US NOT GIVE UP MEETING TOGETHER, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

        Anyway, I’m not judging your motives or rebuking you, just trying to encourage you to give assembling with like-minded believers a few more chances. You’re going to find hypocrites everywhere … in the grocery store, on the street, and replying to your blog comment this very moment. I’m guilty as charged, but I don’t expect perfection in others because they’ll always disappoint. I try to look to Christ (and every day, every HOUR, I fail because I am a hypocrite, but I am a hypocrite covered by the blood of Christ for sins past, present and future).

        Respectfully, yours in Christ,

        Craig

  1. Awesome story. I have a beautiful child who in fact WAS born prematurely with a disability (cerebral palsy), but God has also provided for her needs – material and otherwise – every step of the way. “My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

    1. God never dishes out more than you can handle. This became obvious when we started having children and although times were hard before the kids, I came to an understanding that God will provide somehow and still let you make ends meet. Just one example of never dishing out more than one can handle.

  2. Hi Mose,
    I am not actually commenting on this story (awesome as it is), but after just seeing a documentary on Amish teenagers leaving the Amish in which you played a large part, I just wanted to compliment you on the work you do for them. Idyllic as the Amish life might seem (all that good wholesome food and honest work in the unspoilt countryside at a pace that will let you breathe and whithin a supporting community. Gosh, most of us can only dream of such a way of life)I do realise that the restrictions are harsh. That you are trying to give them a new start in life, give them a community and a job and encourage them to be religious in their own way is very, very commendable. I did not hear a bitter word in the whole documentary apart from the shunning and that does seem overly harsh on the part of the Amish. Keep up the good work.
    Trudie

    1. I’m here because of the same documentary that Trudie saw, and it really touched my heart. I come from a place in which this kind of life is only heard of in Grandma’s tales and seeing you and the young amish kids you are helping really made look at it in another way. Compliments from this side as well and I hope that God will allow you to do this good work for a long time still.

  3. Hi, Mose.

    I first saw you in the reality series, “Amish In America.” At the time, I was struck by your intelligence and approach to life. The next time, was in “Amish At The Altar.” And, here you are again, in a program my wife and I just finished watching that features the work you do helping ex-Amish kids adjust to the outside world. And now, I find myself wanting to learn more about you, visiting the Gingrich Construction website and reading your blog. You sound like you’re doing great and I loved reading about the birth of the newest Gingrich. I wish you, your wife, and your family all the best.

    1. Thank you Jimi. If you get a chance, watch “Amish out of the order” as well. I put a lot more Blood, sweat, and tears into that one. You can find when it next airs on the National geographic Channel.

  4. Mose, I am happy to hear that you haven’t lost all faith in your life. Religious extremism comes in many forms. I believe the Christian life is meant to be lived in balance. My mom’s sister in Ohio belonged to a sect similar to the Amish for many years. She got out of it and is much better for it. I hope you are encouraging the ex-Amish young people to find more moderate Christian churches that accept them and allow them to exercise faith and reason. One thing you said really struck me. You said you didn’t think you could just flip a switch to turn love off. Very astute. Regarding shunning: Gangs and cults use this tactic to control people. Notice that God gave us free will because he didn’t intend for us to be robots. He also didn’t intend for us to be enslaved. Keep up the good work!

  5. Mose,
    I recently saw your documentary and I’ve been so incredibly inspired by what you do. I’m so happy that you’ve found a job you love and are keeping healthy. Even though our worlds are so completely different–I’m a 17-year-old high school student in New York City–I feel that your message extends far beyond the ex-Amish community. You’ve inspired me to take action in my own life, and I sincerely wish you the best and hope you will continue the amazing work you do.

    1. Lily. At the end of the day, that is really what drives me to do what I do in these films is to Inspire. If I can inspire 1 person in life to make a change for the better, then I have done a good deed.

  6. Mose,

    Your story is inspirational and your courage is sobering!

    I want to make very clear that I am not a dogmatist looking for a sectarian argument.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, and I want to be wrong, but you’ve said at least twice on Nat Geo that because you’ve left the Amish community, you are going to hell. Ever since I heard you say this in the first episode to air that featured your struggle, I have been haunted. Having read your testament of faith above, I doubt you still believe that you are bound for hell for leaving the Amish. Do you?

    I’m compelled to write on behalf of millions of us who were not born nor raised in a particular group of Anabaptists, but have very deep faith and orthodox heritage. We rely for salvation on Christ alone, whether we’re Mennonite, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, ad nauseam.

    Anyway, I don’t want to push a particular view, but hope you may one day accept that faith, and not culture, determines our eternal destiny, if you haven’t already. If you have, well, then, I am preaching to the choir.

    You’ve done great work and I fully believe, per the end of your narrative above, that God is guiding you.

    Blessings,

    Craig

  7. Brother Mose,
    I am considered by some to be handicapped. I’m a little person standing only 3ft 6 inches tall. I realize from other websites and reading your testimony that your beliefs are to take care of family who have disabilities. I am curious if there has ever been a little person like myself born in an Amish/Minnonite community, and if so how were they accepted. Thank you very much for all you have done and continue to do to educate and support all who request your assistance. May God bless you and your wife in a very special way.

    Michael Craig,
    Albany, Ga.

    1. I can’t answer for Mose’s experience but there was a ‘little’ person in my church when I was growing up. I believe that she was from Ohio and was only visiting the Oregon church, perhaps just for the summer. I do remember being fascinated by her and confused because she was just like everyone else! Somehow I thought that listening to her talk would be different from anyone else!

      I was very young at the time so I have no idea of how her life progressed but I do know that she was invited to dinners at homes along with everyone else. I hope she had a good life.

      Elva Bontrager

  8. hey Michael.. if you ever heard of Verne Troyer aka Mini Me on the Austin Powers movies… If I recall correctly he was born Amish.. I know that dwarfishm is a common trait I have been reading about in the Amish community because they have very few people in their community to find wives. It’s not they are “inbreeding” but it’s part of the lack of selection of women, and many families know each other. I hope I explained this correctly. Amish only marry Amish for the most part from what I understand, so this lack of available women would possibly leave the chance there are lots of distant cousins marrying each other. Especially if they come from a smaller order.

    1. Keep in mind, though, that Amish visit far flung Amish communities, so their ‘breeding’ pool is larger than it might appear. My parents, for instance, were not related to each other. I, on the other hand, married another ex-Amish and he was second cousin to me.

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