The First Ten Years
I will never forget the look on my younger brother’s face when, through the rear view mirror of the old 1988 Diesel injected Volkswagen, I watched him grow smaller and smaller. The look was one of total disbelief. “Why? Why leave now? After all you have overcome, why give up on the Amish life now?”
The English driver kept going, and the further the home farm moved into the distance, the harder the tears of frustration fell into my lap. And yet, my brother’s face haunted me, as it would for years to come. We had grown together, spent years of back-breaking labor side by side in the fields plowing, planting, shocking oats, husking corn, and putting up hay. We had spent what seemed like a lifetime cutting down trees for our sawmill, using a handheld two-man saw. In those days, with my storytelling blossoming, when we’d stop for a break, I would sit on a log and spin yarns, and he, knowing full well that they were fairytales, would insist that I continue. Thus, grew tales of me meeting, in those same woods, Indians with bows and arrows, and me, narrowly escaping with my life, sometimes by riding a cow to safety, other times by crawling inside a log and burrowing out of sight for days on end until the Indians gave up the search.
Heck, until we were about 13 and 14, me and my little brother even shared the same bed—a bed where, when it was 25 or 30 below zero in frigid Wisconsin winters, we would curl up under the quilt and put our backs together for warmth until the shivering subsided enough for us to doze off to sleep. Later, when we got older, we went hunted together. And later still, we went to the Singens together. Then, somewhere along the way, I started our paths start going in different directions. I, with a sense of adventure, started buying radios, something that was strictly forbidden, and he, ashamed of my sinful ways, began to withdraw. Even then, while he was doing the more responsible Amish thing—starting his own construction team and building his won sawmill operation, I was sneaking out to the woods and listening to my radio or catching up on the latest world news on a neighbor’s TV, and he, always begging with me to settle down and change my sinful ways. Perhaps even then, he knew how it would all end.
As I sit here writing these words, out of the corner of my eye I watch my four-year-old daughter playing in the basement next to me. She spends several patient minutes switching out of one of her Halloween costumes and into another, all the while prancing in front of me for approval. And I give her the approval. Early and often. Then, in the same instance, I see that haunting look on my little brother’s face—see it in my own daughter’s face. The two faces are the same, but they are very much not the same. They are same in that she has the Gingerich features, the Gingerich smile, and the ornery Gingerich laugh. But they are different, because his is always haunted, while her, at four, understanding nothing about my past, loves and accepts me always and unconditionally, regardless of my past. And in the moment, I wonder who us right and who is wrong? Or is it not possible to have one foot in each life? Is it not possible to have a relationship with the little brother of my past, while also maintaining a life in the world outside?
My mind then drifts to the crossroads, and how different my life would be had I not left the Amish for good on that day ten years ago. Had I stayed Amish, almost certainly by now I would be married and have not one, but half a dozen children, all running around and seeking my approval. But could I give it to them if we were Amish? A thing like that would be frowned upon. Would I be happy had I stayed? Or, would I live a life of misery, regardless how many children, and how precious they all were to me? Had I remained Amish, right now, today, I would be cultivating a field of corn. Tomorrow, well tomorrow I would probably be greasing the gears of an oats binder in preparation for harvest. And this weekend my family and I would be traveling to church—would my family by bow be so large that we needed one buggy, or two?
Had I remained Amish, would I, like so many predicted, have been ordained preacher. Perhaps, right now, in preparation for my next sermon, I might be studying the New Testament—a German version of the bible.
But instead, the life I chose—a life in the outside world, saw me today, working in a stressful environment at my regular job selling cars. It saw me come home, eat dinner with my English family, instead of the Amish one I was expected to have. And I ponder the questions that I am writing down in this blog. Am I where I am needed? Does God truly still have a bigger plan for me in the outside world? If so, can I remain patient until that plan is revealed to me? Or is it enough that I am free—free from the chains of bondage and manmade religion that suppressed me for so long?
Tonight, my little brother’s face haunts me. Tomorrow, I wake up and my new life goes on. My brother’s face will be back. It will be back when the holidays come and I remember that the rest of the family I left behind is all getting together to celebrate. It will come when I am telling Indian stories to my four-year-old daughter at night while trying to put her to sleep. It will come in my dreams. And it will keep coming, for many more years.
But that is okay. Because today, on the ten year anniversary of my leaving the Amish, I am not sad. Sad was when I lived Amish and wanted desperately to get out and experience freedom. Sad was when the preachers kept coming to me and pressuring me to change things that truly inspired and thrilled me, like telling scary Indian fairytales to other Amish kids.
No, today, I am happy. For whether English or Amish, whether with large family or small, I am free. And after ten years of this life, I can truly say that my worst day of freedom is still better than was my best day in captivity.
57 thoughts on “The First Ten Years”
God bless you and your family, Mose. You are truely a special man. Thank you for allowing us a peek into your journey.
Oh, I almost forgot. Happy Indepedence Day!!!
Hello Mose..I learned of you by watching National Geographic. It touched me in such a way because the church I attended my entire life became so fanatical,also money hungry, and power seeking. Many of the congregation was shunned because we didn’t agree..now I don’t have a home church,but I have learned a painful and lonely lesson, its not man’s law but God who will judge us! I have also learned that praying and reading scripture at home is my sanctuary, my comfort,and brings me peace. I look forward to learning more! Best of luck, and God bless!
@deary I absolutely agree with you. I have learned so much about the Amish. I do not live far from Lancaster, PA but have always been curious. I think what Mose does for his ex-Amish and English family is amazing. I am glad I was bored and decided to pop on the National Geographic on Demand. My eyes have been opened. I am Catholic went to Catholic school from K-12 and I did not like it. You are pushed and pulled into several directions it’s not consistent. I do not consider myself “Catholic” I am a spiritual person. I do not feel the need to give tons of money to a group of people who do not even follow their own code of contact. I enjoy my life and family that I am blessed to have.
Sounds a lot like the church I used to attend! I must say, I have found a very similar peace since I left and just started listening to God!
Blessings to you & your family. Our family roots are Mennonite Brethren but love you all who love Jesus because He died & was resurrected for even the Mennonites and the Amish and ex-Amish.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY To you Mose, in more than one way! It took lot of courage to leave your family. I salute you for that. I live in Columbia. I haven’t missed a episode of Amish-Out of Order.
I’m battling stage4 Cancer and I may not live to see another season. But I honestly believe that you should continue. I believe GOD is Shining on you to help those in need of your guidance.
On my “Bucket List” of things to do before I die is to hopefully meet in person. Keep UP the GREAT WORK! Mike
Bless you, Mike. I will say a prayer of peace and comfort for you. God Bless You!
Mose, I have said it before but you are doing something wonderful. I don’t think that people knew alot about what happens when you leave the Amish. I was recently in Harmony,MN where there is one of the biggest community in Minnesota and they communicate with the people who have left the community to into the “english” world. I would love to help you in any way I can if its volunteering or helping people who have left and getting them together. Keep us the awesome work. God put you in this English world for a reason and I think your doing it. May God bless youand keep you. Melissa
Don”t look too far down the road of life, Mose! I believe you are doing exactly what God intends for you to be doing! He will take care of what goes on in your tomorrows. I hope that someday you may be able to reconcile with your Amish family, but you are doing a wonderful job here on the outside by being a mentor, parent, and husband!
Hi Mo, Happy belated 4th to you and your wife – and the two little ones. I’ve just recently, in the past couple of months, been receiving ‘Out of Order’ and now the program seems to have stopped. Is that it? Can I look forward to more? I can’t abide the Hutterites and Gypsies segments that I’ve seen on NG -chronically fighting! After 85 years I want peace and serenity. While I’m not Amish, I can relate to growing up on a farm in an unheated house in southwestern Virginia in the 30s – using fireplaces only. Horse power to pull plows, wagons and sleds. Kerosene lamps, later Coleman lamps. No electricity or telephone – wasn’t available. So many things in the Amish program and writing that I can relate to. Our touch with the outer world was by a Philco radio run by a six volt car battery that was charged continuously(when the wind blew) by a windmill driven generator. No newspapers. Yet we were all happy with our lot and didn’t feel at all deprived. Not like todays youth who can’t seem to get enough, but I don’t resent them. Its just that they should appreciate more for what they have, thank the Lord for it and not take it for granted. Sincerely, yours in Jesus Christ.
Where can I see ,”Amish In the City.” I have never seen this. I have watched, “Amish, Out of Order.” I realize it was taped years ago, but I still want to see the episode. Thank you for your honesty, integrity, and education you have given us. Your journey has just begun.
I have watched some of these episodes of “Amish in The City” on Youtube. I never did see the finale and often wondered what happened to Mose. Now I know.
Hello Mose, I enjoy your blogs and really enjoyed watching the show on natgeo. I am also watching The Hutterites. Do you watch that and what do you think of them? I know it’s each to his own but they are a strange group to me.
Keep writing your interesting blogs. I like hearing about your family. You said you “worked” at the car dealership. Do you no longer work there?
I am looking forward to reading your book and hope you have a book signing in Holmes County, Ohio. I would love to say Hello and get my book signed.
I’m 70 years old and have been visiting “Amish Country” since before it WAS Amish country! My dad used to take us on drives there when I was small. I love the Holmes County area but prefer off the beaten path. My husband and I have ended up in some strange places when following the narrow back roads!! It’s so commercial now that I really don’t like the shopping areas. Especially when I pick up something that says Made in China. I buy from Amish people that sell their own wares.
Good luck to you and your wonderful family. I think you would make a great preacher!!
First of all, happy belated 4th of July to you and yours. I trust you had a lovely Holiday with your family and friends.
I, like so many, discovered you on National Geographic with “Amish:Out of Order”. I am always quite interested and touched by everything you share. Your honesty and integrity is an example to us all. In this message, I was touched by your questionings as to wether you made the right decision, if you are where God wants you to be; and I felt like sharing a bit of what I think on the matter.
My walk in faith has been a long and winding road. Quite interesting story I will gladly share with you, should you want to hear it. But to resume it quite shortly and explain my point of view, all you need to know is that I am a Roman Catholic, I converted to the Protestant Church (I worshiped with the Evangelicals for a little more than 5 years) and then reverted back to the Roman Catholic Church. And you know what I have come to understand? I have come to understand that all our different doctrines were created by Man, who needs these to develop a closer relationship with God. And so, in God’s eyes, it does not matter if you are Roman Catholic or Protestant,,, or Amish or Ex-Amish. What matters to Him is that you believe Him and follow His Will to the best of your abilities. That, my friend, is where the doctrines you feel are best to you come into play.
Fear not that you are not on the road God called you to. For when you meet Him face to face on Judgement Day, He will not ask you “Why did you leave the Amish?” He will most likely ask you “What did you do in this world I created to make it a better place?”
Much blessings to you and yours,
Amen, Well said Nathalie!
It seems it was no coincidence, Mose, that you left the Amish on July 4. It makes me think of other forefathers and mothers who left England, literally or figuratively. Read some of the biography of William Bradford. He broke away from the Anglican church at 12 years old and attended secret meetings of his outlier church till he was 17. At that age he left with a church group and went to Holland. He married there, had a baby, and a few years later he and his wife left for the New World. He never saw his family in England again. He was, as I understand, the only son of a prosperous farmer and stood to inherit his property. He walked away from it all. In the New World he helped found Plymouth Colony. He was a pioneer. He spent the rest of his life trying to grow that settlement and negotiating with the Indians, dealing with skirmishes and fending off wars, for an ideal he believed in. He sacrificed a great deal to build a religious community where he and othes like himself could be free to worship as they chose. He did not know it then, but he was planting the seed of something so much greater than he could ever imagine–the start of a country that would flourish, fill the continent, and become the greatest nation on earth.
You cannot know at the time how much what you do affects the hearts and minds of people. All the young people you associate with and help–and all the people who watch and follow your story. You may not see the effects until many years hence. Bradford, I am sure, must have thought many times, “I didn’t count on this..” or “This isn’t going the way I had hoped…” but he forged ahead. I am sure there were countless people who had made the struggle to come to the New World, who at times longed for their loved ones, the comforts, conveniences, and niceties of their homes back in England. There will be those moments of missing. Of longing. But in the present, as you have found, joy comes from the new reality–the family and friends you have created. And the greater whole, I think, is yet to be realized.
You are a pioneer, Mose.
I have always found people interesting, and the life choices they make are the most interesting thing about them. The plain people have always kept my attention.
I know people who left and appear to have never looked back. I remember a former Amish man told me once that he decided at 5 years of age that he would leave. He was riding in the buggy with his dad and a Corvette zoomed by. He told his dad he would have one someday. He has 3!
I know of a guy who left the Amish for 20 years, but went back and has been back for 10 years in a church that is lower than the one he left.
I have also watched several English people try to join the Amish. Most really struggle and it rarely has a good ending, but a few have ended well.
One young lady from Montana drove Amish around, and decided the Amish life was what she wanted. She moved to Ohio and went through a lengthy proving process before joining a New Order church. She hung out with the single girls for a while, but eventually fell in love with a fellow, and they had a couple of kids. They moved a couple of hours away and had a couple more kids. Some trouble developed in their marriage, and one day she up and took their daughter to Montana, left the boys with their father, and got a divorce.
Another interesting story was 16 years ago there was a mom and dad, both graduates of Michigan State University, who brought their 6 kids to Ohio to join the Amish. They struggled terribly with the language. They eventually moved back to Michigan, but continued to try to assmimilate into the Amish. I never knew what happened to them, but their oldest daughter poppped into my office one day and let me know what had gone on. Their struggles continued in Michigan and eventually mom wanted to leave, but dad didn’t. They separated for a while, got counseling, and are now back together and plan to join a Beachy church.
Point is that people are so diverse and make a variety of different choices, sometimes changing direction several times in their lives, and sometimes making a choice as a very young person and sticking with it til dying of old age. And that dynamic is incredibly interesting.
If life is a journey, then the diversity of lives and choices is a good thing as long as the journey is lived within the guardrails. And those guardrails will differ from person to person, but I believe from my journey’s experience that biblical morality provides protection from all the self-inlicted and unbearable miseries of life that happen outside those guardrails. But every person makes their choices and reaps the blessings or pain that go with thoses choices. We are all searching for love, joy, peace, and meaning/purpose – and we all do that search differently.
So, we live, we choose, we learn or not, and we grow, evolve, or stay the same. It’s not our place to judge someone else’s journey or try to compel them to change it, but if they ask, I will try to be prepared to give an answer for the hope that lies within me. :)
I can relate to your burning desire to understand God’s plan for your life. I really wish that God would use Email. I found that I had a God shaped hole in my heart, and I often felt helpless trying to figure out how to fill it. I found that in my life God works thru people. I had to offer prayers of Thanks and have a genuine (not intellectual) gratitude for the kindness the lord has sent me. I think what helped me most was when I could finally understand that “pride” and “my ego” blocked my path on a regular basis. I focused on waiting for a task that appealed to me. I was waiting for God to deliver!
I was waiting for him to serve up something that satisfied my “pride” and “ego”. I was finally able to ask myself who was serving who? There are so many hurting people in this world! Judgement day for me will be when the Lord will ask me what did I decide to do with the life he blessed me with? I hope every day that my actions will bring praise and glory to his name. I strive to ease the suffering of the world every day. When I get bored; I ask myself who is serving who? Many lives have had “Joplin like destruction” They just don’t get News Coverage!
Regards – Mark Newsted
“I really wish that God would use Email.”
Oh yeah, now isn’t that an interesting concept? Of course, to every excellent advantage there is a down side: We would then have absolutly NO excuse for not following His Will: “What do you mean you didn’t know? I wrote it to you black on white!”
I have found that I am sometimes so good at getting in my own way; “black & white” might not be all that bad!
I have to tell you that I was let in on your show by a coworker who happened to notice your hometown was Greenwood, Wi… same as mine. I of course had to tune in and I found it so intriguing that I grew up in that town for 18 years and still visit my parents frequently there, but knew so little about the amish. Of course the amish were always present, (I’ve never seen another town that has a horse hitching post at the bank and grocery store- growing up I just thought that was the norm :))but we English and Amish just co-habitated in the same town and that was about it. So thank you for giving me insight on a culture I should have known more about long ago along with giving people who desire a different future help and hope. Very inspiring!
Why was Cephas given an Amish funeral and burial, when he was an ex-Amish? Wouldn’t they be afraid of having a person who had left the faith buried in consecrated ground despoiling the cemetery? That really confused me.
I wondered also how/why he was allowed to be buried in the Amish cemetery, especially coming from such a strict community.
I wondered this also,and was Gideon mourning with his Amish family or with his X-Amish family
I just wonder how he was treated hearing Amos say that he had to eat outside while the Amish community ate inside the barn.
Thank you Mose for sharing your journey with us. You truly are inspiring and I think that you followed your calling to leave the Amish and come to the English world and do something important. You have started on the path and I can’t wait to see what happens next. Thank you again! sincerely, andrea
This almost made me cry and gave me a new appreciation for what the ex-Amish go through, as an English person I know I will never get it. I can’t ever imagine going through what you have and I hope that you find peace during the difficult days. You’re the only one who really knows if your decision was the right one. It’s okay to miss what you had and to want it back sometimes. I know what you mean about wanting to know what’s going to happen to you, but try not to look so far ahead that you miss out on what you have now. Sorry about the unsolicited advice, as a future counselor I can’t help it. Take care.
Mose, God bless you and what you are doing. I grew up around the Amish in upper lower Michigan and respected them for what they believed in. We often visit their bakery on Camp 10 Rd and just love spending hours just chatting. You are doing something special there with supporting the other ex-Amish, they seem to really depend on you. Bless you & love your show.
What wonderful job you do for the ex-amish. You can still gather your family and friends and celebrate by doing some of the things you use to do. Being ex-amish doesn’t mean you must lose everything. Those things that were special to you, you can share with your little ones and your family of ex-amish. Too often religion doesn’t celebrate the individual for all the wonderful things that life gives us.
I applaud your efforts to be there for these young people.
Thank you for letting us in by doing “Amish, Out of Order”.
Well said Maryellen. I agree.
I believe you are right where you are suppose to be and you are doing exactly what you are suppose to be doing. Your doing GOD’s work right now, every day. Be true to your heart.
Enjoy the now that your in.
We, I can only imagine others think and feel the same, the “English” never knew what you had to face when leaving all that you knew. That in it’s self is an amazing act of courage.
Know that your an amazing man ( I’m sure your beloved wife says this too), your doing a great job, be proud of all you are accomplishing.
GOD will continue to bless you and your family, and with the support you continue to show other ex-Amish, he will help you to find the strength you need.
YOU are an amazing man, with an amazing wife and beautiful children.
May GOD bless you in all you do.
From California with Love,
We ALL have trappings in this life, in this world. For you, Mose, it was growing up Amish. For some, it is Islam. For some it is ultraorthodox Hassidic Judaism. Some folks live in Christian legalism. Many e finding the Hindu religions to be stifling with over 300,000 gods. Even atheists have their trappings, their burdens of proof, their boundaries. But, Jesus came. When we read in John chapter 10, His parable of the Good Shepherd, we realize that Christ came to fulfill the ancient Hebrew prophecies and to break through the Hebrew legalism, cultural notions, secular prohibitions, etc. Verse 10 says it all: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” If you, Mose, are experiencing abundant life in Christ, then you are on the right path. Narrow as it may be, it is the right one. Keep listening for the still, small voice of God in your spirit, and follow it. The Good Shepherd will never mislead you. Prayers and best wishes!
Very well said.
I just love the term you used “Christian legalism”! Buy the time my church finished with my “Christian” education; the only thing that made any sense with respects to my salvation was hiring a good Lawyer!
Dear Mr. Gingerich, I watch NatGeo with interest on your community and how hard the struggles for the ex-Amish are. I think that any group of people who step outside of the box (ie the culture you come from) are often misunderstood. Assimilation into any majority from a minority can be very difficult. I speak as a person who is a member of a minority, and that most of the time, when I step out of what is the norm for my particular community, I am often met with skepticism and almost a sense of dislike, because I am not content with what the accepted norm for my community is.
I accepted the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior several years ago, but have only recently come to know Him better. I do believe that everything happens for a reason, but we are not always privy to the reasons why.
You mentioned that you are impatient to have things happen, and believe me, it is easy to be impatient. For myself, I have to remember that all things happen in God’s time, not our own. I look at it as God taking time to figure out what He wants of us. I know that’s not true of course, but it helps me to keep my very human mind at peace. Waiting on the Lord can be a good thing, it keeps us humble and patient…
As Elizabeth Hansen (above) stated, it is harder to take the narrow path, and sometimes it is hard to stay on that path, but be assured, you are where the Lord wants you right now. Don’t ever second guess that. Our assurance is being saved and eventually we will come to understand.
You bless us all! Blessings to you, your family and your community.
And I forgot to mention something…in years past I spent a LOT of time in the Lancaster PA area. I attribute this longing to a relative that lived in Dauphin county some years ago..maybe his heart has been passed along to me.
For whatever reason, I felt myself continuously being called to the area, and I thought that the Amish life was something I would like, but I’ve come to know that even the Amish have difficulties. We all do. I think it’s easy to see a group of people who love God, and then assume that everything is always ok. Common sense taking over, I realize that this is an assumption, because I know plenty of Christians who have difficulties. I call them “tests”.
I do see the people in the area generally as much more God-loving, and just people who seem to take others for who they are. Maybe that is the draw, because I don’t often find that kind of attitude where I presently live. If something is wrong with my truck in Lancaster, someone is very likely to come along side of me and offer assistance. Here…not so much.
I know I could never live as an Amish person…although the one thing I am striving for is to homestead, which I KNOW will invite much work. I would like to be a steward of the land. This will probably never happen, but it’s nice to have a dream to work for. I am pretty much debt free, so this is one thing I would like to do in retirement.
Moses, you are a wonderful person with a good heart! My father lived in Macon, Mo. which has a decent sized Amish community, and bought a van to drive their families anywhere they needed to go! My father told me that even though the Amish were all Amish, that the different areas and communities they live in, do change some of there religious “rules”. So frankly, I think they should STOP looking at you as an “Ex-Amish” but instead see you as “Modern Amish!” The earth is not at a standstill, and if we want to fit in as it progresses, we need to keep up with technology and learn to interact with all of the people on this earth! You ARE doing the RIGHT thing, by helping the people who just want to live like the rest of us do!! I personally don’t believe in “hell”. God IS “ALL POWERFUL” and that means there is NO “equal” power, therefore there is NO Devil, nor is there a HELL! If we all try to help others, and all try to live good lives, then we can ALL be happy, and God will let us ALL into Heaven! Hugs (Mose) You are doing the RIGHT thing!! <3
Lol, Sorry Mose, I didn’t realize until I hit “submit” that I had called you “Moses”! ;P
Mose don’t lose faith, you have touched people and changed their lives for the good. I believe you are right where you need to be. God Bless for all you have done for the ex-amish. Keep up the good works.
Mose, it is very hard to lose contact with your family and this might always be a grief and loss in your life. But I do believe you are in the right place and doing the right thing. You are a very special person, very smart and very real and God definitely has a plan for your life.
Agree, where is the Like button?
Hey/hello Mose. Lots of comments and opinions on here to absorb. Thank you for all that you have done to help the brethren and others of this world. You have brought many peoples together and have had questions pop up that we may not understand why.
Don’t be disappointed or impatient with what you haven’t succeeded in that may be your goals. Our Heavenly Father will work in His time. What is important is not to forget to include Christ in all we do.
When I was between protestant churches, since I live in a community without Mennonites, I discovered the most important common denominator. My Amish half sister was contemplating her commitment to the Old Order Amish and the New Order. I let her know that our commitment should be to Christ first. She and nine of her ten children are not Old Order Amish anymore.
I recently got to go home to Indiana for a reunion and visit in Nappenee, Goshen, Middlebury, Shipshewana, and more. It was great to be with family, but the tourism for the world has changed the areas some.
Almost forgot, I wanted to mention as the scriptures say, “We are to be in the world, but not of the world. Like Esther Miller did, she backed up a few steps. I’m glad she made that choice and now is married as of yesterday. Also, I’m sure you have a humble heart and are were taught not to be “proud”. Phil 4:13, “We can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” God bless you in your endeavor whatever doors God opens for you and your community.
Hello Mose, First, I’ve seen your show “amish:out of order”, and what you are doing is really good, by openning your door and supporting ex-amish in their times of need. I’m sitting in my chair watching, and wishing if there was a way to help out.
Second, You always talk about how unsure on God’s plans for you. Where, honestly, I think your doing an awesome job already! No one ever knows God’s purpose for our lives. But as long as you see smiles from your friends and families faces, I bet God is doing the same.
I’ve been a Lutheran all my life and having God close to me has helped me get through some really hard times. So I am glad with how the ex-amish stay religious on “the outside” in the “english” world.
May God continue to bless you!
Hi, Mose! I’ve sent you words of encouragement via email before. Not sure if anyone has pointed out to you that in certain ways you are still “thinking Amish” and they may not be in the most helpful of ways.
When I was a young parent, my spouse confessed to cheating and wanting to leave me and our daughter. It was a terrible time losing my family, where I felt like I’d had my arm ripped off. If I had to go around calling myself ex-spouse of so-and-so or an ex-married person, it would not have helped my healing.
I know in the Amish community there is at the basic level of thinking: “us” and “them.” You’re finding out that in great ways, we’re all sort of alike.
I’d just like to encourage you to find a name different from ex-Amish–one that is positive, hopeful and promotes healing. I miss your shows, watching all those great kids and praying for someting new each time. Do come back for another season!
I grew up about 30 miles from Greenwood, Wisconsin and have been working at a farm store for the last 9 years and have been able to deal with the Amish on a daily basics. Most are really good people, I even had Amish living next door and miss them dearly. Mose I just love your show I think it great to show how the Amish live and how hard it is to leave and start over. I support what you are doing and just wanted to say that :-)
Mose, I would just like to thank you for sharing your story with us. I commend you for having the courage to follow your heart and keep it open as to God’s plan for you. I had an appointment at the Marshfield Clinic . We were en route to visit family in Medford before returning home to Wausau. We decided to drive through Neilsville as my husband Todd’s brother Tim owns and operates Anderson Calf Milk (feed mill) right on Hwy 73. As we passed through Greenwood, I mentioned that you were originally from there. It took him a minute and then he said ” He’s from the show on Nat Geo Channel right ?” We talked about shunning and how upset that made us. And how heartbreaking it was to learn of the death of Cephas Yoder. Before I knew it we were there. It’s always nice to wave to the Mennonite family that shares the driveway and lives next to the feed mill. Today we only saw a young boy and girl. At least they have power and mechanization to make life more bearable. You have become a powerful mentor to the ex-Amish and inspirational to the English. You and your family are remembered in our prayers everyday.
I have watched your show(s) since you were on “Amish in the City” a few years ago.
My dad grew up Amish in central Ohio many years ago. His parents left the Amish church and joined the Mennonite church when he was 16. I remember being at my Great-Aunt’s house, she was still Amish.Her vrsion of shunning was to push 2 small tables together and cover them with one tablecloth when our family would come over for supper. That was enough for her. She was a special lady.
I really enjoy watching “Amish, out of Order” and it touches a place in my heart. I left the Mennonite church when I was 19, and married outside of the church as well. My parents have always been very supportive of me and my spouse and family while others in the church have not….
You talk a lot about family and the support of the church,when you belong to that church. I agree with that, and miss that connection that was gone when I left the church. I struggle with some of the same issues that you speak of. I remember the surprise I felt when I met good people who did not go to church, and especially not the Mennonite church. I guess I was raised to believe that anyone who was not Mennonite could never be happy.
I wish you happiness and success in your endeavours and hope to see more of your productions on tv.
Mose, I found the series fascinating on many levels, but especially because I left the Baptist denomination that I was raised in after I found out that much of what their dogma is relatively new theology with its basis in the works of Miller and Darby from the mid 19th C. I had been taught that the Baptists have that only true interpretation of Revelation…a truly false statement as they teach heresy. After much personal research I felt betrayed and misled by those I had trusted. I have found spiritual peace since I rejected that false teaching and I have turned to the works of the Early Church fathers (1st – 4th C)for insight as to the meaning of Revelations.
Recently I have been listening to my Bible read on a CD instead of reading it myself as I found I have a tendency to fall asleep when trying to do so! It has made me slow down in my Bible reading and really pay attention to what is being said.
I started with the book of John, and was surprised at how many times Jesus said over and over (just in John alone) “Believe in me and you will be saved.” I counted at least 12 times in John where this was said directly, and perhaps another 10 more in which it was inferred.
Jesus said “belive in me and you will be saved.”
He did NOT say –“If you wear Amish clothing and drive a buggy”
“IF your family approves of your lifestyle”
“IF you belong to a certain church”
“IF you wear a suit and tie or a Sunday dress to services”
“IF–you take communion with wine–or water–or grape juice or whatever the denomination dictates.”
“IF–you say a certain prayer a certain way.”
“IF–you wear sacred underwear–or refuse blood transfusions–or meet on Saturday instead of Sunday–or don’t have a Christmas tree–or genuflect when you come into the church–or play certain music–or sit, or stand, or kneel–or read only a KJV Bible–”
And a thousand other rules man has come up with to govern how we worship God.
Bottom line, basic belief repeated over and over from Jesus himself–“Believe in me and you will be saved.”
For some reason I was able to reset my password this time from the website whereas sll was failure before. I’m thankful to have access again. It does strike me that a recorruing issue that comes up is the nature of truth. I would maintain that something can be “true” as it is written on paper but turned into the worst kind of lie in actual practice. Of course, this tends to make peple who have suffered under the influence of somethng one might call “paper ture” but a living lie to want to attack the “paper truth” as well. If this is getting too abstract, let me refer us all to 1 Corinthians 13 and the discussion of how nothing is any good at all without the “agape,” selfless,love that the KJV called “charity” in this context, clearly trying to distinguish it from the other, lesser forms of love. Clearly, Mose, having watched ultimately every chapter of this last series, I think, you are still a man who values faith and the word of God, the bible. As one who experienced a group with an extreme disconnect between the “paper truth” and the spirit o the thing, I can say that for me there still remains a kind fo tightrope to walk at times t not “throw out the baby with the bath water” but also to not get sucked into again or oppressed by twisted, obusive culural practices which are merely the traditions of men yet presented as the truth of God. One in such situations, and I suspect you as well, Mose, cn find it their fate to be perpetually wrestling with what psychologists call an “approach-avoidance conflict” of garanguatan proportions, so wanting to be loved and accepted by people whose cultural traditions and taboos perhaps will never allow them to lovH and accept us. “Let us go forth therefore unto Him w/o the camp, bearing His reproach.” (Heb 13:13)
By the way, Mose, since a “pastor” is another name for “shepherd” I believe you are much more of a shepherd to young, ex-Amish than likely anyone else. This is clearly a God-given ministry for you and I know you suffer all the pains and rejoice with all the joys of any shepherd. Though it’s nice to be “happy” and discovering we can be at liberty to have some happiness is surely what much of this is all about, it is perhaps even more important that one’s life be “real” and meaningful, even if it causes some pain. Surely your ministry is meaningful.
I have so enjoyed your show Amish Out of Order. If one of the kids on the show were mine, I would be so proud of him or her – not because they left the Amish but because they are truly good kids. I would welcome any of them into my home and into my life. They are a wonderful addition to our English world.
Mose, you probably have no idea how many people you’ve “helped” out here. By pushing past what is so deeply engrained in you to be quietly behind the scenes you are doing a much bigger service to so many! Thank you, and I’m one of those you’ve enspired to keep going with my heart.
My maiden name is Yoder and my family was shunned from the Amish many years ago when my great grandfather did exactly what you’ve done.
But he brought with him out of his Amish life all those wonderful family values, hard work ethics… and sooo much more that are the best and good things about the Amish. He gave them to his family, like you are to yours, and today… 3 generations later I am grateful!
But,I too find myself in exactly the same spot my great grandfather was in back then… totally disenchanted with a church that has lost its way. I have left too.
But in watching your show, I can clearly see how much you miss certain things about your past life with the Amish… I’ve been encouraged that even though I too have those deep missings, and an empty hole for some of the best parts of my life within a church – I’ve chosen to be true to who I believe God really is.
I believe that empty hole will probably always be there, in your life and in mine, but I would encourage you to keep creating an honest for your children, as my great grandfather did for us. That is the best thing you will offer.
And I HOPE you will keep filming Amish Out-of-Order. That show just may be the calling God has given you in place of what you left. God Bless you Mose